I thought the integration of the "path to pitch" in the Higher Education Challenge opened an interesting door. I'd like to see that option -- to pitch to an accelerator -- be moved or extended to the Impact phase. I think this would allow people to generate and start prototyping a brand new idea during the challenge. The idea team could then make a more informed decision about pitching, with all they learned during the challenge and the assessments from OpenIDEO, the sponsor, and the community. The opportunity with accelerators would give the idea team a clear next challenge to focus on in the Impact phase, with the potential for mentorship, support, and financial investment.
The bigger "tweak" here could be for OpenIDEO to build its own accelerator, using the challenges as the search and submission phase. OpenIDEO has a broad network and can leverage IDEO and IDEO.org to make a very interesting accelerator. There are a lot of accelerators around already, so the value in build vs. partner would need to be figured out. What is missing from the market, and what unique approaches / value would an OpenIDEO accelerator bring?