Media article

"Lone Star Prize dangles $10 million for a Texas-sized idea"

March 31, 2020

Lyda Hill Philanthropies is launching a statewide contest to improve health care, unemployment and the environment.

Nicole Small is calling all crusaders who want to help Texas in a positive and very big way.

The CEO of Dallas-based Lyda Hill Philanthropies is launching the Lone Star Prize, a statewide competition for a singularly brilliant, “shovel-ready” idea that will improve health care, protect the environment or boost the workforce of Texans. The grand prize is a $10 million grant.

“We thought this project was really important three months ago,” Small said in an interview Monday. “We know it’s 150% critical now.”

The Lone Star Prize is a mini-version of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change project, which grants $100 million for a high-impact project that acts as a catalyst for large-scale, transformational change.

Small and her philanthropic billionaire boss, Lyda Hill, have wanted to hold a similar competition for several years and jumped at the opportunity when they were presented with the idea a year ago.

”Given this pandemic and the challenges facing our state, our nation and globally, we’re excited to put capital to work to develop new workforce and health care solutions,” Small said. “We believe that science is the answer. That is our mantra. It’s been on the back of Lyda’s [business] card as long as she’s had one.”

Hill has chosen to donate her entire estate to philanthropy and scientific research.

Lyda Hill Philanthropies is partnering with Lever for Change, which will manage the process. The affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation connects worthy high-impact causes to high-dollar donors.


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