Open Challenge Sprint Guidelines

TechConnect Ventures' Open Challenge Sprints

1. SPRINT OBJECTIVE: See the Sprint Rules and the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage.

2. DEFINITIONS: All capitalized terms in these Guidelines have the same definitions as ascribed in the official Challenge Rules, Terms & Conditions.

3. TIMELINE: See the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage for specific details. The Sprint shall launch on the Launch date so indicated. The Sprint shall cease accepting submissions on the Deadline date so indicated. Pitch Events, other milestones and activities shall be assigned dates either as indicated or shall be announced at a date to be determined.

4. SOLVER ENTRY: All Solver Entries shall include two components, which must be completed and submitted prior to the Sprint Deadline to be determined eligible: a) the Submission page webform ("Submission"); and b) the uploaded Solver pitch sdocument ("Pitch Document").

The Submission can be accessed through the Submission Page link on the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage. The Submission is completed through an interactive webform which includes all of the necessary fields and instructions necessary for Solvers to complete their Entry. A completed Submission Page is required for eligibility. Details about Entries and eligibility requirements can be found in the Challenge Rules and on the Sprint Challenge webpage.

For security purposes, the Submission Page does not allow for Entries to be saved and completed at a later date. Instead, a downloadable template (.doc format) of the Submission Page with all associated fields is available on the Challenge webpage and the Submission Page. Solvers are encouraged to first complete their entry offline using the provided template and then copy/paste the appropriate content into the Submission Page fields when they are prepared to submit the Entry. Solvers are encouraged to take note of all instructions, word counts, page limits, file format limits and other requirements that are provided in the Sprint webpages, templates, and other critical resources.

The Pitch Document is a Solver-generated presentation which provides a unique overview of the Solver's technology, research, innovations, capabilities and/or business model and which is complementary to the Submission webform. Pitch Documents offer Solvers a customizable pathway to share critical details and information about their innovation to Judges and Seekers, which is not otherwise represented on the Submission Page. For convenience, a pre-formatted template and recommendations for content to be included are provided on the Challenge webpage and the Submission Page. However, Solvers are not required to use the template and may exercise their own discretion in deciding what is included in the Pitch. Solvers are free to use any existing slides, presentations, branding, etc. of their own creation, provided that the final Pitch Document complies with the parameters listed below.

Regardless of the template used, all Pitch Documents are bound by the following parameters:

  • Must include only non-confidential information
  • Must be no more than five (5) slides (not including title and contact information pages)
    • Only the first five (5) slides of content (not including title and contacts) will be reviewed by the Judging Panel. Additional content will not be acknowledged or considered in the Judging Panel evaluation of the Entry.
  • Must be presentation-ready
  • Must be in .pdf format only
    • Documents uploaded under any other file type shall be deemed ineligible and the Entry marked as incomplete.
  • Must not include any embedded videos
    • They will not be playable and thus not reviewable by the Judging Panel.
  • Must not include any hyperlinks or links to external content, including videos, except where otherwise noted or specified on the applicable Sprint Challenge page.
    • Information that is linked or referenced by hyperlink shall not be review or considered as part of the Entry

Unless otherwise noted, all Entries must include a completed Pitch Document to be considered eligible. Please take note of all criteria, page limits, file format requirements and other instructions provided. The Judging Panel will review the Pitch Document alongside the Submission to make their determinations of any Top Innovators and Winners. See the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage for any additional Entry requirements, criteria and/or specifications.

5. PITCH EVENTS: TechConnect Ventures hosts competitive Pitch Events (at its discretion) as an expanded forum for Solvers to promote their technologies to potential commercial partners in the Seeker community. Pitch Events are attended by an audience of TechConnect Venture's Judges and external Seekers who are enrolled in the Sprint (or Sprints).

Pitch Events are invitation only engagements. Solvers must be invited by TechConnect Ventures in order to attend a Pitch. See sections for Sprint Challenge Judging and Awards sections below, in addition to the official Sprint Rules for more details.

Not every individual Sprint will feature its own individual Pitch Event. For competitive purposes, any single Pitch Event may feature Solver presentations representing one or more Sprints and topic areas. Solvers selected as Top Innovators and invited to the Pitch Event may expect to be competing with other Top Innovators from unrelated Sprints. The Pitch Event may take place weeks or months after any given Sprint has been completed.

The Pitch Event may be held in a variety of formats, including through digital web conference, virtual Event platforms, in-person presentations at a physical event, and more.

For various reasons, TechConnect Ventures may choose not to feature the Sprint at a Pitch Event.

6. ELIGIBILITY: See the Sprint Rules and the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage.

7. EVALUATION CRITERIA (CHALLENGE ENTRY): See the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage for topic-specific details and criteria.

8. SPRINT CHALLENGE JUDGING: The Sprint may include up to two rounds of Judging, including: a) Judging Panel evaluation of the digital Entries submitted by Solvers; and b) Judging Panel evaluation of the live Pitches from Solvers.

After the Deadline, the Judging Panel will evaluate all digital Entries (Submissions and Pitch Documents). The Judging Panel will determine and select any Top Innovators from the Sprint to participate in Pitch Events or receive any additional Awards.

9. SPRINT PITCH JUDGING: At the end of any Pitch Event, the Judging Panel will evaluate all Pitches in order to determine any Winner (or Winners) from amongst all of the Top Innovators. Winner selection will be based on the strength of the Pitch relative to all others. The Pitch Event may include presentations from Top Innovators selected from one (1) or more Sprints.

See the Sprint Rules and the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage for more details.

10. AWARDS: The Sprint may include up to two rounds of Awards and Winner acknowledgements, including: a) selection of Top Innovators and Invitations to a Pitch Event; and b) selection of overall Winners from amongst all Solvers participating in the Pitch Event.

The Top Innovator(s) from the Challenge Stage will be notified and publicly announced on the Sprint webpage, and may be awarded with a subsidized Innovation Showcase Package at an upcoming TechConnect Innovation Conference and Expo ("TechConnect Event") or with an Invitation to formally pitch their Entry at a TechConnect-sponsored virtual or physical Pitch Event.

Pitch Event Winners will be notified and publicly announced on the Sprint webpage, and may be awarded with a subsidized Innovation Showcase Package or other Awards/Prizes, as indicated on the applicable Challenge Sprint webpage. TechConnect's Innovation Showcases represent a unique and vetted pipeline for our huge community of Innovation Seekers in the corporate, federal and investment sectors to discover and connect with emerging technologies such as yours.

Innovation Showcase Package details may vary based on Event, but generally include:

  • One (1) full three-day conference pass with access to co-located programs
  • Turnkey 6'x8' showcase booth with basic materials and furniture
  • Access to TechConnect Networking Platform
  • Listing in the official Show Guide and Opportunity Reporting

Winners awarded with a subsidized Showcase Package at a future TechConnect Event will be further contacted by the appropriate TechConnect Event staff with additional details regarding their Showcase.

See the Sprint Rules and the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage for full additional details about Awards.

11. ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES: Solvers may also benefit from expanded opportunities for broad exposure of their Entry to potentially dozens of commercial partners enrolled as Seekers in the Sprint. These added potential incentives, include: a) Sprint Opportunity Reports; and b) non-Winner Showcase invitations.

The Sprint Opportunity Report is a comprehensive portfolio of all Entries submitted to the Sprint. Participating Innovation Seekers receive access to the Report and are immediately able to contact you at any time, at no risk to you. TechConnect Ventures may also reach out to you on behalf of Seekers to facilitate introductions. Sprint Opportunity Reports are non-public document and will only be made available to Seekers participating in the Sprint.

Non-Winner Showcase invitations may be offered to any Solver independently from the Sprint to which they have submitted their Entry. All Entries submitted to TechConnect Ventures will be automatically included in TechConnect's selective, invitation-only evaluation of hundreds of novel innovations submitted by global innovators. Only a fraction of innovations evaluated are invited to participate and showcase technologies at our annual Events. Compelling Entries that are not selected as Winners may still be independently selected by TechConnect's Event evaluators and extended an exclusive invitation to present at an upcoming Conference or Event. Non-Winner Showcases invitations require the Solver to pay a combined showcase/registration fee.

See the Sprint Rules and the applicable Sprint Challenge webpage for additional details about Awards. Click HERE to review the official Rules.