Announcing Tiller’s 2021 Spreadsheet Builders’ Challenge

Apply to win one of three $1,000 grants to build an innovative personal finance solution based in Google Sheets and powered by Tiller in the 2021 Spreadsheet Builders Challenge!

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We are excited to announce the 2021 Tiller Spreadsheet Builders’ Challenge!

The challenge invites you to enter to win a $1,000 grant to build an impactful personal finance solution based in Google Sheets and powered by Tiller.

This challenge aims to inspire the creation of new spreadsheet-based solutions that empower people with greater understanding, confidence, and control of their financial lives.

The challenge also showcases the creativity and skills of spreadsheet enthusiasts across the United States.

About the Challenge

If you remember our 2019 Builders Challenge, this one will be a bit different. Rather than builders posting and judges comparing completed submissions, this time interested builders will apply for a grant.

Up to three grants will be awarded by Tiller based on the strength of the builder’s concept, the value of the concept to the community, and the technical feasibility.

Grant winners will meet periodically with a developer on our team to improve, refine and realize their concepts.

We hope to share some of the winning concepts via the Tiller Community Solutions Add-on and website gallery.


  • Accepting grant applications until November 12, 2021
  • Grant winners announced – November 18, 2021
  • Development – November 22, 2021 to December 24, 2021
  • Support documentation + demo video development – December 24, 2021 to January 7, 2022
  • Community share – January 13, 2022
  • Webinar – around January 18, 2022


  • $1,000 grant total
    • $250 on grant acceptance
    • $750 on completion of template, documentation and demo video
  • 1 year Tiller subscription (or extension)
  • Tiller hat

Grant Application Judging Criteria

  • Value of concept to the personal-finance community
  • Value of Tiller integration to concept
  • Uniqueness of concept vision
  • User experience & usability
  • Technical feasibility

Compelling proposed solutions will:

  • Empower people with greater understanding and control of their financial situation.
  • Solve specific personal finance riddles
  • Showcase what’s possible in a spreadsheet (specifically Google Sheets for this challenge)
  • Function reliably with clean design and code

Why Spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are one of the most powerful, accessible, and flexible tools for solving problems. And the #1 most stressful problem for most people is money and finances.

Each day, millions of people ask themselves:

  • Where does my money go month after month?
  • What strategy will help me deal with my debt? And how much do I really owe?
  • How can I save more (or any) money each month for retirement, an emergency fund, to buy a house, or my child’s education?
  • How can my spouse and I get better in sync with our finances?
  • How can I easily understand the value of my investments?
  • How can I evaluate the long-term costs of various major payments?
  • How can I better track and understand my tax burden?
  • What is my net worth?
  • How can I better manage my small business?

All of the questions above can be answered in a spreadsheet. Indeed, spreadsheets have unique advantages for organizing, tracking, and understanding money.

However, a blank spreadsheet is a daunting place to begin. The 2021 Builders Challenge aims to demonstrate how community-built templates can help people get started.

Theme Ideas

Examples of what you might build:

  • A dashboard for couples to mutually track shared finances
  • A debt calculator based on actual spending that helps people strategize how they can pay down debt
  • A mobile-friendly dashboard for tracking spreadsheet finances on-the-go
  • A lending rate comparison tool based on current income
  • A visually dynamic spreadsheet with great UX
  • Credit card benefits or fee tracker based on annual spending
  • A budget for people who hate budgeting
  • A minimalist personal finance dashboard
  • A student loan tracking and payoff tool
  • The quirky but effective way you use a spreadsheet to manage your money

How to Participate

1 – Sign up for Tiller

2 – Explore Spreadsheet Builder Resources

3 – Share your idea in our grant application

  • Use the grant application form to tell us about yourself and your idea.
  • Sit tight… grant winners will be announced on November 18, 2021.
  • If you win a grant, you’ll receive $250 of the grant money when it is accepted, plus $750 on delivery of your documented solution
  • If you have questions, ask them in the Tiller Community.

4 – Develop your solution with help from our team

If you win a grant, it’s time to start building.

  • Build!
  • You’ll meet with a developer from our team periodically to help solve problems and ensure your solution integrates well with the Tiller ecosystem.
  • Toward the end of the process, you will also develop support documentation and 3-5 minute video demonstration of your solution.

5 – Tell everyone about what you’ve built!

  • We will publish your work together in the community on January 13, 2022.
  • If possible, we will add your solution to the Tiller Community Solutions Add-on and website gallery so more users can discover and install it.
  • We will schedule an interview, which will be recorded around January 18, 2022, at a mutually convenient time so you can share and discuss your solution with other community members.
  • After the webinar, you’ll receive the remaining $750 of the grant money.


In submitting a grant application you agree to the following contest requirements:

  • Your solution will be built for Google Sheets
  • You agree that though you will maintain ownership, copyright, and any other kinds of rights to the content, Tiller shall receive an unlimited, non-exclusive license to use the resulting content, and/or portions of the content, in any way and for any purpose as Tiller solely determines
  • You agree to commit 8 to 20 hours between November 22, 2021, and January 7, 2022 building and documenting your solution
  • You can commit to meeting with a developer on the Tiller team 4 times during the development process to check-in and refine your solution
  • You commit to recording a 3 to a 5-minute video demonstration of your solution by January 7, 2022.
  • You commit to participating in a live webinar to showcase and discuss your solution.
  • Your solution will not require bound scripts
  • Your solution will not be built to integrate with 3rd-party apps (like Glide or AppSheet)
  • Your solution will be fully compatible with and leverage the value of Tiller
  • You must be based in the U.S. and over the age of 18

Time to start building!

If you have any questions, jump into the Tiller Community with any questions.

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Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for ossher ossher says:

    Hi @randy!

    Am I correct in assuming that this means that Tiller won’t expect more than 20 hours, but it will be okay to spend more than 20 hours if I wish to?

  2. Avatar for randy randy says:

    Yes, @ossher, of course. We just wanted to communicate the commitment were were hoping for would be non trivial but not overwhelming. It’s just a ball park. :baseball:

  3. Avatar for matt matt says:

    Can’t wait to see the results of this! Love the concept. I missed the deadline this year but I’ll keep it in mind so I’ll be ready for next year!

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