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College students: Join Mindsumo. Get paid for solving puzzles and innovative thinking.

Updated on January 21, 2015

What is MindSumo, anyway?

Backed by Voyager Capital, Google Ventures, Data Collective, and StartFund, MindSumo is an online platform where students get money for proposing solution to interesting real-world challenges. The company was founded in 2011 and is located in San Francisco, CA. It participated in StartX, the Stanford Student Startup Accelerator, and launched at Stanford in February 2012.

The homepage displays in real time the aggregate number of colleges, active students, and total challenges solved...and cash rewards given away.
The homepage displays in real time the aggregate number of colleges, active students, and total challenges solved...and cash rewards given away. | Source

Why is it important?

If you are a college student, you could be the source of the next big innovation. College is full of ideas, and people who're excited about more ideas. Companies know this. Start-ups know this. That's why they are awarding money in exchange for ideas. Mindsumo is a platform where you can 'sell yourself' from your own dorm room. Real companies post real world problems and challenges on the website. Students can see those challenges in their panel and upload their solutions in the form of essays, ideas, sketches, videos, or any documents directly. Winners are decided within 2 weeks of completion of the challenges.

What's the reward?

For any given challenge, 5 winners with great ideas will receive anywhere from $150-$500 for their proposal. Next 5 or 10 winners will also receive $50 each for their proposals. Now if that was not enough, it might add some cream and sugar to the equation when you realize that you're not required to actually solve the challenges. You're only required to propose a feasible solution, in writing. And there are many challenges to work on. Work on what fits your interest first.

In fact, Mindsumo pays you $80 just to signup.

Since college students are always broke, (I presume) MindSumo is attracting users by offering $80 Paypal cash to any student from anywhere in the world who has a verified .EDU email address. Here are the simple steps.

  • Visit www.mindsumo.com
  • Get $5 (with promo code: HOWARD) + $30 bonus when signing up.
  • Verify your email after signup. After you sign up with promo code HOWARD, you’ll have $35. Link your LinkedIn account for $5 more.
  • Become a campus ambassador; get additional $15.
  • Solve and submit your 1st challenge and receive $25 more. (Also, if this solution wins, you’ll later get additional cash for it!)

So that's it. You'll now have $80 in your account. Solve additional challenge that sounds interesting, and earn $50-$500 per win. Cash them out via PayPal. Initial cash out amount is $100. After that you can cash out at $25.

Upon logging in, one can view the ongoing challenges and submit solutions before the mentioned deadlines.
Upon logging in, one can view the ongoing challenges and submit solutions before the mentioned deadlines. | Source

Get busy thinking. Get busy earning.

Once you've seen a challenge related to your major or related to sectors you have some expertise in, get your Word document rolling. Think out-of-the-box. Be innovative. Apply what you know or think. Write an essay, or a report, or a thesis. Companies know the participants are college students (most are freshmen and sophomores).... They do not expect a perfect proposal. However, the limit is how far you are willing to take it. If you are looking to collaborate with your college friends, that's also allowed. Keep in mind that if your team wins, you'll have to divide the prize money.

Also watch out for these weekly math puzzles. You get $10 for these.

Math puzzles such as this one is also available if you want to put some high school math to use.
Math puzzles such as this one is also available if you want to put some high school math to use. | Source

Afterthoughts

If you’re reading this, I assume you already have a .EDU email address because (at this time) MindSumo only allows students to sign up with their college email address. Perhaps in future they’ll let all students sign up, regardless of their email IDs.

I believe it is a great platform in that students can build their resume as well as make some pocket money without laboring. What one needs is curiosity, creativity, writing skills, innovative thinking, and we should be willing to learn from the past winner’ solutions to improvise our own proposals.

Things to consider

  • Doing those math puzzles also make you money. Randomly selected group of winners receive $10 each for the math puzzle that comes out every week.
  • Do not trash your solutions. Keep them for future. Challenges that are over can be revived again by community voting. When they come back, you can resubmit after improvising your previous solution.
  • Go through some of the past winning solutions. You'll be surprised how simple they sound and how elegant they are. You can come up with those kind of ideas. Think out of the box.
  • Money matters. But it is not everything. MindSumo also provides free mentor-ship where you can choose your mentors and network with some of the most successful people in industry.
  • Have fun. Learn. Earn. Spread the word.

Collection of past challenges. Users can collectively vote and revive them.
Collection of past challenges. Users can collectively vote and revive them. | Source

Colleges ranked in terms of earnings

Ranking of colleges in terms of how much their students have earned in total on MindSumo.
Ranking of colleges in terms of how much their students have earned in total on MindSumo.

I firmly believe you'll too appreciate the opportunities available on the website. I am a college student myself and it was not long ago that my Computer Science professor told me about Mindsumo. Ever since, I have been hooked to it!

Feel free to comment below if you have any opinions or issues relating to Mindsumo. I will be happy to help.

© 2015 WebPicked

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