Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics

Challenges

Solutions & Ratings

Rewards

Mentors

Companies

If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to support@mindsumo.com

The Basics

Students from all universities in the US and selected universities from UK, Canada, India and Australia with a valid .edu or university email can create an account on our site.
Currently only a select number of schools in the UK, Canada, Australia, and India can join. If you see an error message when you try to sign up, that's an indication that we're not open yet at your university. You can join our waitlist at www.mindsumo.com/intl_about and we'll update you on your school's status when it changes! Meanwhile, please stay in touch through our Facebook and Twitter pages.
When a challenge is completed, the company hosting the challenge takes some time (usually 2 weeks) to review all the solutions that have been submitted. They then select the designated number of winners to receive prizes based on creativity, relevance, and feasibility. The winners are then notified via email, and can redeem their prize money through the MindSumo payment system.

Challenges

If you are chosen as a challenge winner, then you get cash! Challenges are a great way to connect and share your ideas with interesting companies. This real-world project experience is something you should be referencing on your resume.
The content from the solutions can be used by the company as they see fit. We will always be sure to notify you if we find out that one of your ideas was successfully implemented by of one of our customers!
Solutions for standard challenges should follow the deliverables guidelines in the challenge brief. If paragraphs are required, then be sure to write real paragraphs and complete thoughts. In general, the solutions that have the best chance of winning are the ones that are fully developed, and don't feel like they were thrown together in a few minutes.
Most challenges should be completed on an individual basis. However, if you do collaborate with another person, make sure to list that person's name as a contributor in your submission. Rewards will be sent to one person, so it's up to you to distribute it fairly.
Following a challenge means you will receive updates on the completion status of the challenge. Challenges you follow also appear on your profile for easy future access.
There is no set schedule, but there are generally new challenges every week.
MindSumo has an integrated payments system through PayPal. All rewards are distributed to this system and are available immediately to winners when they are announced.

Solutions & Ratings

Peer reviews, or crowd-voting, is a way for students to give feedback to one another and hopefully improve. The ratings (clarity, creativity, feasiblity) do not influence a company's judging and selection process.
The solution rating assigned by companies is on a 10 point scale. Here's a general guide:
Meets Deliverables - Answers each of the sections directly. If questions were not addressed, rating of 5 stars or less.
Clarity - Well communicated, clear thoughts, with good structure. If frequent grammatical errors or incomplete thoughts, rating of 5 stars or less.
Novelty - Truly unique ideas (subjective). Bonus of 2-5 stars.

Rewards

We give you a ton of ways to earn rewards. Anything from solving your first challenge to completing your profile. The most reliable way, however, is to solve challenges and refer friends. For a complete list, login and go to www.mindsumo.com/rewards
We've set a few cash out thresholds ($100 default) to make sure that only legitimate and active users are getting paid. This system rewards those who actually add value to the community.
We review cash out requests every business day. Due to high volume of requests, expect to cash out within 1 week. Sometimes this takes a bit longer when requests look suspicious or scammy.

Mentors

We have over 1,000 professionals who have volunteered to help you out. They are available to answer questions about school, career, or even how best to tackle a challenge. Find them here: www.mindsumo.com/mentors
MindSumo mentors come from every discipline and background. You'll find people in nonprofits, engineering, ats, politics, sciences, etc. Use search filters to find relevant people, then request them to start a dialogue!
Anything you like! Try asking about what classes to take, what extracurriculars matter, any edits you should make on your resume, or tricks to writing a great challenge solution. Here are some sample questions. You'll be able to message them at any time through the MindSumo messaging system.

Companies

Following a company means you will receive updates about the company's new challenges or job opportunities. Clicking 'follow' also indicates your potential interest, so companies are able to see their followers.
Right now, you can follow a company or solve their challenge to indicate your interest. Only companies can initiate a conversation via SumoMail messaging.
Your profile page, which includes your bio, challenge history, companies, and endorsements, is viewable to users and companies with accounts on MindSumo.
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