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Official Rules

Important: Please read these Official Rules (“Rules”) before entering the Pitch Your Prototype Challenge (the “Contest”), sponsored by Maker Media, Inc. (“Maker Media”) and Cornell University (“Cornell”), (each a “Sponsor”, and together, “Sponsors”). By submitting an Application (defined below), you agree that these Rules form a legally binding agreement between you and Sponsors with respect to this Contest and that you will be bound by these Rules.  Your failure to comply with these Rules may result in disqualification of your Application.  Sponsors’ decisions and interpretations of the Rules are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest.

1.   ELIGIBILITY: This Contest is open to individuals, or groups comprised of four or fewer individuals, who are 18 or older as of the time of the Application, provided that entry into this Contest is legal in the jurisdiction in which they reside.  The following are not eligible to submit or participate in any group submitting an Application:  (a) individuals under 18 years of age;  (b) employees of Sponsors or any of their respective affiliates; (c) employees of any other company or individual involved with the design, production, or execution of the Contest, or (d) the immediate families (spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, and children and step-children) and household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year) of any person listed in (b) or (c) of this paragraph.  (All of the foregoing are “Eligibility Criteria.”)

2.  CONTEST DESCRIPTION: People meeting the Eligibility Criteria who want to participate in the Contest (“Entrants” or “You”) must submit an application using the form available at (“Application”). In the Application, Entrants will submit their idea and images of a prototype of an early stage product  through a written description, photos, drawings, and/or video. Online voting will be used to help determine the five finalists. Two of the five finalists will be selected by the public through online voting. The three other finalists will be selected by a panel of judges from the Sponsors. The top five finalist entries will be judged by a panel of judges from Sponsors, who will select a grand prize winner. The grand prize winner will be announced at MakerCon New York during the week of September 21st, 2015, and will receive a $5,000 grant. All finalists will be invited to attend MakerCon New York (at their own expense) during the week of September 21st, 2015, and will receive a complementary conference pass once their attendance is confirmed.

3.  ENTRY PERIOD: The period for submission of Applications opens at 9:01am PDT on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015, and ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 (“Entry Period”).  Entries received before the Entry Period will not be considered unless they are re-submitted during the Entry Period.  Entries received after the Entry Period will not be considered.

4.   ENTRY DETAILS AND REQUIREMENTS:  Applications must be submitted online at Each Application must include: (a) an entry form, including name, email address, and phone number; (b) a description (in written and visual form, e.g. video and or photos) of the Project; (c) if submitted by a group, an identification of all persons in the group and a certification that each of them meets the Eligibility Criteria; and (d) if submitted by an individual, an identification of the individual and a certification that the individual meets the Eligibility Criteria. One (1) Application may be submitted by each group or individual. You Project may not have been (and may not be during the Entry Period) listed on any crowdfunding site.  KEEP A COPY OR THE ORIGINAL OF EACH ELEMENT OF YOUR APPLICATION AND ANYTHING SUBMITTED WITH YOUR APPLICATION.

5.  WINNER JUDGING AND SELECTION:  An illustration of each eligible Project will be posted on the Make: website at (“Voting URL”) for public voting.  Public voting will begin on May 1st, 2015, at 9:01am Pacific Time and will end on May 18th, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (“Public Voting Period”). During the Public Voting Period, visitors to the Voting URL will be able to vote for the Entries they think best meet the following criteria: application to real world problem or need (30%), commercial viability and target market (30%), originality of idea or product (25%), and quality of submission materials and documentation of the prototype (15%) (“Finalist Judging Criteria”). Only one (1) vote per email address per day for any given Project is permitted during the Public Voting Period; voting for multiple Projects in a day is permitted.  Any use of robotic, macro, automatic, programmed or like voting methods will void all such votes. Any attempt by Entrants and/or their families or friends to vote more than the number of times authorized by using multiple email addresses, paying or retaining third parties for the purposes of voting, and/or any other fraudulent mechanism, in order to cast multiple votes will result in disqualification of all such votes and may result in disqualification of the Entrant for whom the improper votes were received if the Sponsors determine that the Entrant was involved in any way in such unauthorized voting.  The two entries receiving the highest scores from public online voting will be the first two finalists. After public voting is closed, three additional finalists will be chosen, using the Finalist Judging Criteria, by judges from the Sponsors. The final five Finalist Projects will be judged by a panel of judges from the Sponsors using the Judging Criteria (Judging Criteria): application to real world problem or need (30%), commercial viability and target market (30%) originality of idea or product (25%), quality of submission materials and documentation of the prototype (10%), and promotion and marketing of prototype, taking into consideration the number of overall public votes to encourage entrants to share their projects (5%).

6.    WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT:  The five Finalist Projects will be announced via the Make: blog at by the week of June 1, 2015 and the (5) finalist Entrants will be notified via email or phone prior to that date (see paragraph 9).

7.  PRIZE: There will be one (1) grand prize awarded. The winner will receive a $5000 grant. Only one $5000 prize will be awarded, even if the winning Entrant is submitted by a group. The top 5 finalists will be invited to attend MakerCon New York at their own expense the week of September 21st, and will be given a complementary pass to the conference. Finalists need not be present at MakerCon New York to be selected as the winner.

8.     TAXES:  The winning Entrant (including all members of a group receiving the prize) will be responsible for payment of taxes on the prize amount under the tax laws of the jurisdiction in which they live.  Sponsors will file a 1099 form (or equivalent if the winner is a foreign resident) with the appropriate authorities.

9.   WINNER NOTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION:  The top 5 finalists will be notified before June 1, 2015, subject to verification of compliance with the Eligibility Criteria. The grand prize winner will be announced at MakerCon. Sponsors are not responsible for any change of an Entrant’s email address or other contact information. If any notification or Contest-related communication is rejected, faulty, returned as undeliverable; if the potential winner or runner up does not respond according to the notifications or Sponsors’ instructions; if the winner or runner up fails to comply with these Rules; or if a potential winner or runner up cannot be reached after a reasonable attempt has been made by Sponsors (as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion), that winner or runner up may be disqualified and an alternate winner or runner up may be selected by Sponsors.   In the event that a potential winner or runner up is disqualified for any reason, Sponsors reserve the right to award the prize to an alternate Entrant even if the disqualified potential winner’s or runner up’s name may have been announced.

10.  RIGHTS IN SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS AND PROJECT:  All Applications will become the sole property of Sponsors.  By submitting an Application, each Entrant grants to Sponsors a worldwide, sublicensable, perpetual right and license to reproduce, publish, modify, create derivative works of, create prototypes of, and display the Application, the Project, and their contents, including any drawings, ideas, text, designs and descriptions, for any and all editorial purposes, including the illustration, promotion, and creation of projects in Make: magazine and, social media platforms, and in or on any other platform in which Sponsors participate.  You acknowledge and agree that Sponsors shall have an absolute right and permission to publish, post, edit, adapt, display, and otherwise use the content of and elements embodied in the Application and Project in any form, in any manner, in perpetuity, and in any and all media (whether now known or hereafter devised) without compensation of any kind to You.

11.  CERTIFICATION OF ORIGINALITY OF IDEAS AND DESIGNS; INDEMNIFICATION: By submitting an Application, You warrant and represent that: (1) the Project is based on your original design, (2) no other person or entity other than those disclosed in the Application has any right to its contents or any component of the Application other than physical components used in the Project, and (3) your submission of the Application does not breach or violate any obligation, contractual or otherwise, that You have to any third party.  You hereby agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless MAKE from and against any claim that arises from your breach of any of the foregoing representations.

12.   NO SPONSOR LIABILITY:  By submitting an Application, You agree that your submission is voluntary and made without restriction, will not place Sponsors under any obligation, and that Sponsors are free to disclose the ideas contained in the Application on a non-confidential basis to anyone or otherwise use the ideas without any additional compensation to You. You acknowledge that, by accepting your Application, Sponsors do not waive any rights to use similar or related ideas previously known to them, or developed by their respective employees, or obtained from sources other than You.   You acknowledge and agree that nothing in these Rules will require Sponsors to use the Application or Project in part or in whole or to include the Application or Project in any Sponsor property, including, without limitation, any web site or any other online or offline property.  You acknowledge and agree that the relationship between you and Sponsors is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other special relationship, and that your decision to submit your Application and Project for purposes of the Contest does not place Sponsors in a position that is any different from the position held by members of the general public with regard to elements of the Contest, other than as set forth in these Rules. You acknowledge and agree that Sponsors do not now and will not have in the future any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of the copyright in and to your Application or any intellectual property rights in your Project.

13.   GENERAL LIABILITY RELEASE.  BY SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION, YOU AGREE THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO RECOVER ANY DAMAGES OR PROVISIONAL RELIEF FROM SPONSORS IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTEST: By entering the Contest, submitting an Application, and/or accepting a prize, you agree to release Sponsors, and each of them, from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with: (1) the Contest, or (2) acceptance or awarding of any prize, (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses, and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional).  This release covers any and all claims, whether under a theory of contract, warranty, tort (including negligence, whether active, passive, or imputed), strict liability, product liability, contribution, or any other theory.

14.  FILM, PHOTOGRAPH, RECORDING AND PUBLICITY RELEASE:  Except where prohibited by law, by submitting an Application, you authorize Sponsors and their respective agents, to use your name, likeness, and all Application submission materials, including the Project, and/or prize information, in any and all media without territorial or time limitation, for any advertising, promotional, or any other purpose without further compensation to, or permission from you.

15.  GENERAL CONDITIONS:   Sponsors’ failure to or decision not to enforce any provision in these Rules will not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision.  In the event there is an alleged or actual ambiguity, discrepancy or inconsistency between disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest-related materials and/or these Rules (including any alleged discrepancy or inconsistency in these Rules), it will be resolved in Sponsors sole discretion.  Applicants waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Contest or these Rules.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Rules will not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision.  In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Rules will otherwise remain in effect and will be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.  Any attempt to tamper with the Contest site or to circumvent these Rules will invalidate the Application.

16.  GOVERNING LAW: The Contest and any dispute arising under or related thereto (whether for breach of contract, tortious conduct or otherwise) will be governed, construed, and interpreted under the laws of the State of California, without reference to its conflicts of law principles. Any legal actions, suits or proceedings related to this Contest (whether for breach of contract, tortious conduct or otherwise) will be brought exclusively in the state or federal courts located in San Francisco, California and each Entrant accepts and submits to the personal jurisdiction of these California courts with respect to any legal actions, suits or proceedings arising out of or related to this Contest.

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