Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics

Challenges

Solutions & Ratings

Points & Rewards

Mentors

Companies

The Basics

Anybody can create an account on MindSumo with a valid email. If you are a student, please use your school email, so that we can direct your school specific challenges to you.
Yes, MindSumo is now open to everybody.
Absolutely. But, our challenges will most likely be directed towards college students and recent graduates.
Reach out to us and we will help you.
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

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.

Points & Rewards

Users are rewarded with points when they provide a quality solution to any challenge. Challenges have points pool, which is shared by the top 50% of submissions based on the rating they receive from the company. The higher quality your solution, the more points you earn. These points can then be cashed out to your paypal from the points page
We recently moved away from a purely cash-based system to a points-based system. Because points are tied to quality work, the points system will measure your overall performance on MindSumo. The only way to earn points is to solve more and better. This system rewards consistent, high-quality work.
The only way to earn points is to solve as many challenges as possible. Points also serve as a single metric to quantify your performance on MindSumo. You can now use your points to brag about your achievements and ideas.

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, arts, 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.
Your profile page, which includes your bio, challenge history, is viewable to users and companies with accounts on MindSumo.
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