Competition Structure

There are two phases.

The Competition will consist of two phases. In the first phase of the Competition, Contestants will submit proposals for programs and/or business that help foster upward income mobility for low-income and/or low-skill and middle-skill workers. Contestants that meet all of the entry criteria and are entered within the Submission Period will be reviewed by a panel of judges. Up to 15 Contestants (up to 5 plans from each of the below-described contest Tiers) will be selected as Finalists.

Finalists will each be awarded a cash prize of $25,000, and will proceed to the Pilot Phase of the competition. In the Pilot Phase, Contestants will implement pilots of their proposed programs/business. Throughout the Pilot Phase, Contestants will receive advisory support, training, and assistance on a variety of business disciplines from the Administrator.

At the conclusion of Pilot Phase, a panel of judges will examine the operating results of the pilot programs. Three winners will be selected, one from each Tier, and each will be awarded a cash prize of $100,000.

 

Official Rules

Introduction

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

NYC Business Innovation Challenge (the “Competition”) is an initiative of New York City Economic Development Corporation with the support of Next Street Financial LLC. The Competition will challenge businesses and organizations (collectively, “Contestants”) in New York City to propose and implement innovative and sustainable programs and business models that will help foster upward income mobility for low-income and/or low-skill and middle-skill workers. The goal of the Competition is to generate replicable and scalable programs that improve the condition of low-income workers while also increasing the productivity and profitability of NYC businesses.

Participation in the Competition constitutes Contestant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and to the Sponsor’s (as defined below) and Administrator’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Competition. Winning a Prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth in the Official Rules.

Sponsor and Administrator

Sponsor (the “Sponsor”): New York City Economic Development Corporation, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038.

Administrator (the “Administrator”): Next Street Financial LLC. 37 West 20th St, Suite 1101, New York, NY 10011.

The Sponsor is the entity responsible for the Competition. The Administrator manages and implements the Competition per the direction of the Sponsor. The Administrator will disburse all prize funds and awards to the Finalists and the Grand Prize winners.

Overview of Competition

The Competition will consist of two phases. In the first phase of the Competition, Contestants will submit proposals for programs and/or business that help foster upward income mobility for low-income and/or low-skill and middle-skill workers. Contestants that meet all of the entry criteria and are entered within the Submission Period will be reviewed by a panel of judges. Up to 15 Contestants (up to 5 plans from each of the below-described contest Tiers) will be selected as Finalists. Finalists will each be awarded a cash prize of $25,000, and will proceed to the Pilot Phase of the competition. In the Pilot Phase, Contestants will implement pilots of their proposed programs/business. Throughout the Pilot Phase, Contestants will receive advisory support, training, and assistance on a variety of business disciplines from the Administrator. At the conclusion of Pilot Phase, a panel of judges will examine the operating results of the pilot programs. Three winners will be selected, one from each Tier, and each will be awarded a cash prize of $100,000.

Key Competition Dates

  • Submission Period: April 2, 2013 (11:00am Eastern Time) – June 14, 2013 (11:59pm Eastern Time)
  • Finalist Judging Period: June 14, 2013 – June 28, 2013 
  • Winners announced: Winners will be notified on or around June 28, 2013 (5:00pm Eastern Time) and results will be publicly announced on July 2, 2013 (5:00pm Eastern Time).
  • Pilot Phase: July 2, 2013 (5:00pm Eastern Time) – November 29, 2013 (5:00pm Eastern Time)
  • Grand Prize Judging Period: November 29, 2013 – December 10, 2013
  • Grand Prize Winners announced: On or around December 16, 2013 (5:00pm Eastern Time)

Eligibility

A. The Competition is open only to:

 i. Corporations (including not-for-profit corporations and other nonprofit organizations), limited liability companies, partnerships, and other legal entities that, at the time of the end of the Submission Period, have current operations within New York City.

 ii. Individuals who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry and are legal residents of the United States may enter the competition representing either one or a consortium of currently operating enterprises, as described above.

B. Each team or organization shall appoint one individual (the “Representative”) to represent and act, including registering and entering a Submission, on behalf of said team or organization. The Representative must be duly authorized to submit on behalf of the team or organization. The Representative represents and warrants that he/she is duly authorized to act on behalf of the team or organization, and has read the Official Rules and that the team or organization agrees to abide by these Official Rules. The Representative will ensure that each member of the team or organization participating in entering the Submission, or in decisions related to the Submission, has read and complies with the Official Rules.

C. An individual may join more than one team or organization, and an individual who is part of a team or organization may also enter the Competition on an individual basis.

D. The following individuals, teams, and organizations are not eligible regardless of whether or not they meet the criteria set forth above:

(i) the Sponsor, the Administrator, and any advertising agency, contractor or other organization involved with the design, production, paid promotion, execution, or distribution of the Competition (collectively “Promotion Entities”); all employees, representatives and agents of such Promotion Entities; and all members of any such employee, representative or agent’s immediate family or household;

(ii) any individual involved with the design, production, promotion, execution, or distribution of the Competition and each member of any such individual’s immediate family or household;

(iii) any individual involved with the design, production, promotion, execution, or distribution of the Competition and each member of any such individual’s immediate family or household;  (iii) any organization or individual that employs any Judge or that otherwise has a material business relationship or affiliation with any Judge; and

(iv) public sector entities such as New York City/state/federal agencies and departments.

(v) any parent company, subsidiary, or other affiliate of any organization described above.

E. For purposes hereof: 

(i) the members of an individual’s immediate family include such individual’s spouse, children and step-children, parents and step-parents, and siblings and step-siblings; and

(ii) the members of an individual’s household include any other person who shares the same residence as such individual for at least three (3) months out of the year.

Contest Entry Process

Complete the application form found at http://www.nycbic.com/apply/. The application form will call for the below information. All applications must meet the criteria described below. Those applications that fail to meet the below criteria will be rejected from the Competition, and the Contestants will be notified of the rejection. Contestants whose submissions have been rejected are eligible to re-enter the Competition if submitted before the end of the Submission Period.

Information & Criteria Required for Program Entry

  1. Your organization’s formal name, current headquarters, and location of operations within New York City.
  2. Your organization’s current employee size and named Tier (Tier 3: <20 Employees; Tier 2: 20-250 Employees; Tier 3: 250+ Employees). All organizations must be classified by size. Tier by size refers to the incorporated entity applying to the competition.
  3. Summary description of your organization’s current business / operating model.
  4. Description of proposed program / new business. The proposed program/business must represent either a new operation, or a substantial change to a current operation.
  5. Description of expected impact of proposed program on business/operating performance. The proposed program/business, if a change to a current operation, must be intended to improve current operating and/or financial performance. If the proposed program/business represents a new operation, applicants should describe the expected operational and/or financial performance of the proposed program/business.
  6. Description of Target Beneficiaries of proposed program. Beneficiaries must include any of the below target populations:
    1. Low-Income: Low-income individuals are defined as persons under 200% of the poverty levels defined by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO).
      Eligible Poverty Levels (200% of Poverty Level)
      One Adult, No Child$27,324
      Two Adults, No Child$38,526
      One Adult, One Child$41,230
      One Adult, Two Children$48,948
      One Adult, Three Children$56,174
      Two Adults, One Child$51,890
      Two Adults, Two Children$58,954
      Two Adults, Three Children$65,672
      For the purposes of this contest, low-income status will be determined based on wages paid to the workers in question.
    2. Low-Skill: Low-skill workers are defined as workers possessing no more than a high school education, or equivalent.
    3. Medium-Skill: Medium-skill workers are defined as workers possessing more than a high school education, but less than a four year college degree.
  7. Description of expected impact of program on Target Beneficiaries. The program must be designed to improve the skill base, the career prospects, the access to benefits or the economic opportunity of the Target Beneficiaries.
  8. Description of resources required and a plan to pilot the program in the Pilot Phase of the competition.
  9. Description of projected long-term sustainability of the proposed program/business. Proposed programs/businesses must be projected to be self-sustaining past the Pilot Phase, and not reliant on the award of future grants.

Applications will be accepted on the downloadable form found at www.nycbic.com/ee_uploads/downloads/application.pdf, as well as through the web-based entry form found at http://www.nycbic.com/apply/. Applications completed on the downloadable form must be either uploaded through the functionality on the main contest site, or submitted via email at info@nycbic.com. Applications will be accepted from contest launch on April 2nd, 2013 (11:00am Eastern Time), through contest close, June 14, 2013 (5:00pm Eastern Time).

All Finalists will be required to agree in writing to participate in the Pilot Phase of the program. Finalists who withdraw from the Pilot Period of the Competition will forfeit their prize money, and the Administrator reserves the right to recapture any prize money which has not been allocated for the intended purpose of the Pilot Phase. Finalists in the Pilot Phase will propose pilot-specific metrics to judge the success of the pilot programs. These metrics will be finalized through consultation between Finalists and the Administrator. All proposed metrics will be made public to all Finalists.

Selection of Finalists

A. During the Finalist Judging Period, as well as the Grand Prize Judging Period, the Submissions will be evaluated by a qualified panel of judges (the “Judges”) selected by the Sponsor and the Administrator. Such Submissions may be evaluated in one or more rounds of judging, and each round of judging may involve different Judges. The Judges will evaluate each Submission on the criteria identified below to select nine (9) to fifteen (15) finalists (the “Finalists”). The Sponsor and the Administrator reserve the right to substitute or modify the judging panel at any time for any reason.

B. The Sponsor and the Administrator will seek to only select Judges who will be and remain fair and impartial. Any Judge may recuse him or herself from judging a Submission if the Judge, the Sponsor or the Administrator considers that it is inappropriate, for any reason, for the Judge to evaluate a specific Submission or group of Submissions. This includes, but is not limited to, cases where a Judge has a material business relationship or affiliation with a Contestant.

C. Judges will rate the quality of all Submissions in the Finalist Judging Period using the following four (4) equally weighted criteria:

(i) Ingenuity  (including novelty, creativity and originality); 

(ii) Impact (including the potential impact on Target Beneficiaries as well as the operations and performance of the sponsoring entity);

(iii) Sustainability & Scalability (including ability to sustain itself over time and scale across company; and

(v) Adaptability (including ability to be implemented across different sized organizations and different industries)

Grand Prize Judging Criteria

Judges will rate the quality of all Submissions in the Grand Prize Judging Period using the following four (4) equally weighted criteria:

  • Ingenuity  (including novelty, creativity and originality); 
  • Impact (including the Pilot’s impact on Target Beneficiaries as well as the operations and performance of the sponsoring entity); 
  • Sustainability & Scalability (including ability to sustain itself over time and scale across company; and
  • Adaptability (including ability to be implemented across different sized organizations and different industries) 

Prizes

A. No Prize substitutions will be made. Prizes must be accepted as awarded. No transfer or substitution of a Prize is permitted except at the Sponsor’s and Administrator’s sole discretion. Among other conditions, Prizes will only be provided following receipt of the signed affidavit(s) of eligibility or a similar verification document and liability/publicity release(s) form(s) to be provided by the Administrator.

B. Winners shall be solely responsible for paying any applicable federal, state, and local taxes associated with the Prize. All Prize money payable in connection with this Competition will be paid by the Administrator to the winning Contestants and the Sponsor will not be responsible for directly paying any Prizes.

C. Prizes are intended for use in piloting and implementing the Contestants proposed program/business. Pilot Period prize money should be used in running the pilot program, while Grand Prize awards should be used to maintain and expand the pilot program over the subsequent year.

PhaseNumber of RecipientsAmount of Individual Prize
Pilot Period up to 15$25,000
Grand Prize3$100,000

Entry Conditions and Release

By entering, you agree to the following conditions and release:

(1) Each Contestant agrees to comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors, Administrator, and/or the Competition judges which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Competition.

(2) Each Contestant also agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsors, Administrator, and their respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliated companies/and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Competition, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability. These claims, expenses, and liability include, but are not limited to, negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a Contestant’s entry, creation of an entry or submission of an entry, participation in the Competition, acceptance or use or misuse of prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, transmission, performance, exploitation or use of entry.

(3) Each Contestant also agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Sponsors and Administrator, and their respective Released Parties from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating to a Contestant’s participation in the Competition and/or Contestant’s acceptance, use or misuse of prize.

Submission Rights:

A. All Submissions may be disclosed in accordance with the standards specified in the Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law of the State of New York (“FOIL”) or other applicable laws. A respondent may provide in writing, at the time of its submission, a detailed description of the specific information contained in its Submission which it has determined is a trade secret and which, if disclosed, would substantially harm such entity’s competitive position. This characterization shall not be determinative, but will be considered by the Sponsor when evaluating the applicability of any exemptions in response to a FOIL request or of any other applicable laws.

B. Submissions will include components that will be displayed publicly on the Competition Website and other media (the “Public Submission”) and components that will not be displayed publicly unless disclosure is required in accordance with FOIL (the “Non-Public Submission”).

Publicity

Except where prohibited, participation in the Competition constitutes winners’ consent to the use, by any of the Released Parties, of winner’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

General Conditions

Sponsors and Administrator reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Competition or these Official Rules, or any part thereof, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond Sponsors and/or Administrator’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by Sponsors and/or Administrator in their sole discretion. Sponsors and/or Administrator reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual or Contestant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.

Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsors and/or Administrator reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsors and/or Administrator’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

Limitations of Liability

The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information provided in connection with the Competition, whether caused by Contestants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Competition or for any other reason; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Competition; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Competition or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Contestant’s participation in the Competition or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.

If for any reason an Contestant’s Submission is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, Contestant’s sole remedy is another provide another Submission. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.

Disputes

Contestant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Competition, or any prizes awarded, other than those concerning the administration of the Competition or the determination of winners, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (2) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Competition, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved exclusively by the United States District Court or the appropriate New York State Court; (3) any and all claims, judgments and awards, if any, shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Competition, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (4) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.

SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant, Sponsors, and Administrator in connection with the Competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of New York or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

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