University of Wisconsin–Madison
DreamUp Wisconsin Hero with Logo

The Alliance for the American Dream: DreamUp Wisconsin

Announcing the

Do you have an innovative idea that could help 10,000 Dane County households increase their income by 10% by 2022?

Call for Proposals | Press Release

  • What is DreamUp Wisconsin, and who is funding it?
    • DreamUp Wisconsin is the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s (UW’s) implementation of The Alliance for the American Dream, a new community-university collaboration funded by Schmidt Futures that aims to promote shared prosperity and increase American competitiveness. UW is one of four public universities chosen by Schmidt Futures to partner in this work.
    • Schmidt Futures is a venture facility for public benefit that works to advance society through technology, inspire breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, and promote shared prosperity.
  • What is the goal of DreamUp, and who is leading UW’s effort?
    • The first challenge of The Alliance of the American Dream, and, thus, for DreamUp, is a call for proposals—whether policy ideas or investable concepts for public benefit—to raise net income by 10% for 10,000 middle class families in Dane County. Proposals may focus on increasing income or decreasing costs of living.
    • Proposals should be interdisciplinary, grounded in modern technological tools and data science, and both draw from and benefit a diverse set of people and communities.
    • The UW Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) is excited to lead the initiative with its many campus partners, local organizations, government leaders, and community members.
  • What is the timeline for the initiative?

    May–Sept. 2019
    Idea cultivation & office hours Thursdays 3:30-5:30 p.m.

    October 2019
    A review committee selects the top five proposals. Prize: $20,000

    January 2020
    Top five teams pitch refined proposals to the review committee. Three teams will advance. Prize: $20,000

    March 2020
    Top three teams pitch at the Alliance for the American Dream semi-finals. Up to two teams could advance. Prize: $20,000

    June 2020
    Top team(s) pitches to Schmidt Futures leadership. At least, one WI team could win additional catalytic implementation funding.

  • How can community members get involved?

    Spread the word and help generate ideas! Invite us to your next meeting; come to DreamUp MeetUps; speak with our community relations coordinators, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and submit your idea(s) on the website. See the Call for Proposals. 

  • Where can I learn more?

Thumbnail of DreamUp Wisconsin 2019 Challenge FlyerMission

Bring together community, business, government, and non-profit networks to partner with UW–Madison (UW) to expand economic security and shared prosperity in Dane County.


Seek and cultivate innovative entrepreneurial and policy ideas that raise net income by 10% for 10,000 Dane County middle-class households. Proposals may increase income and/or decrease expenses. Proposals should be interdisciplinary, use technological tools and data science, and draw from and benefit a diverse set of people and communities.


DreamUp WI is UW’s implementation of the Alliance for the American Dream initiative, a collaboration with the UW Institute for Research on Poverty and Schmidt Futures. Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that seeks to improve societal outcomes through the thoughtful development of emerging science and technologies.

The Request for Proposals due October 1, 2019

DreamUp Wisconsin Events

  • August
    • August 29
      DreamUp MeetUpJoin project leadership in an open discussion to share your ideas and get your questions answered.3:30 PM, UW South Madison Partnership, 2312 S. Park St., Madison

Learn about Round 1 (2018/2019)

Meet the DreamUp WI Leadership Team

Meet the DreamUp WI Proposal Review Committee

We Want to Hear from You

Use our contact form to tell us about:
How can we boost the income or reduce expenses of 10,000 families in Dane County by $4,000?
Are there any organizations, upcoming events or meetings we should connect with?

Sign Up for Email Notifications

Receive updates on the Alliance by joining our email list! To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (no subject line or message) to:

Contact Information

Phone: 608-265-1054

Follow us on:

Twitter Icon      facebook Icon

2019 DreamUp Wisconsin Challenge Timeline. May 2019: MeetUps Thursdays 3:30-5:30 pm; October 2019: 5 proposals advance and win $20K; January 2020: 5 teams pitch, 3 advance and win $20K; March 2020: 3 teams pitch at semi-final, at least 1 team advances and wins $20K; June 2020: Top teams pitch to Schmidt Futures for catalytic funding