Global MOOC Contest Will Award €250,000 in Prize Money

Stifterverband and iversity seek the ten best online courses

Essen and Berlin, Germany, 11 March 2013
Stifterverband (, one of Germany’s leading think-tanks and foundations in the realm of higher education, and iversity ( have joined together to award ten €25,000 fellowships to fund the production of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The contest is open to professors in Germany and the rest of the world.

According to its organizers, the contest intends to fuel technological innovation in European higher education, not merely to put filmed university lectures online.

"Universities should use technology to improve their instruction. We want this contest to provide an incentive to do just that," said Volker Meyer-Guckel, deputy secretary general of the Stifterverband.

Individual professors and teams of educators can submit their MOOC concepts through the end of April. Prospective students and other site visitors will then vote on their favorites, and a jury will select the ten winners in June. The winners receive €25,000 each in prize money, along with help to launch their courses.

"Our goal is to show that online courses are not only the future of education in the United States, where MOOCs have caused quite a stir in the past year, but they hold tremendous potential for European higher education as well," said iversity CEO Marcus Riecke.

Contest organizers expect the winning courses, which will be available for free at beginning in October 2013, to draw tens or even hundreds of thousands of students. According to Riecke, additional courses will be available at throughout 2014 and beyond.

For more about the contest, visit:

About iversity

Berlin-based iversity aims to democratize education through its online courses created cooperatively with the best individual instructors, universities and knowledge-based companies in Europe and the rest of the world. Jonas Liepmann and Hannes Klöpper founded iversity in 2011. Originally, the company offered online tools for university professors and students to collaborate on course materials. Since then, the company raised two rounds of funding, brought on longtime eBay executive Marcus Riecke as CEO in December 2012, and reoriented its business towards its Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform. The first ten MOOCs will debut on the site in October 2013, the winners of a contest conducted with Stifterverband (, one of Germany’s leading think-tanks and foundations in the realm of higher education.

About Stifterverband

Stifterverband consists of approximately 3,000 companies, business associations, foundations and individuals who have come together to promote science, research and education. Stifterverband was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Essen and Berlin.

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