accelerate

The MIT $100K Accelerate Contest launched for the first time in 2011. The contest is all about building stuff – it’s about execution. 36 teams with the most potential will be selected by the judges to go through to the Accelerate phase during IAP. These teams will receive $1,000 each to spend on their ideas, and we’ll pair them up with rockstar mentors and designers. We’ll also help them secure work space.

The teams will then spend IAP executing. This could include:

  • Prototyping/Hacking
  • Seeking customer validation
  • Collecting data for proof of concept
  • Rolling out a beta product

We’ll conclude with Demo Day on February 20, 2014, when the teams will get to showcase their ideas and progress. The team that does the best job of executing and shows the most potential will win the $10,000 Daniel M. Lewin Grand Prize!

The following are all of the prizes and all of the money given out for the Accelerate Contest:

  • Daniel M. Lewin Grand Prize for $10,000
  • Audience Choice Award for $2,000
  • Semifinalist expense accounts for up to $1,000 per team

This contest is for all tracks – Emerging Markets, Energy, Life Sciences, Mobile, Products & Services and Web/IT. Depending on your track, demos could include anything from proof of concept to market validation to an alpha/beta product.

 

Eligibility

There is no fee for entry into Accelerate Contest.

Team Composition/Size

  • Submissions may be entered by individuals or teams of up to 7 people. Note: Actual team size may be larger, but the $100K Organizing Committee will only officially acknowledge 7 members.
  • Each team must have at least one currently registered MIT student; if you are submitting as an individual, you must be a currently registered MIT student. Post-doctoral researchers may be on teams but they cannot count as the “MIT student” on a given team.
  • Currently registered MIT students include all full-time and part-time undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students.
  • MIT students must submit using their @mit.edu email address at the time of submission.

Tracks

  • Each individual or team may enter one idea, and the same idea cannot be entered in more than one track. Students may participate on multiple teams, but can only serve as the qualifying MIT student on one team. Teams are encouraged to seek the involvement of MIT faculty, alumni, post-docs, researchers, staff, students from other schools, and people from outside the MIT community.
  • Any individual may only serve as the qualifying MIT student for one team per track. A single individual cannot be the sole qualifying student for two teams within the same track.
  • The MIT $100K Organizing Committee reserves the right to admit any given idea to a track different from the one selected at the time of registration.
  • If admitted to a track other than the one selected, the Organizing Committee will communicate this decision to the team/individual.

Funding

  • Entrants must disclose any funding already received.
  • Entrants must not have accepted any institutional funding for the idea being presented.
  • Institutional funding includes any type of funding that gives anyone outside the team (including non-managing founders) an equity stake in the business.
  • Entrants must not have accepted any non-institutional funding in excess of $100,000.
  • Non-institutional funding includes any type of funding where there is no equity ownership associated with the funding (e.g. funds from contests, grants, friends and family, bank loans, etc.).
  • Funding for one’s academic research does not count as the non-institutional funding with the above limit.
  • There are forms of funding that may fall into a gray area. In these cases, the MIT $100K Organizing Committee will deliberate on the eligibility and communicate the decision to the team. The decision of the Organizing Committee is final and cannot be appealed.

Content

  • Submissions must be the original work of entrants.
  • Any team/individual discovered to be submitting others’ ideas without appropriate consent and attribution will be immediately disqualified and will have to return any awarded amount.

Presentations

  • If selected as a finalist, at least one team member must be present at both the Demo Day and Finale Show in February 19, 2013. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the forfeiture of any prize won.
  • In addition, an MIT student needs to be involved in presentation during the Finale Show.
  • Contestants are expected to behave respectfully to all other contestants, sponsors, judges, volunteers, and audience members.
  • Each team will give a five minute presentation at Demo Day.

The MIT $100K Organizing Committee retains the right to refuse participation in, or viewing of, the Accelerate Contest to any individuals not in compliance with the Contest rules and spirit.

Demo

At the end of the Accelerate phase each team is required to present a demo to showcase their ideas and progress. A demo can be anything that helps the judging panel and the audience understand how the idea works and demonstrates the progress made during the Accelerate phase. We recognize that demos may take very different forms for different tracks, and every team will have to check with the $100K Organizing Committee to verify the acceptability of the demo for the Demo Day presentation and the Finale Show.

 

Press

All teams are required to participate in media and press opportunities related to the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. This includes, but is not limited to, the following opportunities:

  • Any team may be asked to provide a 150-200 word description that will be made available to media and may be released publicly, either in part or in its entirety.
  • Any team may be asked to speak to the media for competition related interviews when requested by the organizing committee.
  • Any team may be asked to provide quotes and/or content for any competition related press releases.
  • Participating in media and press opportunities in no way, shape, or form requires teams to disclose any proprietary or otherwise confidential information related to their businesses. The MIT $100K organizing committee agrees to provide consultation to any team, upon request, to avoid such disclosures while participating in press related opportunities.

 

Prize Payments

Prize payments will be distributed as follows:

  • Equal shares of any prize money won will be paid to each individual on a winning team
  • If equity (stock) is divided among the team members, then teams with non-MIT students can only receive equity if the MIT students on the team also have equity in the company
  • The individual recipients of prize money will be responsible for the tax implications of their winnings
  • Teams may forfeit their individual shares of prize money in favor of granting the full amount of the prize money to a registered business entity if, and only if, all of the following conditions are met:
    • Team registered as a business entity prior to the date the prizes are awarded
    • Team has a Federal Tax Identification Number (also known as an Employer ID Number) prior to the date that prizes are awarded
    • All members of the team have agreed in writing to forfeit their individual portions of the prize money in favor of granting the full amount of the prize money to the registered business entity. We strongly recommend that teams seek legal consultation prior to signing such an agreement.
  • MIT faculty are not eligible for prize money; the payment they receive is distributed among team members. However, they can participate on teams.

Note that prize payments are treated as income by MIT and the IRS, regardless of whether the payment is made to an individual or a company. Non-U.S. citizens are taxed on their prize money up front at a rate of 30%, which is withheld from their prize checks.

 

Confidentiality

Access to submitted executive summaries is only granted by the MIT $100K Organizing Committee to the members of its judging panel. The MIT $100K Organizing Committee, the IT team, and the Judging team members are the only other individuals who may be provided with the submitted executive summaries by the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Reasonable steps are taken to limit access to the submitted executive summaries (collectively referred to as “summaries”).

The judges of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition are venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and lawyers who are used to dealing with confidential material on a regular basis. If some part of the entered executive summary is confidential, contestants will need to clearly mark that information as “CONFIDENTIAL,” and the MIT $100K Organizing Committee will retain that legend in any copy of the summary provided to the members of the judging panel. However, even if contestants mark their information as confidential, there will be no confidentiality obligation by any recipient of the summary for information which: (a) is publicly available prior to the time of its disclosure to the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition or becomes publicly available thereafter through no wrongful act of the recipient, or (b) was known to the recipient prior to the date of disclosure or becomes known to the recipient thereafter from a third party having an apparent bona fide right to disclose the information, or (c) is disclosed by recipient in accordance with your approval, or (d) is disclosed by you or any member of your team without restriction on further disclosure, or (e) is independently developed by a recipient; or (f) the recipient is obligated to disclose to comply with applicable laws or regulations, or with a court or administrative order.

The identities of the contestants and the short description of the business disclosed in the registration, as well as any pitch delivered during any MIT $100K event are considered of public domain and can be used by the MIT $100K Organizing Committee for marketing and PR purposes.

 

Intellectual Property

Before submitting entries, the MIT $100K Organizing Committee urges contestants to confirm with appropriate advisors or legal counsel that any intellectual property described in their summary is protected; i.e., by appropriate intellectual property filings, notices, (patent, copyright, etc) by the owning institution and/or individuals. The MIT $100K Organizing Committee also recommends that contestants determine in advance whether their summary describes a technology, invention, copyrightable work or other intellectual property owned by MIT in accordance with MIT Policy. The MIT Technology Licensing Office is available to answer any related questions.

For any doubt about the legal status of contestants’ own or third party intellectual property or any other aspect of their plan, the MIT $100K Organizing Committee advises teams to seek independent legal counsel.

 

Miscellaneous

MIT MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND CONCERNING THE MIT $100K ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPETITION, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. IN NO EVENT SHALL MIT, ITS TRUSTEES, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, STUDENTS, THE MIT $100K ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPETITION JUDGES AND MENTORS, AND AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, INFORMATION OR DECISIONS MADE FOR OR ON BEHALF OF THE MIT $100K ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPETITION OR FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING ECONOMIC DAMAGES OR INJURY TO PROPERTY AND LOST PROFITS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER MIT SHALL BE ADVISED, SHALL HAVE OTHER REASON TO KNOW OR IN FACT SHALL KNOW OF THE POSSIBILITY OF THE FOREGOING.