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This is a competition and showcase event for small regional businesses who are making a beneficial economic IMPACT on their community, with up to $25,000 of prize money available.
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of the steps below before submitting your application and materials.
Provide a showcase event and business competition for small, regional businesses that are making a positive, economic IMPACT on their community.
With up to $25,000 of prize money available two finalists will be eligible to win up to $10,000 each. The two main categories that business will compete in are (1) Startup and Early Stage and (2) Established Business. Special awards will also be given to highlight veteran-owned, women-owned, and minority-owned small businesses.
The competition will have three phases after the round one initial application: provide reasonable and feasible projected financials; successfully use technology to tell a story; and practice the art of pitching the business. The work and analysis that each phase requires is designed to provide value to the business owner beyond the potential for prize money.
Competition is open to:
● Legally registered and existing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Alaska based businesses. Business owners must be residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Alaska and must be 18 years of age or older.
● Startup and early stage businesses. For the purposes of this competition, these businesses are defined as any business with less than $75,000 in gross sales.
● Established businesses. For the purposes of this competition, these businesses are defined as any business with more than $75,000 gross sales last year but still falling within the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) definition of a small business enterprise.
Entities that are tax‐exempt organizations, non‐profits, or charitable trusts are not eligible to participate.
Employees, officers, and directors of Business Impact NW, competition judges, other parties determined not to be independent of Business Impact NW, and members of their immediate families and households are not eligible to participate. Business Impact NW reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any applicant for any reason.
Prior winners of the Business Impact NW IMPACT Pitch who won a prize award of $10,000 or more are not eligible to apply.
Competitors must have access to email and internet to complete competition requirements.
1. Fill out the online application, inside which you will:
a. Attach a 1-2 page Executive Summary -AND/OR- completed Business Model Canvas
b. Attach a filled out 641 form
c. Attach a signed photo/video/interview release form
Only 50 initial applicants will be invited via email to advance to the second round of the competition. Preference will be given to start-ups and businesses who have used SBA partner resources or Business Impact NW partners for technical assistance, advising, and/or training.
Applicants who are accepted into round two as contestants will be announced by July 7, 2017.
Judging for round one is based on this this rubric.
Application can be found here; all needed documents can be downloaded from the list above, and then uploaded directly into the application.
Contestants who progress to round two will have the opportunity to present additional market research, business feasibility, and financial information to prove their business model.
After notification that they have advanced to round two by July 7, 2017, contestants will be required to produce and submit the following:
Business coaches will be assigned to all contestants who advance to round two. Business coaches are available to help answer questions and provide guidance but contestants are responsible for producing all work products that are submitted for judging. Participants will be assigned a coach and counseling session during the week of July 10th, and are encouraged to meet with their Business Coach several times during this period as needed.
Round two submissions must be made via this form, including uploaded documents. Please direct any questions to email@example.com. Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. PST on July 31, 2017.
Eight startup/early stage business and eight established business will be announced on August 7, 2017. However, contest organizers reserve the right to adjust the split of established and startup businesses based on quality and quantity of submissions in each category.
Judging criteria for round two can be found in this rubric.
Video Requirements are as follows:
● Must be less than four (4) minutes in total length;
● Videos must be uploaded and made public via a business or personal youtube account before the due date and time;
● Content of video must address concisely what the business does, what problem it is solving for its customer/client, who the team is, and the positive economic impact the business will have on the regional community.
Semi-Finalists will be responsible for emailing a live public link to their youtube video to firstname.lastname@example.org by the above due date. Please note that uploading content to youtube can take many hours. No additional time will be given based upon slow upload times.
Video submission will be posted online for a ten (10) day public voting period from August 25 through September 3, 2017.
Links to page and additional voting process will be provided to the contestants during the competition process.
At the completion of the public voting, videos will be given ranked one (1) to twenty-one (21) based solely on the number of public votes received. No additional consideration is given to the public voting component. The public voting score will be combined with overall score from the judging panel.
Eight (8) finalists will be selected to advance to pitch their businesses. Those finalists will be announced Sept 8, 2017 via email.
Judging criteria for round three can be found in this rubric.
Eight finalists will pitch their business to a panel of 2-5 live judges selected from the Pacific Northwest business community for the chance to win cash prizes.
A mandatory Pitch Rehearsal will be held the evening before, on September 28th, from 5-7pm at Business Impact NW in Seattle. Additional details will be provided to the top 8 finalists.
Contestants will pitch their business under the following guidelines:
● Contestants will have seven (7) minutes to present a prepared pitch
● Contestants will have another three (3) minutes of question and answer from judges;
● Contestants may use presentations software but are limited to 15 slides or less;
● Contestants may provide small samples of their product (if applicable) to the judges during the pitch; however, no additional points are awarded for samples.
Provided are the judging scoring sheets to help contestants prepare for the pitch portion of the competition. Contestants will NOT be provided with their score from pitch. Feedback from the judges may be solicited by the contestant but will provided at the individual judge’s discretion.
• Void Where Prohibited by Law: The Competition is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void in any jurisdiction where it is prohibited by law or regulation.
• Competition and Official Rules Subject to Modification by Business Impact NW (BIN): The Competition and these Official Rules are subject to modification, cancellation, or limitation at any time at BIN’s sole discretion, with or without notice, including to persons who have already entered the Competition. All changes to or modifications of the Competition or these Official Rules will be posted on the BIN website (www.businessimpactnw.org). BIN’s failure to enforce any provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
• General Conditions of Participation in This Competition: Except where prohibited by law, submission of an entry constitutes the applicant’s consent, for purposes of advertising, trade, promotion, and publicity, to permit BIN and its affiliates, without notice or further compensation, a royalty‐free, irrevocable, perpetual, non‐exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works from and display in any and all forms of media, now known and hereafter devised, such applicant’s name, likeness, pictures, photographs, video, voice, biographical information, and statements. If necessary, applicants will sign any documentation that may be required for BIN or its affiliates to make use of these rights granted by applicants. Once submitted, all entries become property of BIN and will not be returned. All semifinalists will be required to submit an IRS Form W‐9 in order to continue participation in the Competition. The determination of which applicants advance to successive stages of the Competition, and which applicant is the ultimate winner of the Competition, shall be in BIN’s and the judges’ sole and absolute discretion, as applicable, and each applicant hereby acknowledges that none of BIN, its affiliates nor their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents including outside attorneys, shareholders, representatives, successors, and assigns shall be liable in any way for the selection of, or failure to select, any applicant to advance in the Competition.
• Similar Entries: By submitting an entry, each applicant acknowledges and agrees that BIN may obtain many entries in connection with this Competition and other competitions staged or promoted by BIN, and that such entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to other entries submitted in connection with this Competition or other contests sponsored by BIN or submitted for other reasons or other materials developed by BIN. Each applicant waives any and all claims against any BIN Party that he, she or it may have had, may have, or may have in the future, that any Competition entry or other works accepted, reviewed or used by the applicant may be similar to his, her or its Competition entry, or that any compensation is due to the applicant in connection with the entry or other works used by a BIN Party. Each applicant agrees that no BIN Party shall have any responsibility for any unauthorized use of any Competition entry by third parties.
• Disqualification: BIN reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any applicant for any reason, including, but not limited to, for the submission of any incomplete entry or any entry not complying with these Official Rules, or any applicant that it finds to be: (i) tampering with the entry process or otherwise tampering with the operation of the Competition, the Competition website, or any other website or web banner ad related to the Competition; (ii) acting in violation of the Official Rules; (iii) acting in a non‐sportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, harass, harm, mislead, or defraud any other individual or entity; or (iv) otherwise in violation of law, in each case as solely determined by BIN. Any person attempting to defraud BIN or any other applicant or in any way tamper with the Competition will be ineligible to compete in or win the Competition and BIN may seek any and all remedies available to it, including, if appropriate, filing complaints with legal authorities.
• Website or Competition Corruption: If for any reason, in BIN’s sole discretion, the Competition is not capable of running as planned or if the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Competition is corrupted or adversely affected, BIN reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition.
• BUSINESS IMPACT NW RESERVES THE RIGHT, AT ITS SOLE DISCRETION, TO MODERATE ALL ENTRIES FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THESE OFFICIAL RULES OR TO DISQUALIFY ANY ENTRY THAT IT FEELS IS INAPPROPRIATE, OBJECTIONABLE OR INCONSISTENT WITH THE POSITIVE IMAGE OR GOODWILL IT WISHES TO PROMOTE IN THE COMPETITION.
• ALL APPLICANTS ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT ALL ENTRY MATERIALS SUBMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH THIS COMPETITION ARE SUBMITTED ON A NON‐CONFIDENTIAL AND NON‐ PROPRIETARY BASIS AND MAY BE USED BY BIN AND ITS AFFILIATES FOR ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IN CONNECTION WITH THE COMPETITION WEBSITE. APPLICANTS AGREE THAT THEY WILL NOT USE THE ENTRY MATERIALS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE WITHOUT THE EXPRESS CONSENT OF BIN IN EACH INSTANCE.
• Limitation of Liability: The BIN are not responsible or liable for entries that are illegible, late, forged, destroyed, lost, misplaced, stolen, misdirected, tampered with, incomplete, deleted, damaged, garbled, altered, or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules, whether caused by a BIN, the applicant, or anyone else.
• Applicants’ Own Work: Each applicant’s submission must be entirely his, her, or its (or in the case of a team effort, the team’s) own original creation and must not infringe upon or violate any laws or any rights of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary or property right, libel, defamation, violation of rights of privacy, publicity, personality or celebrity, or any contract right, or any other right of any individual, corporation or entity. Each applicant must obtain all necessary permissions, licenses, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and other approvals from third parties (including but not limited to all copyright holders and all individuals appearing in a video submission), necessary to use the submission, in whole or in part, in any way, including without limitation, to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish, license and broadcast worldwide, by any means. Any and all such permission, licenses, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and approvals must be provided to BIN upon its request. No BIN Party shall be responsible to any third‐party for any applicant’s failure to comply with this provision, and each applicant agrees to indemnify the BIN Parties for any such claim.
• Voting: If any applicant is found to be soliciting votes in return for a purchase or payment of any kind, or any other form of consideration or inducement, the applicant may be disqualified at BIN’s sole discretion. Applicants are prohibited from obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means or practices, including, without limitation, offering prizes, payments or other inducements, to members of the public or using any website designed to induce individuals or provide other incentives to vote for the applicant’s entry, as determined by BIN in its sole discretion, and BIN reserves the right to disregard any votes that it deems ineligible or fraudulent. The use of scripts, macros or any automated system or practice to vote or with the intent to impair the integrity of the voting process is prohibited and all such votes will be void. Any attempt by any voter to obtain more than the stated number of votes by using multiple accounts, identities, registrations or logins, or any other method will void that voter’s votes and that voter may be disqualified. BIN reserves the right to select alternate finalists should the voting appear to be tampered with or manipulated in any way.
• Affidavit & Release: As a condition of receipt of the award, the winner of the Competition will be required to execute and deliver to BIN a signed Affidavit of Eligibility, which includes an acceptance of these Official Rules and a release of liability.
• Notice to Winners: As a condition of receipt of the award, the winner of the Competition will be asked to agree that the funds awarded are solely to fund the business described in the winner’s entry form. Funds awarded are non‐transferrable and may be considered taxable income, and the BIN Parties assume no responsibility with respect to any tax liability incurred by the winner in connection with the award; applicants are advised to consult with their tax advisors for more information. BIN reserves the right to contact the winner on a regular basis for a period of one year after completion of the Competition to check on status, and will ask for a summary within twelve (12) months as to how well the funding met the expectations of the applicant. Items within this summary may be published by BIN.
• Release and Waiver: By entering the Competition, each applicant irrevocably agrees and acknowledges to be bound by the Official Rules and all applicable laws and decisions of BIN which are final and binding in all respects; to forever and irrevocably waive all of his, her, or its rights to claim ambiguity with respect to the Official Rules and to waive all of his, her, or its rights to bring any claim, action, or proceeding against any BIN Party in connection with the Competition; and to forever and irrevocably release, indemnify, and hold harmless the BIN Parties from any liability (including, but not limited to, liability for defamation, libel, slander, invasion of privacy, infringement of publicity or any intellectual property rights, any property loss, damage, personal injury, bodily injury, death, expense, accident, delay, inconvenience or irregularity, and any indirect, incidental, consequential, special, punitive or exemplary damages of any kind, even if a BIN Party have been advised of the possibility of such loss or damages), costs and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable outside attorneys’ fees) that may arise from, result from, or are in connection with: (a) the Competition including, but not limited to, any Competition‐related activity or element thereof and the applicant’s entry, participation, or inability to participate in the Competition; (b) the violation of any privacy, personal, publicity or proprietary rights; (c) typographical errors in these Official Rules or any Competition promotional materials; (d) any change in the prizing (or any components thereof) due to unavailability, business or creative considerations, or reasons beyond BIN’s control or as otherwise set forth in these Official Rules; (e) any interruptions in or postponement, cancellation, or modification of the Competition; (f) human error; (g) incorrect or inaccurate transcription, receipt, or transmission of any part of the Competition entry; (h) any system, computer timing or dating mechanism, computer equipment, software, or Internet service provider utilized by BIN or by an applicant; (i) interruption or inability to access the Competition, the Website, or any other Competition‐related websites or any online service via the internet due to hardware or software compatibility problems; (j) any damage to applicant’s (or any third party’s) computer or its contents related to or resulting from any part of the Competition; (k) any lost or delayed data transmissions, omissions, interruptions, defects, and/or any other destroyed, incomplete, undeliverable or damaged Competition Entries; (l) any wrongful, negligent, or unauthorized act or omission on the part of a BIN Party; (m) the public voting or the tabulation of the votes, or (n) the selection by any BIN Party or its advisers of the finalists.
• Disputes: Except where prohibited, all issues, questions and disputes concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the applicant and BIN in connection with the Competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Washington or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Washington. By entering, applicants consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state and local courts located in Port Orchard, Washington.
This Competition is sponsored and administered by Business Impact NW, 1437 S Jackson St. Seattle, WA 98144.
You are welcome to download the complete contest outline and rules here as a pdf.