Eagle Innovation App Competition (APPCOM) Rules and Guidelines (version 1.7 2018)
Eagle Innovation APP Competition (APPCOM) is an application idea Competition, designed to solicit the best APP ideas from the greater USI community and connect those ideas to teams, mentors, and resources to develop APP ideas with the potential to effect job creation in Southwest Indiana.
APPCOM teams will prepare for an expo-style market selection of finalists. Up to five (5) finalists will be selected based on simulated capital raised during a mock investment exercise engaging the region’s entrepreneurial community. Finalists will continue to develop their app ideas, supported by workshops and mentors, for presentation in the Finals. Two (2) finalists will be selected by expert judges (e.g. VC, technical, industry) as winners of cash and/or other prizes. For the 2018 APPCOM, USI will contribute $20,000 toward prize money ($12,500 for 1st place and $7,500 for 2nd), with the possibility of additional cash and other prizes donated by sponsors to APPCOM toward advancing APP development and commercialization.
The Competition will be administered in three (3) phases: Submission, Pitch Development, and App Development.
Phase 1 - Submission
Up to one (1) month period when participants will submit their APP ideas through the APPCOM website. Orientation and team building events will be included during the submission period.
APP idea submissions will be reviewed by a panel who will evaluate APP ideas based on technical and commercial viability. Applications which are determined to be viable will be notified that they are eligible for participation in the APPCOM semifinal event. Applications which represents products already presented during APPCOM semifinal or finals events will not be selected.
Phase 2 - Pitch Development
Up to one (1) month period during which workshops will be provided to guide team preparation for the semifinals. Each team will represent their idea at a table with multimedia display explaining the user experience of their APP. Wire diagrams and/or pretotype versions (e.g. using Marvelapp) can be created to augment storyboards. APP teams will prepare short pitches (1 minutes, subject to change) to inform and attract attendees to their booth.
Finalists selection - Semifinals Expo
Semifinalists will present their APP ideas in an expo marketplace format. General public attendees will represent investors. Attendees will be provided play money to invest; experts/sponsors relevant to the APP ideas may be provided higher denominations toward preventing good ideas from being missed. APP teams will pitch their ideas and invite the audience to their booth. Attendees will be encouraged to do their due diligence and “invest” in the APP(s) of their choosing. Up to five (5) finalists will be chosen based on “investment” totals.
Phase 3 - App Development
Up to three (3) week period during which finalists will develop a proof of concept or minimum viable product to present to judges as part of their pitch (5 minutes, with up to 10 minutes of Q&A) demonstrating innovativeness and commercial and technical viability. Workshops will be held to support APP development and final pitch preparation.
Finalists will present their APP ideas to an expert panel representing technical and industry expertise, as well as venture capital. Two (2) finalists will be selected by judges as winners of cash and other prizes. For the 2018 APPCOM, USI will contribute $20,000 toward prize money ($12,500 for 1st place and $7,500 for 2nd), with the potential of additional cash and other prizes donated by sponsors and awarded by APPCOM.
All APPCOM competitors must include on their team a significant contributor (no less than one) with a USI email address who is a current student at USI. During the submission stage of the Competition, individual participants or teams of participants must submit their application ideas via the APPCOM website (http://www.usi.edu/outreach/technology-commercialization/appcom/) to have their idea considered.
Submissions will not be considered if they are incomplete, late, or cannot be viewed due to technical error or if the idea is not an original idea of the submitting participant or team of participants. By submitting their idea, participants acknowledge and hereby agree that they will fully comply with these program guidelines including all participation requirements and all applicable USI policies and regulations. Failure by a participant to adhere to any of the aforementioned conditions will result in withdrawal of such participant’s (or their team’s) idea from the Competition. USI reserves the right to withdraw submissions from the Competition at its sole discretion.
The 2018 Competition will open for submissions starting on 1/10/2018 and will accept entries until midnight on 2/24/2018 at which time the submission stage of the Competition will close. Eligible submissions received during the submission period will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of judges. Selected participants will be notified and invited to make a formal presentation during the live APPCOM Event on 3/24/2018. Up to five (5) finalists will be selected to pitch to an Expert panel on 4/14/2018. 1st and 2nd place will be selected.
All official APPCOM communications will be delivered through the USI email address provided on the submission form. The APPCOM team can be contacted through the “Contact Us” tab on the APPCOM website.
Submissions will be evaluated and scored on the conceptual merits of the APP idea, its potential for commercialization, and its marketability (or social impact in the case of non-commercial participants). APP ideas do not need to have been developed into software in order to be considered. Supporting documents may be included to help illustrate and/or clarify an idea (i.e. drawings, wireframes, videos or documents) and may be provided along with the application. Submissions with supporting documents will not necessarily have an advantage over the submissions without such materials, but documentation may help the judges understand the idea.
Intellectual Property and Ownership
Any USI-owned IP, i.e. acquired by USI or created with “Substantial Use of University Resources”, will be treated in accordance with USI’s policies governing Intellectual Property including USI Patent Policy (https://www.usi.edu/ospra/research-policies). Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to any APP idea that does not contain USI-owned IP, according to the USI Intellectual Property Policy, the participant will be free to pursue the development of their APP idea with no further obligation to APPCOM or USI, including no shared interest or equity.
Fees and Expenses
There is no registration fee to participate in the Competition. Participants will be solely responsible for their own out of pocket expenses incurred via participation in the Competition and/or APPCOM event, including travel and accommodation costs, if any.
Prize money will be awarded as follows:
20% of the prize money won by a team will be distributed to the individual USI student team members of the winning teams in equal proportion.
The remaining 80% of the prize money will be distributed to the company or entity that is moving the APP development forward (if neither is established, the USI student on the application will receive the funds on behalf of the team). The funds will be disbursed in two equal increments of 40% of the total prize money, based on milestones achieved that are outlined in the development plan. The payment and milestones schedule will be affirmed by a committee comprised of USI Technology Commercialization, faculty members in the entrepreneurship program, and additional entrepreneurship advisors may be included on the committee at the discretion of USI Technology Commercialization.
All agreed upon team milestones must be achieved and written notification to Technology Commercialization made by December 31st of the calendar year.
If established milestones are not achieved by the appropriate deadline, then any related payments will be forfeited and the winnings that are not paid will remain with the Eagle Innovation Accelerator for future competitions.
Payment for achievement of milestones will not be unreasonably withheld, and the decision as to whether certain milestones have actually been achieved will be determined by committee which shall have full discretion to make such determination.
Limitation of Liability
THE APPCOM COMPETITION AND ANY ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES THAT ARE OR MAY BE PROVIDED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ARE PROVIDED “AS IS.” USI MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, CONDITIONS, OR REPRESENTATIONS (EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ORAL OR WRITTEN), WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPETITION OR PROTOTYPES, OR ANY PART THEREOF, INCLUDING, AS TO CONDITION OF TITLE, NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILTIY, OR FITNESS OR SUITABILITY FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. USI WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTICIPANT/TEAM MEMBER, VC EXPERT, DEVELOPMENT PARTNER, OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY, LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO DATA, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, LOSS OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION, OR OTHER ECONOMIC DAMAGE), WHETHER ARISING IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER USI WAS ADVISED, HAD OTHER REASON TO KNOW, SHOULD HAVE ANTICIPATED, OR IN FACT KNEW OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH ARE INDEPENDENT OF, SEVERABLE FROM, AND TO BE ENFORCED INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OTHER ENFORCEABLE OR UNENFORCEABLE PROVISION HEREOF.
Waiver and Consent
By participating in the Competition, each participant and team member agrees as follows:
I recognize, acknowledge, and understand that participating in the Competition carries with it certain inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, including the risk of loss of patent, trade secret, or other IP protection for an app idea.
Notwithstanding the risks, which I recognize and accept, and in consideration of being permitted to participate in any way in the Competition, I, for myself, my heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby waive, release and discharge the Trustees of the University of Southern Indiana and its trustees, officers, employees and agents, from any and all claims for personal injury, accidents or illness (including death), and property damage, arising in any manner out of my participation in the Competition, including transportation to and from the Competition. I further acknowledge that the risks stated herein are not intended to be all inclusive and that my participation is voluntary and that I knowingly and voluntarily assume all risks known or unknown. I am eighteen (18) years of age or older.***
Spirit of the Competition
These guidelines are not all encompassing, and situations may arise that are not covered in this document. The organizers expect that any issues or disputes will be resolved in a spirit of friendly competition and professionalism. It is therefore expected that participants will maintain a proper standard of conduct and, above all, have a fun learning experience.
* Competition organizers, VC advisors, mentors, judges, sponsors, their employees, their spouses/domestic partners, and family members are not eligible to participate in the Competition.
**All dates subject to change.
***If you are under the age of 18, please contact APPCOM to obtain a parent/guardian consent form.