Calling all those with restaurant napkin sketches, late-night brainstorms, pipe dreams, unfinished thoughts, and even up-and-running businesses! The OSV Challenge is back for 2021 and looking to accelerate big ideas for a shot at one of three $100,000 prizes.
Pope St. John Paul II called for the New Evangelization – new in ardor, new in expression, and new in method. In response to this call along with the alarming statistic that the Catholic Church loses 6.5 people for every one convert, the idea for the OSV Challenge was born. Now with pews being further emptied as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s never been a more important time to cultivate creative solutions.
The Catholic Church has preserved and built Western Civilization. Hospitals, music notation, great art, university systems, and caring for the poor, just to name a few, started with those who have gone before us. We as a Church, especially in areas of ministry, need to learn how to try, to fail, to iterate, and to try again. We have the ability to take the best from the world of ministry and from the world of entrepreneurship, and it is time to do it again – to innovate, to set the standard for the world, and to renew the splendor of our Catholic faith.
Innovation can mobilize, galvanize, and bring us together as a Church at the service of the New Evangelization. More than “invention,” innovation has a sense of “execution” which requires collaboration, cooperation, and moving in a common direction. It moves the Church proactively outward. Pope Francis talks about “accompaniment” and going to the peripheries. In business, this concept is knowing your customer and going to new markets. Our messaging and approaches must reach audiences who are not currently listening.
We don’t grow in our faith by keeping it to ourselves. We grow by giving our faith away. And it is by innovating on how to bring people to Christ and His Church that our faith grows, our dependence on our Lord grows, our trust grows, and our love expands. As such, there is an innovator in all of us, and the Saints of tomorrow will be the Catholic innovators of today.
We invite any artist, entrepreneur, community leader, inventor, or layperson with a big idea to apply to compete in the second annual OSV Challenge. Applications will be accepted from February 1 through April 2, 2021, at 12:00 pm Eastern.
12 Finalists will have the opportunity to present their final pitches to a panel of expert judges and investors at the event’s culmination on Demo Day, September 18. Three $100,000 prizes will be awarded to the winning initiatives to advance their missions. Prospective Challengers can learn more and apply at osvchallenge.com. Let’s innovate together!