2022/2023 Westly Prize for Young California Innovators (Up to $145,000 in prizes)

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Last Updated on October 14, 2022

Westly Prize for Young California Innovators

The Westly Prize for Young California Innovators honors talent, creativity, and the daring humanitarian spirit of aspiring social entrepreneurs.

Westly Foundation believes that small bets and a growth mindset lead to breakthrough innovations. Since 2012, they have awarded cash prizes to Westly Prize finalists once a year to early-stage, young social innovators in California with novel solutions to community challenges.

Innovations in any of the following categories are eligible for consideration:

  • Arts
  • Civic Engagement
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Food Production/Distribution
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Technology/Tech for Good
  • Transportation
  • Youth Development


  • The Foundation will award up to three Grand Prizes of $40,000 each to individuals or teams of up to four members. Grand Prize winners who applied as individuals will receive $40,000; winners who applied as teams will split the $40,000 award amount among the team members.
  • Honorable Mention winners will receive $5,000, to be split in the same manner.


  • An individual founder or at least half of the founding team must be resident(s) of or live in California at the time of the application and throughout the selection process.
  • Out-of-state residents enrolled in a California school are eligible.  California residents attending school in a different state are also eligible.
  • An individual founder must be under the age of 28 years during the calendar year in which they apply. If a team of co-founders applies, their average age must be less than 28 during the calendar year in which they apply.
  • A team of co-founders may not exceed four founding members in applying.
  • An innovation must be the idea of the applying individual or individuals listed as co-founders in the application.
  • An individual who leads the effort to build out the innovation, but did not come up with the innovation directly, is not eligible to apply.
  • Only one individual or one team may be nominated or apply for the same innovation.
  • Prize awards are unrestricted and will be paid in U.S. dollars to the successful individuals (which may affect the taxes of these individuals) or as a donation to a charitable organization of the winners choosing.
  • Prize awards are given in recognition of the social impact of the innovations.


The deadline to submit your application is October 15, 2022 at 11:59 P.M. Pacific Standard Time (PST), unless that date falls on a weekend. If October 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, applications are due the following Monday at or before 11:59 P.M. (PST).

Click here to apply

For more information, see FAQ and visit Westly Prize.

Deadline: October 17, 2022

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