Women-Owned Small Business Pitch Competition Rules
The Beacon State Fund, in partnership with the Governor's Commission for Women (collectively, the “Hosts”), present the Texas Women-Owned Small Business Pitch Competition (“Contest”). An awardee will be selected for each of the five (5) regions of Texas. The Women-Owned Small Business Pitch Competition is made possible by Sempra’s (“Sponsor”) support of the Beacon State Fund.
The Contest will operate as follows:
- Submission Period: The Submission Period begins on or about June 20, 2022 and ends on July 31, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. Central Time (“CT”). Participation is open to all female business owners who have run a business for more than 12 months in the State of Texas (“Participant”).
- Contest Judging: Concurrent with the Submission Period through July 31, 2022, eligible Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated in accordance with the “Judging Criteria” as described in Section 3 of these Official Rules.
- Finalist Notification: The fifteen (15) finalists will be notified via email on or about Monday, August 15, 2022 according to Section 4 of these Official Rules.
- Winner Notification: The five (5) winners will be chosen and announced upon completion of the finalists’ pitches and judging at each of the respective five (5) Texas Women-Owned Business Series events.
2. ELIGIBILITY: To participate, Entrants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- To enter the Contest, Participants must be: (i) a female owner of a business that has operated in the State of Texas for more than 12 months, and (ii) a legal resident of, and physically reside within, the State of Texas. Any individuals (including but not limited to employees, consultants, independent contractors, and interns) who have, within the past six (6) months, performed services for a Host, and any organizations responsible for hosting, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Contest or supplying the prize, and their respective parent, subsidiary, affiliated and successor companies, immediate family members and household members of such individuals, and any person who, within the past six (6) months, has been awarded a prize in any Contest conducted by a Host, are all ineligible to enter or win. "Immediate family members” shall mean parents, step-children, children, step-parents, siblings, step-siblings, or spouses. “Household members” shall mean people who share the same residence at least three (3) months a year.
- Entrant must NOT be under any contractual obligation that would conflict with this Contest or the Official Rules, including but not limited to obligations under professional guild obligations, talent agent or talent management agreements, or music recording agreements.
- Entrant must NOT be an employee, officer, director, agent or representative of a Host or Sponsor ("Contest Entities"), or their respective parent companies, affiliates, divisions, subsidiaries, representatives or advertising agencies, nor can Entrant be an Immediate Family Member and/or Household Member of such persons.
3. HOW TO PARTICIPATE: The Contest offers eligible Entrants an opportunity to post a Submission, as described below, to progress to the Contest Judging phase. To become an Eligible Entrant, you may enter by (1) completing the Contest-related materials, and (2) providing the Governor’s Commission for Women with the materials and information required to enter the Contest. Hosts, at their sole discretion, may accept a mistyped Entry. Hosts will judge all Entries received to select three (3) finalists that reside in each of 5 Texas regions (East Texas, West Texas, North Texas, Central Texas, South Texas) - for a total of fifteen (15) finalists by determining: (1) eligibility to enter Contest and (2) rating score on the following judging criteria:
- Execution: Description and communication of challenges the business has/will face (0-10 points)
- Sustainability: Business’s potential for long-term viability (0-10 points)
- Innovation: Uniqueness and creativity of the business (0-10 points)
- Team: Strengths of the business’s team (0-10 points)
- Presentation: Overall quality of the pitch (0-10 points)
It is your sole responsibility to notify the Host in writing if you change your mailing or email address (“Address”). For purposes of these Official Rules (“Rules”), all times and days are Central Time. The awarding of each prize is subject to the eligibility and forfeiture provisions set forth below.
Normal internet access and usage charges imposed by your online service will apply. The computer of the Governor’s Commission for Women is the official timekeeping device for the Contest. It is your sole responsibility to notify the Host if you change your Address. To do so, email email@example.com. Entries must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. CT on July 31, 2022. Entries in excess of the entry limitations may be disqualified, at the sole discretion of the Hosts.
IMPORTANT: Entrant’s Submission may appear in the Hosts’ social media at Hosts’ sole discretion. Hosts will determine in their sole discretion which Entries have satisfied the eligibility requirements. Hosts reserves the right to waive the Contest entry requirements set forth herein in its reasonable discretion, including extending any deadlines. Without in any way limiting the effect of the rest of these Official Rules, any Entrant who incorporates any intellectual property owned by a third party into his or her Submission without written permission is solely responsible for any such use of the intellectual property, and such Submission shall be disqualified from the Contest.
4. WINNER/FINALIST NOTIFICATION: On or about Monday, August 15, 2022, the finalists as determined by the judging results will be contacted via email. The finalists will be required to respond (as directed by the Hosts) to the notification within forty-eight (48) hours (or a shorter time if required by exigencies) of first attempted notification. The failure to timely respond to the notification may result in disqualification, and the Hosts will select an alternate finalist based on the judging results. The Entrant who is responsible for posting the Submission will be appointed as the designated contact and will be responsible for fulfilling all Submission requirements as stated herein. The potential winners and each Participant may be required to complete an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release, and, unless prohibited by law, a publicity release and other legal documents as may be required by Hosts in their sole discretion (collectively, the "Finalist Documents") covering eligibility, liability, advertising, publicity and media appearance issues. Failure by the potential winners to respond within the specified time period may result in the selection of an alternate finalist based on the judging results. Pending the completion and return of the Finalist Documents and verification of eligibility and compliance with the Official Rules, the potential winners will be confirmed to move on to the live pitch phase of the competition.
5. GRAND PRIZE: The five (5) total Contest prizes will consist of five (5) 1st place prizes valued each at seven thousand US Dollars ($7,000); awarded in the form of a check sent via certified mail and provided by the Beacon State Fund. Winner cannot assign or transfer the prize to another person. ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES, AND ANY OTHER COSTS AND EXPENSES, ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY PRIZE ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER.
6. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION/RELEASES: Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. By participating, each Entrant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Hosts, which shall be final in all respects. By participating in this Contest and/or by accepting any prize that he or she may win, each Entrant agrees to release the Hosts, and their respective affiliates, divisions, subsidiaries, successors, assigns, and licensees, and each of their respective employees, shareholders, officers, directors, contractors, advertising and promotion agencies, agents and representatives (collectively, the "Released Parties") from any and all actions, claims, injury, loss or damage arising in any manner, directly or indirectly, from participation in this Contest and/or acceptance or use of any prize. Each Entrant authorizes the Contest Entities to use his/her name, voice, likeness, biographical data, city and state of residence and entry materials in programming or promotional material, worldwide in perpetuity, or on a winner's list, if applicable, without further compensation unless prohibited by law. Hosts are not obligated to use any of the above-mentioned information or materials but may do so and may edit such information or materials, at Hosts’ sole discretion, without further obligation or compensation. The Released Parties shall not be liable for: (i) late, lost, delayed, damaged, stolen, misdirected, postage-due, incomplete, unreadable, inaccurate, garbled or unintelligible entries, release forms, communications or affidavits, regardless of the method of transmission; (ii) telephone system, telephone or computer hardware, software or other technical or computer malfunctions, lost connections, disconnections, delays or transmission errors; (iii) data corruption, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to or alteration of entry or other materials; (iv) any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with or resulting from participation in the Contest; (v) acceptance, possession, grant, use of or participation in any prize or related prize event, including without limitation, personal injury, death and property damage arising there from; (vi) claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy; or (vii) any printing, typographical, human administrative or technological errors in any materials associated with the Contest. Hosts disclaim any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participating in or accessing or downloading information in connection with this Contest. Hosts reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend the Contest (or any portion thereof) should a virus, bug, computer problem, unauthorized intervention or other cause or problem corrupt or inhibit the administration, security or proper play of the Contest and, in such situation, to select the winner(s) from among all eligible non-suspect entries received prior to and/or after such action or in such manner as deemed fair and appropriate by the Host. Host may prohibit you from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines you are attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or any other unfair playing practices or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other players or Host's representatives.
7. INDEMNITY: ENTRANTS AGREE TO INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS THE RELEASED PARTIES FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY, ACTIONS, CLAIMS, DAMAGES, DEMANDS OR SUITS, WHATSOEVER, FOR ANY INJURIES, DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY ANY PERSON OR PROPERTY, COSTS, OR CLAIMS, INCLUDING ANY THIRD PARTY CLAIMS OR CLAIMS INVOLVING INTELLECTUAL OR INTANGIBLE PROPERTY RIGHTS, IN CONNECTION WITH (A) ENTRANT’S PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST (B) A BREACH OR ALLEGATION WHICH IF TRUE WOULD CONSTITUTE A BREACH, OF ANY OF WINNER’S REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES OR OBLIGATIONS HEREIN; AND (C) ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION, GRANT, PARTICIPATION IN, OR USE OF ANY PRIZE. ENTRANT SHALL BE LIABLE TO PAY ALL COSTS OF LITIGATION DEFENSE INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND EXPENSES. THE DEFENSE SHALL BE COORDINATED BY ENTRANT WITH HOSTS AND THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL; ENTRANTS MAY NOT AGREE TO ANY SETTLEMENT WITHOUT FIRST OBTAINING THE CONCURRENCE FROM HOSTS AND THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. ENTRANTS SHALL FURNISH TIMELY WRITTEN NOTICE TO HOSTS OF ANY SUCH CLAIM.
8. SUBMISSION REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES/INDEMNIFICATION: Each Entrant represents and warrants the Submission is the entrant’s own original work.
9. GRANT OF RIGHTS: Each Entrant into the Contest hereby irrevocably grants to Host, its designees, affiliates, successors and assigns, the non-exclusive, irrevocable, fully paid, universal license to use, copy, sublicense, transmit, distribute, publicly perform, publish, delete or display the Submission in any media now known or hereafter devised including, but not limited to all forms of electronic media, print media and all forms of internet and wireless protocol in perpetuity and throughout the universe for advertising, marketing, publicity and promotional purposes in connection with the Contest and other promotions. Hosts shall have the right, in their sole discretion, to edit, composite, morph, scan, duplicate, or alter the Submission for any purpose which Hosts deems necessary or desirable, and each Entrant irrevocably waives any and all so-called moral rights they may have therein.
10. GOVERNING LAW AND VENUE: This Contest and any disputes arising out of or relating thereto shall be governed by the laws of the State of Texas, without regard to any otherwise applicable conflict of law rules or requirements. Venue shall be exclusively in the Travis County District Court or the United States District Court, Western District of Texas - Austin Division. Entrants hereby irrevocably and unconditionally consent to the jurisdiction of the courts referenced above for the purpose of prosecuting and/or defending any such litigation. Entrants hereby waive and agree not to assert as a defense, or otherwise, in any suit, action or proceeding, any claim that Entrants are not subject to the jurisdiction of the above-named courts; the suit, action or proceeding is brought in an inconvenient forum; and/or the venue is otherwise improper.
11. NO WAIVER OF IMMUNITY: The Governor’s Commission for Women, as a part of the Office of the Governor, is immune from suit and from liability. No part of this Contest, these Official Rules, nor the conduct or statement of any person, will be construed as a waiver of sovereign immunity or official immunity, or of any of the privileges, rights, defenses, remedies, or immunities available to Office of the Governor, or the State of Texas, or their officers, employees, or agents as provided by law.
12. WINNER LIST: To obtain a copy of the Winner list, send your request, specifying that you are requesting the results of the “Texas Woman-Owned Small Business Pitch Competition,” along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to 1100 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701. Requests for the names of the winners must be received no later than October 31, 2022.