OFFICIAL RULES // Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Challenge

The Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Business Model Competition is designed to foster entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial spirit, grow jobs through startups, and increase awareness of the resources available to grow entrepreneurs. All winners will be selected on an objective basis as determined by the criteria set forth below. You must read and comply with these rules to enter the Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Challenge Business Model Competition.

The is open to all participants who meet the following criteria:

  • The model must be an original idea for a business from idea up to five years in operation.
  • Applicants need not be based in Silicon Valley, but they must agree to establish or expand business operations in Silicon Valley if they win.
  • Company officers/members are 17 years or older at the time of the entry deadline, May 31, 2018 at 11:59 pm, and are legal residents of the United States.
  • Not-For-Profit submissions will not be accepted.

Fill out the official Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Challenge Business Model submission short form. Your submission must contain the following information:

    • Your business idea
    • Need and/or solution being filled
    • Product and/or service
    • Market size
    • Target customer
    • Revenue streams
    • Management team
    • Strategy to market
    • Funding requirements, if any

    Submissions will be accepted May 3rd through May 31st, 2018.

    Judges will review submitted Business Models and those selected to enter the competition will be notified of their acceptance by June 6, 2018.

    If selected for the competition, a comprehensive Business Model and financials will be required for submission by July 5th @ 11:59pm. Instructions and a link to an online Business Model long form will be sent to those invited to participate in the Competition.

    All information will be kept confidential. The judges may require verification of certain information during the review of the business model. Only complete online business model forms will be considered.

    Any questions regarding submission of business models should be addressed to [email protected] The Representatives of the Competition will not respond to direct inquiries regarding the contest other than general administrative questions.

The winners will be determined from all eligible entrants. The winners will be presented awards at the StartUp Cup Competition Celebration to be held on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Winners must be present to accept awards. All finalists will be expected to participate in or attend the Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Competition Celebration and may be required to make a brief presentation about their companies during the celebration. The winning business model may receive entrepreneurial/ Strategic Partner support, prize money, and/or introductions to additional funding sources. Additional prizes may be awarded to other entrants. Other entrants must be present to accept these awards.


There is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that any business will receive an award. Should no entries into the competition meet the entry criteria; should no entry have a reasonable chance for success; and should the selection committee determine no winner exists for that year of the competition, no award will be made for that year and any awards may be used for the following year’s competition. The odds of winning a prize depends upon the skill of the entrants and the number of entries received. If cash awards are made, all taxes associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Prizes are not transferable.

Decisions will be made by a panel of judges. The judging panel will evaluate the plans on the basis that the Company:

  • has a reasonable opportunity for success of the business model
  • meets an identifiable need and actively tests market response
  • has a strong execution strategy
  • has identified and allocated resources to be successful
  • utilizes resources effectively
  • has a believable competitive advantage
  • has a sound target market and customer base
  • has revenue and profit models that fit
  • has strong, coachable management team
  • has contribution to uniqueness of the Silicon Valley
  • has realistic time-frame for company growth

The entrants to the Competition will be judged on the merits of their business models with three presentations made to the panel of judges. The first presentation will include the top twenty-five business models. The second presentation will include the top twelve business models and the final round of presentations will include the top seven business models.

In the event of a tie, the judges will select the model that has the higher score under “Reasonable opportunity for success of the company.” All decisions regarding the criteria will be made solely by the organizers and sponsors. All decisions of the judges are final. These Official Rules and the decisions of the judging panel are final and binding in all respects.

The winners will be announced at the Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Award Celebration. The date for this event is November 15, 2018. In addition to complying with the conditions set forth, as a condition of receiving a prize, each winner must sign an affidavit of eligibility and publicity/liability release. Failure to sign and return all of these forms within 14 days following notification will result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. Non-compliance within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. The Winners list will be available after the official awarding of prizes at the Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Award Celebration.

• Other Funding or Competitions  Teams that have already secured funding from any source must disclose the amounts and sources at the time of entry, or as soon as they become aware of any funding commitment during the duration of the competition. Teams that have entered a model into any other business plan competition must disclose this at the time of entry or as soon as they enter their model in another competition during the duration of the Competition.

• Original Work of Authorship  All entries must be original and free from any claim of copyright or other restriction relating to the Competition.

• Number of Entries  No individual may be included as a “team member” on more than one business model, and no business may enter more than one business model.

• Payment of Prizes  If cash awards are made,  the sponsors/judges do not constitute an investment in the winning business model. Sponsors/judges will not receive equity in the winning companies in exchange for the prize money. Awards to the winners of the Competition will be issued in the name of the company as set forth in the plan and the sponsors/judges do not assume any liability for any subsequent distribution.

• Competition  No responsibility is assumed and entrants waive all claims for lost, late or misdirected entries, or for any problems of technical malfunction of any telephone or network lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry received by Sponsors on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, the website or any combination, thereof including, without limitation, any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer resulting from any causes, including without limitation downloading any materials in the promotion.

• Entrants  Those who violate these Official Rules, tamper with the operation of the Contest or engage in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to Sponsors, the Competition, or any other entrant (in each case as determined in Sponsors’ sole discretion) are subject to disqualification from entry into the Competition. Sponsors reserve the right to lock out any entrant whose eligibility is in question.

• Release and Waiver   By entering, participants, without limitation, release and hold harmless Sponsors, judges, coaches, and their respective directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind in connection with the Competition. By entering this Competition, you agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity or error in these Official Rules or in the Competition itself. If you have any questions about these Official Rules or the Competition, please contact: [email protected]