The $1 Billion Wage Gain Challenge

Together, we will drive $10,000 in annual wage increases for at least 100,000 low- and middle-income US workers by 2021.

The $1 Billion Wage Gain Challenge is a moonshot to address wage stagnation.

Our goal is to help fuel a movement that results in meaningful wage gains for workers across the country. Much like the concept of a $1 billion “unicorn” startup in Silicon Valley, this is a $1 billion unicorn to grow the middle class. We’ll source new and existing ideas, highlight promising examples. We’ll encourage the workforce field to explore innovative approaches and call on players from other fields to address this challenge.

This challenge focuses on one tangible metric: raising the annual wages of at least 100,000 US workers by $10,000 or more by 2021. In doing so, we intend to identify, spotlight, and accelerate effective and promising ways to meaningfully increase annual incomes and expand the middle class. 

Over 90 ideas were submitted. After review by thought leaders and subject matter experts, including JFF leadership, we selected seven finalists. These finalists will present their ideas in San Diego on April 8 at ASU GSV X Summit, a preeminent, international conference focused on education, workforce, and technology. We intend for the event to serve as a platform for finalists to get the exposure and traction needed to truly address the challenge of creating shared prosperity. The event will include live presentations, judging, and winner selection. 

The competition is supported by Schmidt Futures, and will be complementary and connected to its efforts in the Alliance for the American Dream. Schmidt Futures works to advance society through technology, inspire breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, and promote shared prosperity. As a venture facility for public benefit, Schmidt Futures drives discovery through investment in people, platforms, and partnerships.

Finalists will gain national recognition for their ideas and opportunities to meet new partners and peers. They will participate in a pitch event in 2019. 

For more information, read the FAQs.

For inquiries about the challenge, please fill out the form on the left, or contact: