1. The competition
1.1 >>venture>> is an annual startup competition run by the >>venture>> foundation c/o Knecht Holding AG, Schwimmbadstrasse 1, 5210 Windisch (CHE-132.172.568). The >>venture>> foundation is a not-for-profit organization and participation in the competition and its events is free of charge for all participants.
1.2 Focus of the competition:
The >>venture>> startup competition 2023 starts on November 1, 2022, and ends with the Award Ceremony on June 26, 2023. The submission deadline is on March 2, 2023.
The competition is divided into two different tracks:
The Business Track is open to innovative and scalable startups or startup ideas across all industries. The Business Track is organized into five industry verticals: Finance & Insurance, Health & Nutrition, ICT, Industrials & Engineering, and Retail & Consumer Services.
The NPO Track is open to innovative not-for-profit organizations or not-for-profit ideas that contribute to at least one of the 17 UN sustainable development goals. The proposed or already established organization must focus on a not-for-profit purpose serving the public good. While aiming to become financially sustainable, it may not distribute or aim to distribute any profits to members or shareholders other than the beneficiaries identified in the organization’s purpose.
1.3 Participants need to submit the online entry form together with a 10-20 page PDF document, describing their startup plan.
2. Entitlement to participate
2.1 Participation is limited to Swiss Startups:
Participation is open to individuals who are residents of Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein and are at least 18 years of age. Participation is also open to teams that include at least one member who is a resident of Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein and is at least 18 years of age.
Participation is also open to individuals and teams that enter their startup plan via Swissnex (Boston/New York, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro/São Paulo, Shanghai, and Bangalore), provided that such teams include at least one Swiss national resident abroad.
For the Business Track: participation is not open to teams if, on the basis of their submitted startup plan, a company has been founded, or is intended to be founded, outside Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein.
For the NPO Track: not-for-profit organizations can be active in Switzerland or abroad, but they must be headquartered in Switzerland or the team must intend to do so.
2.2 Participation is open to early-stage startups:
For the Business Track: the competition is not open to individuals or teams if, on the basis of their startup plan, a company has been registered in the commercial register of Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein before January 1, 2021. Startups that have not been registered yet are entitled to participate.
For the NPO Track: the competition is not open to individuals or teams if, on the basis of their startup plan, a not-for-profit organization has already been established before January 1, 2018.
2.3 Purpose of the startup:
The startup shall not focus on a religious purpose, and benefits must be offered to stakeholders regardless of their religion.
The startup shall not focus on political lobbying or the direct exercise of political rights (e.g. no initiative committees, election campaigns).
2.4 Participating again in the competition:
Participants are allowed to re-enter the competition with the same startup plan (formerly termed "business plan") in subsequent editions, unless they have been selected as a winner. Winners are allowed to re-enter the competition with a different startup plan.
2.5 The >>venture>> office reserves the right to refuse participation to anyone for any reason deemed applicable by the >>venture>> office.
3. Conditions and forms of participation
3.1 Conditions and deadline to submit:
The condition for participation in the competition is the completion of the online entry form and the submission of a startup plan by 23:59 CET on March 2, 2023. The startup plan is considered as submitted if it is uploaded to the >>venture>> awards platform in PDF format in English before the deadline specified above. No other form of submission will be accepted.
>>venture>> at its own discretion, may extend the deadline for submissions in exceptional cases.
3.2 Ownership of information:
Documentation, patterns and models submitted for the competition shall become the property of >>venture>>. There is no entitlement to the return of such items at the conclusion of the competition. Any intellectual property rights (including copyrights) in the startup plan shall remain with the participants, but >>venture>> shall be entitled to use such intellectual property rights for the purpose of the competition.
3.3 By submitting a startup plan to >>venture>>, the participant agrees to be bound by these General Terms and Conditions.
3.4 >>venture>> may unilaterally amend these General Terms and Conditions. Participants will be notified by e-mail.
4.1 Finalists (Top 10) of each industry vertical in the Business Track and of the NPO Track will have the opportunity to connect with one or multiple mentors.
4.2 The extent and duration of the mentoring shall be determined by the participant(s) and the mentors. Mentors work on a pro bono basis. >>venture>> instructs mentors to commit at least three hours to any finalist team for the duration of the competition upon request by the team. Mentors may decline requests. Mentors are asked by >>venture>> to answer to team requests for two years beyond the end of the competition edition the team participated in on an ad-hoc basis. Any subsequent supportive relationship that goes beyond the suggested time investment by >>venture>> shall be subject to an agreement between mentor and team.
5. The jury's decision
5.1 The jury shall deliberate in private.
5.2 Formal requirements:
Entries that do not meet the formal requirements of the competition may be excluded from consideration by the jury. The formal requirements for consideration by the jury are the completion of the online entry form on the >>venture>> awards platform and the submission of a startup plan in the form of a 10–20 page PDF (including appendices).
5.3 Originality of idea:
Startup plans based on ideas that have already been implemented in identical or similar fashion, or that do not differ from an already implemented idea in any significant aspect, may be excluded from consideration by the jury.
Startup plans that are based on cases already entered in a previous >>venture>> competition by a different team may be excluded from consideration by the jury.
5.5 Jury’s feedback:
Each participant shall receive online access to the comments made by the jurors in jury rounds one and two before the end of the competition. Jurors shall remain anonymous unless they explicitly agree to the publication of their name.
5.6 The jury’s decision is final. No correspondence shall be entered into and there shall be no recourse to legal action against the decision by the jury.
6.1 The jury will select three winners per vertical in the Business Track and three winners in the NPO Track. The first-ranked teams will receive CHF 50’000, the second-ranked teams CHF 20’000 and the third-ranked teams CHF 10’000 in prize money.
6.2 For the Business Track: the jury will also select one Grand Prize winner across the five verticals out of the first ranked teams in each vertical. The Grand Prize winner will receive an additional CHF 100’000 in prize money.
6.4 The prizes will be paid by bank transfer to the winners chosen by the jury within one month after the receipt of a valid bank relation by the >>venture>> office from the winner.
6.5 Participants in the competition are not entitled to compensation for expenses of any kind.
7.1 The >>venture>> competition will be followed by the media. Photos, videos, and contributions to events and the award ceremony will be published in the media and in >>venture>> channels, such as on the >>venture>> website, newsletter and social media. Participants agree to such publications.
7.2 The winners of the competition promise to mention their successful participation in >>venture>> in their own communications in the future.
8. Data protection and liability disclaimer
All members of the >>venture>> office, mentors, industry contacts, jurors, experts at events, advisory board members, and other persons involved in the competition who have access to confidential participant or startup plan-related data, shall commit themselves toward the participants to the maintenance of confidentiality by means of a confidentiality declaration.
8.3 Publication of information:
No participant, team or startup plan-related data shall be published or divulged without the agreement of the participants, with the exception of information intended for publication, which is the startup name or provisional project name, the startup plan summary as entered in the online entry form (not the startup plan submitted as PDF document), and the industry vertical or track. Teams selected as finalists grant the permission to publish their team picture, logo, email address, and website in addition to the information above.
8.4 Team members of the winners (top 3) of each industry vertical and of the NPO Track selected by the >>venture>> jury grant >>venture>> the right to record a video about the team and its project and to publish it.
8.5 Data sharing with organizing institutions:
Participants grant >>venture>> the right to share their contact details (name, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses) with the organizing institutions (ETH Zurich, McKinsey & Company, Knecht Holding, Innosuisse, and EPFL) in addition to the information intended for publication on request by the organizing institutions.
Participants can opt to give access to their full data as entered in the online entry form and to their startup plan submission to selected research departments of the organizing institutions ETH Zurich (Department of Management, Technology and Economics) and EPFL (College of Management of Technology) for research purposes upon registration. If participants have checked the opt-in box on their registration profile at the time of the submission deadline, the >>venture>> office reserves the right to share their entire profile data with the above research departments on request by the departments and without any further notice to the participants. The research departments commit themselves to keeping all data received confidential. Any resulting scientific publications shall only contain aggregated and anonymized data. While >>venture>> encourages participants to make their data accessible to ETH Zurich and EPFL for research purposes, participants’ decisions on sharing their data have no effect on their participation in the competition.
8.6 >>venture>>, its organizers and the members of the advisory board disclaim any liability for any form of loss or damage, in particular, caused by employees or assistants, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 100 and 101 of the Swiss Code of Obligations.
9. Online registration with >>venture>>
9.1 Users of the >>venture>> online tools (in the following: user(s)) agree that their personal data will be stored in electronic form and, depending on the online tool, with a third party. The respective terms and conditions as well as privacy policies of such third party also apply. Registration, submission and the jury process are handled on Award Force, Award Force Pty Ltd., PO Box Q1118, QVB NSW 1230, Australia. Event registration and event management are handled on Eventbrite, Inc., a registered corporation in Delaware, USA 155 5th Street, Floor 7, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA, Registration Number: 4742147.
9.2 Users are responsible for the content of their online profiles and for the information they provide, and they declare the particulars they supply are true and correct.
9.3 Users are obligated to keep the password of their online profiles confidential. Users are not allowed to transfer or make their online profile available for use to third parties.
9.4 Each user may only generate one online entry on the >>venture>> awards platform per startup plan and one online entry on the >>venture>> event management platform per participant and event.
9.5 Users are obligated not to misuse the >>venture>> online tools, in particular not to:
Distribute defamatory, offensive or in any other way unlawful material or any similar material. In particular, this refers to pornographic, racist, inciting or similar contents.
Bring onto the >>venture>> online tools computer viruses (infected software) or software or other material that could in any way damage hardware or software of >>venture>>, other users of the platform or third parties.
Publish data that is copyright protected, unless the user is in possession of the usage rights.
9.6 >>venture>> reserves the right to expunge contents of the >>venture>> online tools without offering reasons, to change the entire platforms or parts thereof, or to cease their operation.
9.7 >>venture>> is not liable for the possible misuse of user data by third parties.