The following are the rules for the Louisiana Startup Prize competition for 2015.
The Louisiana Startup Prize (sometimes referred to herein as the “LASP” or “Startup Prize”) is a competition and business development incubator organized and owned by the Film Prize Foundation, Inc., a Louisiana non-profit organization (“FPF”). The FPF sometimes does business as the “Louisiana Startup Prize”. The FPF reserves the right to amend these rules at any time, in its own discretion. Further, the interpretation of these rules shall be made solely by Gregory Kallenberg, who is the President of the FPF and Executive Director of the Startup Prize, in his sole discretion. Contestants in the Startup Prize must abide by the following rules in order to participate in the Startup Prize and to compete for the prizes and honors that may be offered by the LASP.
- Louisiana Startup Prize. The Louisiana Startup Prize is a startup business competition open to entrepreneurs of any nationality. A business will be considered for competition only if it is considered to be early-stage. An early-stage business is classified as one that is no more than three (3) years old, does not exceed $1 million in equity-based investment, and does not exceed $1 million in annual revenue at the time of application. The LASP reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project. Special consideration will be given to businesses that are considered “scalable.” All qualified entries must be independently owned companies. Companies owned, financed or developed by a parent company that does not meet the “early-stage” requirements are ineligible for competition. Companies focused in the following industries/subject matter areas are not eligible:
- Pornography or prostitution;
- The production of illegal drugs, drug-like substances and
- Multi-level marketing and pyramid programs.
The LASP team reserves the right to eliminate other businesses deemed inappropriate for competition on a case-by-case basis. Please note that review and assessment of each application takes time from our team and therefore application fees will not be refunded.
- Registration. All contestants must register by July 27, 2015, by submitting a completed application through the Startup Prize Entrepreneur Portal (“Portal”), along with the registration fee of $50.00 per individual per qualifying event (explained below) or $120.00 per individual for three qualifying events. Again, the completed Portal application must be fully completed and submitted by the deadline established by the LASP. Supplemental materials (e.g., revised business plans, prototypes) may be submitted through the Portal, in person or as otherwise directed by LASP staff. Acceptance of such additional materials may be paraphernalia, etc.; or subject to time limitations and other limitations established from time to time by the LASP. Materials may be delivered to the LASP at the following address: LA Startup Prize 2015, 401 Market Street, Suite 860, Shreveport, LA 71101. Each contestant grants to Louisiana Startup Prize a limited license to use for the purpose of the competition for all materials submitted to Startup Prize upon submission (explained in section 4 below). Samples and prototypes may be returned if prior arrangements have been made. Perishable materials (such as baked goods) will not be returned. The registration fee(s) is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Businesses may change their names, but the original name turned in on the registration form should accompany all materials through the selection process along with the new name so that we are able to associate your business with the proper registration form and application fee. If a company is disbanded or fails to participate in any required events, a refund or transfer of application fees will not be permitted – a new registration form and fee must accompany the new business.
- Attendance. There will be two or more qualifying events, as announced on the Portal. To be eligible, a contestant must attend and participate in at least one of these qualifying events. In particular, at least one team member from each applying business must participate in at least one Startup Prize Qualifier in its entirety. Further, there will be one final event (again as specified on the Portal) limited to the finalists picked by the LASP judges (sometimes referred to as the “FINAL FINAL”). All contestants chosen for that event must attend and participate in the final round in order to be eligible for the grand prize or any other prize, award or honor granted by the Startup Prize. Contestants invited to the FINAL FINAL will receive a $500.00 stipend to help with costs of attending the FINAL FINAL, but all other expenses and costs of attending and participating in the preliminary and final events are the sole responsibility of each contestant.
- Limited Licenses for Promotions and Review; Confidentiality. By submitting an application through the Portal, each contestant is agreeing to grant a limited license to the LASP to use the contestant’s image, name and logo for purposes of marketing and making press announcements concerning the Startup Prize. Each contestant submitting an application through the Portal will be deemed to have consented to the FPF/LASP officers, staff and judges reviewing any materials submitted to the LASP, whether submitted through the Portal, by hand delivery or otherwise. Also, the FPF/LASP officers, staff and judges are NOT agreeing, expressly or implicitly, to hold any materials submitted by a contestant in confidence. If any contestant separately seeks funding or advice from a judge or other person associated with the LASP, it is up to that contestant to obtain any confidentiality agreements the contestant feels may be necessary to protect its interests.
- Paying Forward. The FPF is a nonprofit organization that depends on donations and other revenue sources to operate. In order to keep the FPF and the Startup Prize sustainable and viable to help budding talent in years to come, the FPF has a requirement of all contestants that are selected for the FINAL FINAL. All invitations to contestants to participate in the FINAL FINAL will be conditioned upon the contestant agreeing to and executing an agreement to be proffered by the FPF prior to the event in which document the contestant will agree to donate to the FPF equity, revenue sharing or other consideration. This agreement is only required if the selected business opts to present to the Louisiana Startup Prize panel of Investor Judges and applies ONLY IF the business receives funding from an LASP investor. Any selected finalist may choose to decline to present to the LASP investors. In particular, the consideration shall be substantially similar to one of the following options to be chosen by the contestant:
- an amount equal to 10% of any capital raised from investors who are judges or others introduced to the contestant through the Startup Prize; or
- 2% of the equity in the contestant’s business; or
- $25,000 five-year, non-recourse note.
- Other Negotiations. While it is hoped that participation in the Startup Prize by contestants and judges may lead to mutually beneficial business relationships, the FPF/LASP does not guarantee that will happen and is not assuming any duty to promote any contestants. Participation in the LASP or winning a prize is not in any way a promise that any person associated with LASP will make any investment in or loan to the participant. If any personal investments are made by the Startup Prize Board of Directors, judges or other parties associated in any way with the LASP, such investments are personal investments between the investor and the entrepreneur. The Louisiana Startup Prize takes no responsibility for agreements between competition participants and third parties. If any contestants, judges or other parties enter into negotiations or agreements for funding or other business relationships, the FPF will not be directly involved and assumes no duty, obligation or liability for the success or failure of such relationships. The Startup Prize is NOT liable for any agreements made between such
- Fine Print. It is the primary applicant’s responsibility to obtain any licenses, release forms, liability or other insurance, and other customary permits, permissions and protections as is customary to the industry in which your business is operating. Teams are responsible for complying with all federal, state, and city regulations, including any necessary permitting. Given the wide range of entry types, The Louisiana Startup Prize does not require any of these items by default, but we do expect that you comply with those who do for the safety and legality of your business. The Louisiana Startup Prize is not legally responsible for any aspect of the development of your business.
Over the course of the competition, contact with your business’s primary team member and other people involved may be made at any time by LASP representatives. The LASP reserves the right to visit the site of market research, product demos, or other business related events. Some of these visits might be for information gathering, creation of promotional materials, or just welcoming you to the competition with warm doughnuts. The primary applicant should be the only point of contact each team has with the offices of the Louisiana Startup Prize. All decisions, questions, or issues will be communicated to the primary contact only. From there, the primary contact may disseminate any pertinent information. This is to avoid confusion and prevent multiple calls about the same issue.
All work and submissions of contestants must be original to the applying entrant/team. If there is a question about the rights to your work, you will be asked to provide evidence of original production or rights to materials and elements used in conjunction with your project. This extends to logos, plans, presentations, products, prototypes, and marketing items. The Louisiana Startup Prize takes no part in and has no liability for the domestic or international intellectual property rights of competition participants. Contestants are responsible for their own intellectual property. Participants must keep confidential information confidential. By submitting its application, each participant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless FPF and LASP from and against all claims and liabilities resulting from the participant’s activities, including, without limitation, intellectual property violations. Prizes must be accepted as awarded. All taxes associated with the Startup Prize awards are the sole responsibility of the prize winner(s). Prizes are non-transferable.
Prize money should be used towards furthering the awarded business. None of the prize money awarded may be used for repayment of personal investment in the business or repayment of other debt. Winning teams understand and agree that, if any material misrepresentations are discovered or if a winning team is not able to satisfy the above requirements, the team may be disqualified and/or the company may be required to repay any cash and prizes that have been received plus 8% annual interest. The Startup Prize reserves the right, at its discretion, to revoke passes and access to the events from any contestant or other person who is acting in opposition to the spirit of the Startup Prize, as determined in the sole discretion of the Executive Director of the Startup Prize. Contestants who engage in immoral activities, including lying and cheating, or any activity that may adversely affect the image of the Startup Prize or other participants, shall become ineligible for the competition. Contestants in the Startup Prize and the business which they submit are subject to ALL applicable federal, state, and local laws.
- DISCLAIMER REGARDING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING AND OTHER ADVICE. During the Louisiana Startup Prize, contestants and others may hear presentations by, or talk individually with, volunteer attorneys, accountants and other professionals. Such professionals may also distribute materials in relation to their area of expertise for the Louisiana Startup Prize. Any information and/or opinions conveyed are based on general principals and on limited or no facts about a specific enterprise; therefore, a participant should not rely on such information and/or opinions, but instead should engage and consult with the participant’s own professionals. Any information or opinions received by a participant from a volunteer professional(s) is not warranted by relationship or accountant-client relationship is created by participation by professionals in Louisiana Startup Prize activities or related events. To create a relationship with such a professional, you must specifically engage the services of the professional and the professional’s firm by written engagement contract.
- Follow Up Request. The Startup Prize requests that all contestant teams give significant consideration to the following requests:
Contribute your time. Louisiana Startup Prize participants (particularly finalists and winners) will often be invited to come back and participate as mentors and speakers during future competitions. While this is not a requirement of participation, we would love for all entrants to be willing to come back, as they can, to give back to the program and the community.
Tell us how you’re doing. The Louisiana Startup Prize is a non-profit endeavor, and we count on the impact the program has to help us fund each new competition. We therefore ask that those applying be willing to share requested information with the Startup Prize for reporting purposes for up to three years after participation in the competition is complete.
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BY PARTICIPATING IN THE LOUISIANA STARTUP PRIZE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE TO THE CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS SET FORTH IN THIS PARAGRAPH. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE RULES WILL DISQUALIFY A CONTESTANT FROM THE COMPETITION AND RESULT IN FORFEITURE OF ANY PRIZES AWARDED TO THE CONTESTANT.