There are many ways to become involved. Organisations can run their own challenge, innovators and entrepreneurs can compete in a challenge or you can participate as a mentor or life expert to help shape the business concepts.

Roles of D3 Challenge participants

Each challenge includes a series of workshops and events. Each involves working in teams, and interacting and connecting with people.

The challenge invites all members of the community to get involved as:

  • Challenge owners – the organisation championing the use of the challenge model to solve a problem.
  • Competitors – those accepting the challenge and creating and testing a business concept that could turn into a scalable business.
  • Mentors – experienced guides and coaches who understand the process of Discuss, Design and Deliver and can provide targeted assistance to the competitors.
  • Judges – experts who understand the problem, the customers’ needs and can identify a potential solution that can be further explored – leading them to decide on the winner(s).
  • Life experts – those offering personal insights and life experience into the challenge problem.

Challenge owners

Challenge owners are those organisations who use the model to solve a complex problem identified by them and are hosts of a challenge.

Benefits for challenge owners

  • A new best way to creatively solve problems.
  • A way to connect diverse people with solution designers to achieve a better understanding of the problem.
  • The ability to innovate faster and cheaper.
  • A way to connect with the community on matters that affect them.
  • Access to and discovery of some of the best and brightest local tech savvy innovators.
  • A way to support small to medium companies and start-up enterprises.
  • The acquisition of new knowledge through topic-based education and building of business acumen which has wider benefits across the organisation.
  • A great news story that encourages others to get involved.

Challenge owners will need to be open minded and flexible. They must understand that in some cases the problem may be too complex to be addressed in full, but rather progressed with partial solutions over time. It is also important to understand that the problem identified for solving by the organisation may not be the problem that is solved during the challenge as informed by life experts.

There are no restrictions on who can run a challenge but there are suitability requirements that you must meet before running one. This includes:

  • identifying the problem to solve with key stakeholders
  • funding the challenge
  • building the project team
  • running the events of the challenge
  • promoting and communicating your challenge.

You can read more about these requirements in the Getting started section of this website.


Competitors have the opportunity to solve real world problems in a supportive and collaborative environment. This opportunity can lead to kick-starting your own innovation driven social enterprise.

Benefits for competitors

  • Get access to the expertise across the challenge owner's organisation.
  • Be introduced to potential customers.
  • Be introduced to potential business partners.
  • Be introduced to potential co-founders and/or team members.
  • Develop competencies to manage risk in pursuing an innovation driven business.
  • Access seed grant funds to validate the early stage business concept with customers.
  • Receive coaching on how to deliver a compelling pitch.
  • Pitch to a panel of experienced judges.
  • Develop Intellectual Property which you are free to commercialise in the marketplace.

Competitors will need to:

  • commit to undertaking the challenge journey
  • demonstrate a market opportunity to solve some or all of the challenge problem, with the potential for paying customers
  • define a vision and establish a business concept that is committed to undertaking the challenge journey
  • have the desire and commitment to continue to pursue validating a sustainable business model after the challenge concludes
  • be prepared to do the necessary research to identify the customer, discuss the problem, establish and clearly define their unmet need, and use an iterative approach to designing and delivering a potential solution.

The challenge encourages and supports the establishment of an early stage company that has the aspiration and intention to pursue the opportunity and lay the foundation for an investable business.

To be alerted when the next challenge commences contact us.


Mentors have the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience, guiding competitors as they work through the challenge.

What makes a great D3 Challenge mentor?

The challenge seeks mentors who have real world experience with establishing and growing a business, an awareness of best practice methodologies and processes, and the ability to understand and assess complex problems and potential business models.


  • understand the judging criteria and help competitors to effectively address the criteria in their pitch
  • provide guidance and knowledge of IT and emerging technology including digital technology platforms and/or software
  • understand the market research capability and how to identify and engage with potential customers to understand their needs
  • provide introductions to potential stakeholders, partners or investors
  • understand the potential IP/commercialisation pathways
  • have relationships with the entrepreneur/innovation community and an awareness of potential partnerships
  • understand the disruptive innovation journey
  • help competitors to think critically about the problem and their business concept
  • provide best practice guidance about the competitors potential business model.

Time commitment

  • An initial meeting to understand your experience and desire to be a mentor (at the challenge owner's discretion).
  • A Day 2 pre-workshop briefing on the challenge problem statement, judging criteria to be used and to meet the other mentors.
  • Attendance to Day 2 workshop to provide feedback and advice to the competitor's business concepts.
  • Attendance at the Pitch Night, to allow ongoing support to the winning competitors.

An effective mentor is one who can1:

  • put the relationship before the mentorship
  • focus on character rather than competency
  • shout loudly with optimism and keep quiet with cynicism.

If you wish to be a mentor, there are some restrictions to ensure objectivity. You are not allowed to be involved in organising the event or have any relationship with a competitor(s).

Interested in becoming a mentor? Register your interest by contacting us.


Judges participate in challenges by:

  • understanding the problem to be solved
  • understanding the process that competitors need to undertake
  • assessing the competitor teams on the criteria that has been provided.

Judges will decide on the winner based on the information provided by the competitors before the pitch, their live pitch and questions asked following the pitch.

The Pitch Night features a series of five-minute pitches from competitors that will explain how they have addressed the criteria, and the next steps they will take if they are successful.

What makes a great D3 Challenge judge?

The challenge seeks judges who have real world experience in establishing and growing a business, have an understanding of best practice methodologies and processes and the ability to understand and assess complex problems and potential business models.

The challenge seeks judges who:

  • have experience in successfully bringing a product from concept to market
  • have experience in managing investment funded early stage ventures
  • have experience in investing in early stage ventures
  • have experience in assessing early stage venture businesses
  • understand the art of what’s possible
  • have an understanding and knowledge of digital solutions and innovative practises and approaches
  • are familiar with Lean/Agile methodologies
  • are familiar with customer development risk mitigation approaches
  • are familiar with the practice of co-design business models
  • are familiar with user-centred design/design thinking methodology
  • can assess competitors against the challenge criteria in a consistent and fair manner
  • are comfortable asking and responding to questions and providing relevant targeted feedback.

Time commitment

Judges will need to be available for the following sessions:

  • an initial meeting to understand your experience and desire to be a judge (at the challenge owner's discretion)
  • a detailed briefing on the challenge problem statement and judging criteria to be used
  • a pre-pitch briefing which will include meeting and getting to know the other judges and the chance to review pre-pitch information.

Attendance at Pitch Night

If you wish to be a judge, there are some restrictions to ensure objectivity in the judging process:

  • you are not allowed to be involved in any of the events as a life expert or mentor
  • you cannot have any contact with or have any relationship with a competitor(s).

Interested in becoming a judge? Register your interest by contacting us.

Life experts

Life experts have direct experience with or in the problem the challenge is solving. They have the opportunity to inform a potential new digital solution that helps positively progress the challenge presented.

By participating, you have the opportunity to share your personal stories and experiences with those who are seeking to understand the problem and needs of the community. Your participation helps competitors deeply understand the needs to be addressed, to be able to arrive at a solution people will use and a market will invest or people will pay for.

Benefits for life experts

  • Share your experiences in the context of how you/your family or community grapple with the challenge presented.
  • Connect with competitors to help inform great ideas to address the challenge topic.
  • Connect with others and learn more about this topic to network and build relationships with people on a topic important to you.

A life expert will be required to:

  • actively participate with others
  • ahare thoughts, fears and experiences on the challenge problem
  • attend workshops as needed.

Interested in helping as a life expert? Register your interest by contacting us.

Requirements for all participants

We ask that all participants in the Challenge, whatever role they have, familiarise themselves with principles of Agile and Lean that are foundational to the Challenge model.


1. Highest priority is customer satisfaction

2. Welcome changing requirements

3. Frequent delivery of software

4. Business people & developers cooperating daily

5. Build projects around motivated people 6. Face-to-face conversation is best

7. Progress measured by working software

8. Sustainable development pace

9. Continuous attention to technical excellence

10. Simplicity

11. Self-organising teams

12. Regular reflection & adaptation


1. Identify Value

2. Map the Value Stream

3. Create Flow

4. Establish Pull

5. Seek Perfection

Please note our Disclaimer before using these websites.



We ask that all participants in the Challenge, whatever role they have, familiarise themselves with and model the behaviours set out below.

Active participation
  • share ideas, ask questions
  • be open to new ideas and challenge your pre-conceptions
  • speak from your own experience and perspective (use “I” statements)
  • be concise and precise with your comments - don’t grandstand, ramble or digress
  • allow every voice to be heard - concede the floor to others
Active listening
  • be positive and non-judgemental about other participants’ contributions
  • be respectful and courteous
  • provide critiques of ideas not people
  • don’t conduct side conversations
Seek consensus
  • seek common ground and understanding rather than problems and conflict
  • ​disagree without being disagreeable
Respect and confidentiality
  • treat others and the exchange of conversation with respect and confidentiality
  • use an ‘alias’ where necessary or to protect other people’s stories
  • be mindful of your language
  • behave in a way that is suitable for anyone to view
  • respect the venue and equipment
  • look after yourself and others.