Contest Rules

  • Official Rules
     

    Overview: The FOCUSS Idea Competition (the “Competition”) provides students with the opportunity to share and cultivate solutions to real world problem statements, with prizes to the top entries.

    1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. This is not a game of chance. Entries will be judged on their merits.

    2. Eligibility: Individuals or teams may enter. Each individual participant and each team member (each such individual an “Entrant”) must be a current full-time or part-time students of (the “School”) in good standing at the time of entry and of final judging. Employees of FOCUSS (“Sponsor”) or (“Affiliate”), their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates or partnerships, the advertising or promotional agencies involved in the Competition (the “Entities”), the officers or directors of the Entities, and the children, spouses, siblings, parents or cohabitants of such persons are not eligible. Neither the Entities nor any of their officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents, attorneys, representatives, successors, assigns, licensees (individually and collectively “Releasees”) are liable for any entry materials (the “Entry”) or attempted Entry that is late, incomplete, delayed, ineligible, fraudulent, invalid, lost, tampered with or otherwise not submitted according to these Official Rules.

      Entrants must be at least 18 years of age or obtain parent or guardian consent. Entrants found to be ineligible will be disqualified. A team may be disqualified if the contributions of an ineligible team member are determined by the judges or Sponsor to be a factor in the team’s result. Sponsor reserves the right to request proof of eligibility in a form acceptable to Sponsor at any time. Entrants found to be not eligible may be disqualified at any time, including after prize award, and any prize awarded to an ineligible Entrant must be returned or compensated.

    3. Entry: Register at the Idea Portal by completing the entry form provided, including the name, age, school year, local and home addresses and email of the entrant or each team member, and obtaining necessary Competition materials. Teams must designate one member as Competition contact. Because of the unique nature of this contest, Sponsor reserves the right to modify dates and times as it may deem necessary to serve the purposes of the Competition. Changes will be announced at the Idea Portal and reasonable attempts will be made to communicate changes to existing Entrants.           

      Entries must be submitted through the Idea Portal. Entry materials will include additional information on entry procedures. No other form of entry is allowed. The Idea Portal clock is the official time keeper. Evidence of sending is not evidence that the Entry was received. Only registered Entrants will be allowed to submit Entries.

      Entries must be original to this Competition; Entries submitted elsewhere are not eligible. Incomplete Entries, including but not limited to those Entries that do not meet the requirements herein, will not be eligible for judging. Entries that do not comply with the letter or the spirit of instructions as to content, substance, formatting, length, forms of answers or other matters may be disregarded in whole or in part. Entries deemed by Sponsor, School and/or Affiliate to be in poor taste, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable may be disqualified by Sponsor.

      The Competition is subject to all applicable federal, state, local and municipal laws and regulations. The Competition is void where prohibited. The odds of winning depend upon the number and quality of Entries received.

    4. Judging and selection of finalists and winners.
      1. Initial judging. All eligible entries will be judged by a panel of qualified individuals representing both the public and private sectors, including a representative of Affiliate. Judges will apply the following three criteria, each worth up to 33% percent of the score:

        1. Clarity in stating the idea or solution to resolve the problem. (Are the answers to the submission questions well written? Clearly thought out? Complete, yet concise?)

        2. The innovative or original nature of the idea or solution.

        3. The extent to which the idea provides a solution to the problem.

          Based on the results of the initial judging, Finalists will be chosen.

      2. Finalist judging and selection of winners. Finalists will be evaluated in a new round of judging based on an eight- (8) minute presentation to the judges by the individual Entrant or team in front of an audience of peers, faculty, entrepreneurs and distinguished guests. These presentations will take place in a program. Finalists who do not provide a presentation at this program will be disqualified from further consideration. The panel of judges will apply the same criteria as in the initial judging round. The panel may include new or different judges. Judges may ask questions at the conclusion of the eight-minute presentation, and responses will be considered by the judges in their evaluations. Presentations must include the following elements:

        1. Restatement of the problem.
        2. Statement of the idea or solution to resolve the problem.
        3. Statement of the associated costs.
        4. How the idea will benefit society.          

          Please note: Once submitted for initial evaluation, the idea or solution is finalized and Finalists must present the same idea or solution in their eight-minute presentation. The solution can be amended or embellished for the final presentation, but the fundamental idea cannot change from that originally submitted, or the judges may rule the entrant/team ineligible for prizes.

      3. Prize awards. Prizes will be awarded based on the results of judging the presentations at the Finalist program. (Scores from initial judging will not be included in determining prize awards.) First Place will go to the highest score, 1st Runner Up to the second highest score, and so on. Prize awards will be announced at the program. Winning Entrants may be required to submit tax information such as social security number or Form W-9. Prize awards are subject to verification to the Sponsor’s satisfaction of potential winner’s identity and eligibility, and additional documentation may be requested. Each winning Entrant must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. If any Entity shall reasonably desire to secure additional releases, acknowledgments, verifications or the like in order to further the goals of the promotion, each winning entrant or team member agrees to sign the same upon request without need for any additional consideration.

      4. Prizes. Prizes will be cash awards in the amounts shown, issued in the form of a corporate check to the individual entrant or to the team representative. Teams are responsible for division of funds among their members. Recipients are responsible for all taxes.

    1. Use and ownership of entry materials and intellectual property; publicity release.

      1. Limited assignment of rights and publicity release. Entry and awards materials are public and no content will be treated confidentially. By submitting an Entry, each Entrant irrevocably grants, assigns and conveys to FOCUSS and Affiliate and each of their respective successors and assigns the right to publish any or all material contained in the materials at any time in any medium in connection with the Competition. Each Entrant further grants, assigns and conveys to FOCUSS and Affiliate and each of their respective successors and assigns those limited rights in the materials sufficient to allow consideration of the entry in Competition judging and publication of the Competition results in any medium. Each Entrant grants FOCUSS and Affiliate and each of their respective successors and assigns the right to identify the Entrant as a Competition participant, at any time in any medium, including the Entrant’s name, school, school year, age and place of residence (city/state). FOCUSS or Sponsor may request written documentation of these grants of rights, and failure to provide same may result in disqualification.

      2. Ownership rights. Except for the rights obtained under the preceding paragraph and/or the related written documentation, it is the intent of FOCUSS, Affiliate and others involved in organizing the Competition that Entrants retain all applicable intellectual property rights relating to their Entries. Therefore, FOCUSS, Affiliate and their agents, heirs, assigns and representatives expressly disclaim any and all rights in the entries, specifically including the right to exploit or disclose the content or intellectual property of the entries, except to the extent such rights, property or content may be available to the public generally through operation of the Competition. Under no circumstances will FOCUSS or Affiliate become involved in assessing or evaluating any rights or disputes about rights.

      3. Publicity release. Each winning Entrant’s acceptance of a prize constitutes that individual Entrant’s grant of an unconditional right to FOCUSS and Affiliate to use Entrant’s entry materials, name, place of residence (city/state), voice, likeness, photograph, biographical and prize information and/or statements about the promotion for any publicity, advertising and promotional purposes related to the Competition without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law, and hereby further constitutes that Entrant’s release of the Releasees from any liability with respect thereto.
      4. Release of Liability. By participating, Entrant agrees to release and hold harmless Releasees from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, claim, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including without limitation, property damage, emotional injury, personal injury and/or death which may occur in connection with, preparation for, travel to, or participation in the Competition, or for any claims based on publicity rights, intellectual property rights, defamation or invasion of privacy. Entrant further agrees that the Releasees are not responsible for claims, injuries, losses, illness, litigation or damage of any kind resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the awarding, delivery, acceptance, use, misuse, possession, loss or misdirection of a Prize or participation in this Contest or in any activity or travel related thereto or from any interaction with, or downloading of, computer Contest information; no Releasee has made any warranty, representation or guarantee express or implied, in fact or in law, with respect to the prize(s), including, without limitation, to such Prize’s quality or fitness for a particular purpose and

        In Sponsor’s reasonable discretion, winners may be required to complete additional, mutually acceptable liability releases.            

    1. Additional terms.
      1. Acceptance of Rules. By participating in the Competition, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and by the decisions of FOCUSS (in consultation with Affiliate and School as it may deem reasonably necessary), which shall be final and binding in all respects. To the extent that these Official Rules conflict with other materials related to the Competition, these Official Rules will prevail.

      2. Originality of submission. By entering, each Entrant represents and warrants that his/her entry is wholly original or provides proper citation to referenced material and does not misappropriate any intellectual property rights of any third party.

      3. Sponsor’s right to modify. If any event or situation, including unauthorized human intervention, Acts of God, acts or regulations of any governmental or supra-national authority, war, national emergency, computer viruses or bugs, accident, fire, riot, strikes, lock-outs, industrial disputes, acts of terrorism or any matter beyond the Releasees’ reasonable control, corrupts, prevents or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper or intended play of this Competition, so that it cannot be conducted as originally planned, except where prohibited by law, Sponsor (in consultation with Affiliate and School as it may deem reasonably necessary) has the right to cancel, terminate or suspend the Competition and in such event, to select one or more Finalists from among all eligible Entries received up to such time of cancellation, termination or suspension, or to cancel the Competition and not award any prize. The Releasees are not responsible for typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of this Competition, including but not limited to: errors in advertising, these Official Rules, or selection and announcement of the winners; or for any inability of a winner to accept or use a prize (or any portion thereof) for any reason. In the event that any person attempts to defraud or in any manner tamper with this Competition, he/she will be ineligible for a Prize and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law; and in the event that any dispute arises regarding the meaning or interpretation of these Official Rules, it is agreed that the dispute shall be resolved by applying the laws of the State of Wisconsin by and within the Federal or Wisconsin State courts located in Milwaukee County.     

        CAUTION: SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION TO DISQUALIFY ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO IS FOUND TO BE TAMPERING WITH THE ENTRY PROCESS OR THE OPERATION OF THE COMPETITION, TO BE ACTING IN VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES, OR TO BE ACTING IN AN UNSPORTSMANLIKE OR DISRUPTIVE MANNER, OR WITH THE INTENT TO DISRUPT OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE COMPETITION, OR TO ANNOY, ABUSE, THREATEN OR HARASS ANY OTHER PERSON, AND SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR VOTER TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE COMPETITION MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR AND AFFILIATE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
    1. Nature of Relationship and waiver of equitable relief. Each Entrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that the relationship between the Entrant and the Releasees is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other special relationship, and that the Entrant’s decision to provide the Entry to Sponsor and Affiliate for purposes of the Competition does not place the Releasees in a position that is any different from the position held by members of the general public with regard to elements of the Entrant’s Entry. Each Entrant understands and acknowledges that the Releasees have wide access to ideas, concepts, proposals and other technical or innovative materials, and that new ideas are constantly being submitted to Releasees or being developed by their own employees. Each Entrant also acknowledges that many ideas, concepts or proposals may be competitive with, similar or identical to the Entrant’s materials in one or more respects. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that he or she will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of Releasees’ use of any such similar or identical material that has or may come to Releasees, or any of them, from other sources. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the Releasees do not now and shall 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 Entrant’s intellectual property rights, if any, in and to the Entry. Finally, each Entrant acknowledges that, with respect to any claim by Entrant relating to or arising out of any Releasees’ actual or alleged exploitation or use of any Entry or other material submitted in connection with the Competition, the damage, if any, thereby caused to the applicable Entrant will not be irreparable or otherwise sufficient to entitle such Entrant to seek injunctive or other equitable relief or in any way enjoin the production, distribution, exhibition or other exploitation of any service or product based on or allegedly based on the Entrant’s Entry, and Entrant’s rights and remedies in any such event shall be strictly limited to the right to recover damages, if any, in an action at law.

    2. Use of data. All Entries or other materials and personal information submitted as part of the Competition may be shared by and between the Releasees, and each of the Releasees will use such information in accordance with their respective independent privacy policies. Any communication or information transmitted to Sponsor by electronic mail or otherwise is and will be treated as non-confidential. By participating in the Contest, each Entrant agrees to Sponsor’s and Affiliate’s collection and usage of Entrant’s personal information and acknowledge that Entrant has read and accepted each privacy policy.

    3. Winner’s names. To obtain the names of winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope postmarked by approximately two weeks after final event to FOCUSS Idea Competition (School), Winner’s List, P.O. Box 8577, Madison, WI 53708-8577.

    4. Sponsor. The Competition Sponsor is FOCUSS (the Framework for Opportunity Convergence and the Utilization of Sustainable Solutions, Inc.), P.O. Box 8577, Madison, WI 53708-8577, in cooperation with Affiliate at School.