Maker Media Launch Pad Startup Challenge


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

1.   ELIGIBILITY: This Competition is open to companies or organizations considered “startups” at the time of application using the following criteria: (a) companies must have a functional product to demo; (b) companies must be less than 3 years old and have less than 10 employees; (c) companies must have less than $3 million in funding. In selecting final contestants, we will give preference to companies that launch for the first time to the public and press through our competition.  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 Sponsor or any of their respective affiliates; (c) employees of any other company or individual involved with the design, production, or execution of the Competition, 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; (d) companies launching new feature sets on existing products; (e) companies actively engaged in a crowdfunding campaign at the time of application.  (All of the foregoing are “Eligibility Criteria.”)

2.  COMPETITION DESCRIPTION: Organizations meeting the Eligibility Criteria who want to participate in the Competition (“Entrants”) must submit an application using the form available at (“Application”). In the Application, Entrants will submit their idea and images of an early stage product through a written description, photos, drawings, and/or video. A selection committee from the Sponsor will determine the top 10 finalists. The top ten finalist entries will be invited to exhibit at MakerCon Bay Area on May 12th and 13th, 2015, and given the opportunity to pitch their product to a panel of judges selected by the Sponsor. One grand prize winner will be selected by the judging panel. The grand prize winner will be announced at MakerCon Bay Area on May 13th, 2015, and will receive a $5,000 grant.

3.  ENTRY PERIOD: The period for submission of Applications opens at 12:01pm PDT on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015, and ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, March 31st, 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 Product; (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. 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 Product will be posted on the MakerCon website at (“Viewing URL”) for public viewing.  Selection of the top ten finalists will begin on April 1st, 2015, at 9:01am Pacific Time and will end on April 15th, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (“Selection Period”). During the Selection Period, the Selection Committee will choose ten entries they think best meet the following criteria: application to real world problem or need, commercial viability and target market, originality of idea or product, and quality of submission materials and documentation of the product (“Finalist Judging Criteria”). The top ten finalist entries will be invited to exhibit at MakerCon Bay Area on May 12th and 13th, 2015 at their own expense. The top ten finalists will receive a 6 foot table-top space to exhibit during the evening event on Tuesday, May 12th and complimentary passes to MakerCon for up to three (3) people (passes and table-top space valued at $4,685). The finalists will be given the opportunity to pitch their product to a panel of judges selected by the Sponsor; Judges will select one grand prize winner based on the following criteria: attractiveness of the business model, quality and originality of product, market opportunity and competitive positioning, team qualifications and experience, quality of pitch presentation. The grand prize winner will be announced at MakerCon Bay Area, and will receive a $5,000 grant.

6.    WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT:  The ten Finalist Entries will be announced via the Make: blog at and the MakerCon website by the week of April 20, 2015 and the (10) finalist Entrants will be notified via email or phone prior to that date (see paragraph 9). The Grand Prize winner will be announced at MakerCon Bay Area on May 13th,, 2015.

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 10 finalists will be invited to exhibit at MakerCon Bay Area at their own expense on May 12th and 13th,  and will be given up to 3 complimentary passes to the conference. Finalists must be present at MakerCon Bay Area 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 10 finalists will be notified by April 20th, 2015, subject to verification of compliance with the Eligibility Criteria. The grand prize winner will be announced at MakerCon on May 13th. Sponsors are not responsible for any change of an Entrant’s email address or other contact information. If any notification or Competition-related communication is rejected, faulty, returned as undeliverable; if the potential winner or runner up does not respond according to the notifications or Sponsor’s 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 Sponsor (as determined by Sponsor in their sole discretion), that winner or runner up may be disqualified and an alternate winner or runner up may be selected by Sponsor. In the event that a potential winner or runner up is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor 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 Sponsor.  By submitting an Application, each Entrant grants to Sponsor a worldwide, sublicensable, perpetual right and license to reproduce, publish, modify, create derivative works of, create prototypes of, and display the Application, the Product, 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 and, social media platforms, and in or on any other platform in which Sponsor participate.  You acknowledge and agree that Sponsor 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 Product 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 Product 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 Product, 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 Sponsor under any obligation, and that Sponsor 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, Sponsor 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 Sponsor in a position that is any different from the position held by members of the general public with regard to elements of the Competition, other than as set forth in these Rules. You acknowledge and agree that Sponsor 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 SPONSOR IN CONNECTION WITH THE COMPETITION. By entering the Competition, submitting an Application, and/or accepting a prize, you agree to release Sponsor, 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 Competition, 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 Sponsor and their respective agents, to use your name, likeness, and all Application submission materials, including the Product, 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:    Sponsor’s 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 Competition-related materials and/or these Rules (including any alleged discrepancy or inconsistency in these Rules), it will be resolved in Sponsor’s sole discretion.  Applicants waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Competition 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 Competition site or to circumvent these Rules will invalidate the Application.

16.  GOVERNING LAW: The Competition 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 Competition (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 Competition.