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Forward for Good Accelerator
Terms & Conditions

Official Rules

Entrants hereby confirm acceptance of these Official Rules and agree to be bound by them when entering this Contest.

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

  1. General Overview of the Contest. Verizon Forward for Good Accelerator: Disability Innovation Cohort (the “Accelerator" or “Cohort”) is a nationwide search for the biggest and brightest technology solutions that will improve quality of life and/or remove barriers for those with disabilities.  These Official Rules of the Accelerator  (the "Official Rules") describe the manner in which the selection of teams for participation in the Accelerator  will be conducted. As described in detail below, there are two separate vetting rounds where teams and individuals from Verizon, Alley NYC LLC (Alley) and program partners will assess each project based on a set criteria and rubric. The application process will be administered by Alley.
  1. Eligibility. The Accelerator is only open to corporate and non-profit entities organized under the laws of the United States with 200 employees or fewer. Employees, officers and directors of Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc. (“Verizon” or "Sponsor") and its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, dealers, agents, advertising and promotion agencies, and vendors (who are related to the administration of the Accelerator) are not eligible to enter. 

Entrants (any entity that submits a Cohort application is referred to individually as an “Entrant”, and all entities are collectively the “Entrants”) must comply with the applicable laws, decrees, regulations and guidelines of their jurisdiction, and Sponsor will have no obligation to change or modify any of the Official Rules or take any further action as a result of such laws, decrees, regulations or guidelines of their jurisdiction, except as is otherwise provided in the Official Rules.



We will look for Entrants to show how their ideas use leading edge technology for positive change in connection with –the specific impact area of the cohort for which they are applying.  For the current cohort, the focus is Disability Innovation.

1. How to Enter: Round 1 – Initial Cohort Submission Round.

To apply for the Cohort, visit verizonforwardforgood.com (the "Cohort Website"), follow all instructions to fill out an online submission form which includes a description of your initial submission and how it relates to the applicable impact area ("Cohort Submission") via the form provided on the Cohort Website.  Entrants must read and agree to the Official Rules, and select the "Submit Entry" option.

  1. Entrants can submit their Cohort Submission from 6:00 A.M. United States Eastern Daylight Time on September 20, 2021 through 11:59 P.M. United States Eastern Daylight Time on November 1, 2021. All submissions in all Rounds must be in the English language. All submissions relating to this Contest regardless of the Round are described here under as “Cohort Submissions.”
  2. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify this Cohort in the event an insufficient number of eligible or satisfactory entries are received, and Sponsor further reserves the right to cancel or modify this Cohort as a result of any applicable law, regulation, decree or guideline. If Sponsor decides to cancel or modify this Cohort in accordance with these Official Rules, it will provide a notice of such cancellation or modification on the Cohort Website at verizonforwardforgood.com
  3. By entering, each Entrant warrants and represents the following with respect to each Cohort Submission they submit: (a) Entrant is the sole and exclusive owner of the Cohort Submission and such Cohort Submission is not subject to any claim of ownership by any third party; (b) the Cohort Submission is Entrant's own creation and is 100% original; (c) the Cohort Submission will not infringe on any intellectual property, proprietary, moral, or other rights of any third parties; (d) any third parties appearing in the Cohort Submission have given Entrant appropriate consent to be used as permitted herein and Entrant will, upon the request of Sponsor, provide verifiable evidence of all such necessary consents obtained; (e) the Entrant has all appropriate rights to use, and to grant Sponsor the right to use, any third party content or technology used to develop or contained in the Cohort Submission; (f) the Cohort Submission and the Entrant's participation do not violate the rights of any third party or any local, state, provincial, national or foreign law, including any right of publicity, right of privacy or any other proprietary right; (g) the Cohort Submission does not contain the confidential information of any third party, and to the extent it contains Entrant’s confidential information, such information immediately becomes non-confidential the moment Entrant submits the Cohort Submission; (h) the Cohort Submission is submitted by an employee of Entrant on Entrant's behalf who has the power to do so on behalf of the Entrant, and not on behalf of any third party.
  4. All Entrants must provide and maintain a valid email address for the duration of the Cohort. Sponsor is entitled to send any correspondence associated with this Cohort by e-mail.  Entrants are responsible for making sure that they can be reached by email.  If an Entrant cannot be reached or fails to timely respond to an email, the Entrant may be disqualified or forfeit the remaining prize. Each Entrant may submit more than one (1) Cohort Submission.  Receipt of Cohort Submission will be acknowledged through the submission process. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, stolen, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, misdirected, technically corrupted or garbled Cohort Submissions, which will be disqualified, or for problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic which are beyond Sponsor’s reasonable control. Only fully completed Cohort Submission forms that address all questions are eligible. Proof of submission will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Sponsor.

2. Round 1 Selection Process

Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disqualify any Cohort Submissions that for any reason it considers to be inappropriate, indecent, pornographic, obscene, violent, slanderous, libelous, defamatory, discriminatory, hateful, untruthful or inaccurate, including without limitation, for depicting or mentioning sex, obscenity, violence, drugs, alcohol and/or inappropriate, slanderous or defamatory language, for promoting bigotry, discrimination, hatred or harm against any race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age, or for being unlawful or violating any laws, decrees, or rules and regulations in the United States or in the jurisdiction where it is created or submitted.

During Round 1, a panel of judges ("Judges"), selected by Sponsor in its sole discretion and the composition of which may vary in each Round, will evaluate and score the eligible Cohort Submissions based on the Cohort Criteria (as defined below). Cohort Submissions that have been scored and deemed to meet the Cohort Criteria, as determined by the Judges, in their sole discretion, will advance to Round 2 of the Review Process. Sponsor and the Judges reserve the right to either disqualify any ineligible Cohort Submissions or to request that any Entrant re-submit a Cohort Submission to conform to these Official Rules during Round 1, or within a time-frame communicated by Sponsor. Should any Entrant be asked to re-submit a Cohort Submission and fail to do so during Round 1 or within the time-frame and/or manner communicated by Sponsor, such Entrant may be disqualified in Sponsor's sole discretion.

 

Cohort Submissions will be evaluated and scored by Judges based on if they fulfill the impact area criteria of having an innovative technology solution that improves quality of life, removes barriers and/or unlocks opportunity for people with disabilities, using their sole discretion. Once confirmed, they will be scored, using their sole discretion, based upon the following Cohort Criteria (the order does not denote value):

 

  1. Nuanced understanding of scope and significance of the need they are trying to address and solution that clearly addresses the unmet need
  2. Inspiring solution that leverages next-gen technology (e.g. 5G, MEC, Data Science, AI, and XR)
  3. Compelling business model with a clear path to scalability. Understands and addresses customer pain points
  4. Demonstrates a holistic integration of people with disabilities into their organization

 

Entrants whose Contest Submissions are selected by the Judges, based on the above Cohort Criteria, to advance to Round 2 of the Review Process will be notified by email on or about November 16, 2021 (such date subject to change, in Sponsor's sole discretion, with reasonable notice of modified dates to be given on verizonforwardforgood.com). The relevant Entrants must respond to such email notification within five (5) days or their Cohort Submission(s) may be excluded from winning a prize or proceeding to the next Round of Review.

3. Round 2- Interview

During Round 2 of the Review Process, Cohort Entrants selected by the Judges from Round 1 will have the opportunity to be interviewed about their Cohort Submissions.  Verizon reserves the right to define subject matter experts as both Verizon employees as well as outside experts in their respective field of the Cohort Submission. Entrants may also be requested to submit supplemental information. 

4. Selection.

From the Round 2 Cohort Submissions (the “Cohort Finalists”),  the Judges will select the Winners, who will be invited to participate in the Accelerator Cohort. Cohort Finalists will be notified on or about December 22, 2021. Final Judging Criteria: The Cohort Finalists will be evaluated and scored by the Judges, using their sole discretion, based upon the following criteria ("Final Judging Criteria"):

  1. Alignment with Citizen Verizon corporate strategy
  2. Ability to have a positive impact in the disability community
  3. Success and revenue assessment

5. Prizes.

Winners will be selected to participate in the Verizon Forward for Good Accelerator: Disability Innovation Cohort, a 16-week program that will provide education, mentorship, networking, and exposure.  Upon acceptance into the cohort, Winners will be asked to sign a Participation Agreement.  Upon signing the Participation Agreement, the following cash prizes will be awarded in the form of electronic funds transfer (“EFT”) or a cheque (check) in United States currency:

Five (5) to seven (7) Entrants will be selected for participation in the Accelerator and receive a prize of $50,000 upon acceptance. 

For the purposes of these Official Rules, “Winner” means any entity selected to receive a prize. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of comparable or greater value at its sole discretion. Prizes are non-transferable. No substitution or cash redemptions if applicable.

Prize Winners further agree that Sponsor shall have exclusive third-party commercial marketing rights with respect to the Cohort Submission in the field of telecommunications, including 5G, until one year from the end of the Cohort, and will not assist or permit any telecommunications service provider or telecommunications equipment provider to create, distribute, display or perform any marketing materials involving the Cohort Submission prior to one year from the end of the Cohort.

 

TAXES:  AWARDS OF PRIZES TO POTENTIAL WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS REQUIREMENT THAT THEY SUBMIT TO SPONSOR ALL DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED BY SPONSOR TO PERMIT IT TO COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL, STATE, PROVINCIAL, LOCAL OR OTHER TAX REPORTING LAWS OR REGULATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES. ALL PRIZES WILL BE NET OF ANY TAXES SPONSOR IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO WITHHOLD. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, ALL TAXES IMPOSED ON PRIZES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNERS. In order to receive a prize, potential Winners must submit tax documentation requested by Sponsor or otherwise required by applicable law, to Sponsor or a representative for Sponsor or the relevant tax authority, all as determined by applicable law. The potential winners are responsible for ensuring they comply with all applicable tax laws and regulations and filing requirements, and other requirements relating to the awarding and receipt of a prize or cash in a contest or promotion. If a potential Winner fails to provide such documentation or comply with such laws, the prize may be forfeited and Sponsor may award the prize to the Entrant submitting the Final Proposal with the next highest score.

6. Notification of Winners.

Winners will be notified by email or telephone on or about December 22, 2021 and will be required to sign and return, where legal, an Affidavit of Eligibility (or similar document) and/or Liability/Publicity Release within fourteen (14) days of prize notification. Additionally, Winners may be required to obtain releases or appropriate licenses from any and all third parties appearing in, or in relation to third party content used in or in connection with, any and all materials associated with their Cohort Submission. If any Winner cannot be contacted within fourteen (14) calendar days of first notification attempt, if any prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if any Winner rejects his/her prize, or in the event of noncompliance by the Winner with these Official Rules or any other law, rule or regulation of the Winner’s jurisdiction, such prize will be forfeited and may be awarded to the Cohort Finalist with the next highest score. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation of any nature shall be given.

7. Intellectual Property Rights.  

 As between Entrant and Sponsor, Entrant shall retain ownership in and to the Cohort Submission, including all intellectual property rights related thereto.  By entering this Contest, Entrant hereby grants Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, and agents, an irrevocable, worldwide, sub-licensable, transferable, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license under Entrant’s Cohort Submission and all intellectual property rights related thereto to use, copy, publish, modify,  distribute, create derivative works of, execute, and publicly display Entrant's Cohort Submission (including all ideas, expressions, and other materials) in whole or in part, without prior review, payment, compensation, or additional consent by Entrant, as part of the Contest, including but not limited to the administration of the Contest, for the evaluation of the Cohort Submission, and in advertising and publicity related to the Cohort. In granting this license, Entrant understands and agrees that Sponsor is under no obligation to exercise any of its rights, licenses and privileges herein granted.  Entrants hereby agree to do such other things and execute such other documents as may be reasonably requested in order to allow the Sponsor to make such use of, and exercise such rights over, their Cohort Submission.


By making a Cohort Submission, Entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor and its designees (i) are continually and independently of the Contest and Entrant’s Cohort Submission working on creating, developing, improving upon and expanding Sponsor's product and service offerings, including supporting technology, networks, software, and systems, and may already be developing or may develop in the future products, services, technology, networks, software, and systems that are similar or identical to the Cohort Submission, and (ii) may receive Cohort Submissions from other Entrants that may be similar or identical to the Cohort Submission Entrants submit. By entering this Contest, Entrant hereby releases Sponsor for use of Entrant’s intellectual property rights related to the Cohort Submission, and hereby agrees not to sue Sponsor, its employees, directors, affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, agents, successors and assigns for any actual or alleged infringement or misappropriation by any Sponsor product, service, technology, network, software, or system of Entrant’s intellectual property rights related to the Cohort Submission. Furthermore, Entrant hereby waives any and all claims Entrant may have had, may currently have, and/or may have in the future related to Sponsor's review, acceptance, and/or use of the Cohort Submission, and agrees that Sponsor is under no obligation to review, use, or in any way process Entrant’s Cohort Submission, regardless of the status indicated on the Cohort Website.

Entrant acknowledges and agrees that its Cohort Submission will not be held as confidential information and to the extent that the Cohort Submission contains Entrant’s confidential information, such information immediately becomes non-confidential upon Entrant’s submission of a Cohort Submission. Entrant grants Sponsor the right to review Entrant's Cohort Submission and to have the Judges (as defined herein) review Entrant's Cohort Submission. Entrant also grants to Sponsor the right to post Entrant's Cohort Submission, including the short description of the submission, and any photo or video that entrant submits on the Cohort Website and Entrant agrees that visitors to the Cohort Website have the right to access the information in accordance with the Terms of Service of the Cohort Website.

Entrant agrees that entering the Contest may impact Entrant's legal rights, including, but not limited to, Entrant's ability to obtain patent rights, copyright registration, trade secret protection, or other intellectual property or proprietary rights with respect to the information disclosed in the Cohort Submission. Entrant must seek its own legal counsel prior to entering the Contest or submitting a Cohort Submission, and agrees that Sponsor has not induced Entrant to enter the Contest, and is not responsible or liable to Entrant for any loss of right suffered by Entrant for having entered the Contest.

Entrant agrees that nothing in these Official Rules grants Entrant a right or license to use any name, trademarks or service marks owned by Sponsor or any of its affiliates, including “Verizon” and “Verizon Wireless.” Entrant grants to Sponsor the right to include Entrant's company name as an Entrant on the Cohort Website and in materials related to Sponsor's promotion of the Cohort. Other than these uses, Entrant does not grant Sponsor any rights to Entrant's trademarks.

 

Likewise, nothing in this Contest requires Entrant to negotiate or do business with Sponsor. Entrant is free to discuss Entrant's Cohort Submission and the ideas or technologies it contains with other parties, and Entrant is free to contract with any third parties as long as Entrant has not yet signed an agreement with Sponsor regarding Entrant's Cohort Submission. For the purpose of clarity, Entrant acknowledges that the intent of the Contest is to encourage people to suggest their ideas and innovations to Sponsor. But participating in this Contest does not create an obligation on either Entrant's part or Sponsor's part to enter into any further business relationship or to sign any commercial agreement, unless Entrant is declared a winner and accepts the applicable prize.  

8. Conditions .

Sponsor shall not be liable or responsible in the event Cohort Submissions are not used (whether in whole or in part) for any reason. Any and all federal, state, provincial and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the Winners. Entrant acknowledges and agrees that participation in this Contest and Sponsor’s activities in and relating to this Contest are not and do not create any confidential, fiduciary, employment, agency or other special relationship between Entrant and Sponsor.  For the avoidance of doubt, Entrant further affirmatively consents to Sponsor’s right, in its sole discretion, to use, without compensation, Entrant’s and Entrant’s team member’s name, likeness, biography and other information about Entrant and Entrant’s team members in connection with any use of the Cohort Submission Entrant submits. Participation in the Cohort and acceptance of a prize constitutes each Winner's permission for Sponsor to use Entrant’s and each Entrant’s team member’s name, address (city and state/province/territory), likeness, photograph, picture, portrait, voice, biographical information, Contest Submission and/or any statements made by each Winner regarding the Contest or Sponsor for advertising and promotional purposes without notice or additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. By participating, Entrant and each Entrant team member agrees unless prohibited by mandatory law to release, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, and its employees, officers and directors, from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including without limitation, property damage, personal injury and/or death which may occur in connection with, preparation for, travel to, or participation in Contest, or possession, acceptance and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any Contest-related activity and for any claims based on publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, trademark infringement or any other intellectual property-related cause of action.

9. Additional Terms.

By entering the Contest, Entrant fully and unconditionally agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Judges, which will be final and binding in all matters relating to the Cohort. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Sponsor, its affiliates, partners and promotion and advertising agencies are not responsible for any of the following, provided that it is beyond their reasonable control, namely technical, hardware, software, telephone or other communications malfunctions, typographical or other errors in printing, offering, or description of any prize or in any other materials produced in connection with the Contest, failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, web site, Internet, or ISP availability, unauthorized human intervention, traffic congestion, incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause) or failed, incomplete, garbled, jumbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit one's ability to enter the Contest, including any injury or damage to Entrant's or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading any materials in this Contest. If for any reason, including infection by computer virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond Sponsor's control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Cohort. In addition, if for any reason that is beyond Sponsor’s reasonable control, in it its sole discretion, Sponsor determines that the Cohort should not or cannot run as planned, Sponsor may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Cohort.  If Sponsor decides to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Cohort in accordance with these Official Rules, it will provide a notice of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension on verizonforwardforgood.com .  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Entrant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or Cohort Website. Sponsor may prohibit an Entrant from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that said Entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair playing practices (including the use of automated quick entry programs) or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrants or Sponsor representatives. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules shall 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, Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the Cohort or any provision of these Official Rules, or shall have the right to have that determination not affect the remainder of these Official Rules, which shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if they did not contain the invalid or illegal provision. All decisions of Sponsor related to the Cohort are final and binding.

CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

10. No Obligation.

Entrant acknowledges that multiple participants may submit Cohort Submissions that contain concepts or technologies similar to his or her Cohort Submission and that Sponsor, its respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors may already be pursuing technologies that are related or similar to those that Entrant disclose in its Contest Submission. Entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor's action with respect to another Cohort Submission, even if similar to Entrant’s Cohort Submission, shall not create in Sponsor any liability to Entrant or others. Further, Sponsor is not and shall not be restricted in any way from pursuing, developing, or commercializing, in any way that Sponsor sees fit, independent of Entrant and at Sponsor's sole discretion, any technology or innovation that is created independent of Entrant’s Cohort Submission. For the avoidance of doubt, Entrant acknowledges that Sponsor is not obligated to take any action whatsoever with regard to Entrant’s Cohort Submission.

 

11. Use of Data/Governing Law.

Sponsor will be collecting, maintaining and using personal data and/or information about Entrants and their employees, in accordance with its privacy policy. Please review the Sponsor's privacy policy at https://www.verizon.com/about/privacy/. By participating in the Cohort, Entrants hereby agree to Sponsor's collection and usage of their employee’s personal information and acknowledge that they have read and agree to Sponsor's privacy policy. Except as otherwise required by law, Sponsor and Entrant agree that the Federal Arbitration Act and the substantive laws of the state of New Jersey, without reference to its principles of conflicts of laws, will be applied to govern, construe and enforce all of the rights and duties of the parties arising from or relating in any way to the subject matter of the Cohort.UNLESS ENTRANTS AND VERIZON AGREE OTHERWISE, ENTRANTS AND VERIZON CONSENT TO THE EXCLUSIVE PERSONAL JURISDICTION OF AND VENUE IN AN ARBITRATION OR SMALL CLAIMS COURT LOCATED IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY FOR ANY SUITS OR CAUSES OF ACTION CONNECTED IN ANY WAY, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, TO THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES OR TO THE CONTEST. Except as otherwise required by law, including state laws relating to consumer transactions, any cause of action or claims Entrant may have with respect to the Contest must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim or cause of action arises or such claim or cause of action is barred.  If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than through arbitration, Entrant and Sponsor agree that there will not be a jury trial.  Entrant and Sponsor unconditionally waive any right to trial by jury in any action, proceeding or counterclaim arising out of or relating to this Contest in any way.  In the event of such litigation, this paragraph may be filed to show a written consent to a trial by the court.  Entrant hereby agrees that all such claims that cannot be resolved through mandatory arbitration shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in the District of New Jersey, located in New Jersey (the “Court”).  Entrant hereby submits to, and waives any challenge to, the jurisdiction or venue of the Court over any such disputes in connection with the Contest.

If the Entrant selects that they would like to learn more about XR Access, they agree to receive communications from XR Access, a partner of the Verizon Forward for Good program. Additionally contact information such as name, email, phone number and company name will be shared with them for the purposes of sharing upcoming opportunities and resources.

12. List of Winners.

For the names of the winners, please visit verizonforwardforgood.com shortly after the winners have been announced.

13. Sponsor.

Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc., One Verizon Way, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Contest starts at 6:00 A.M. United States Eastern Daylight Time onSeptember 20, 2021 and final time for entry is 11:59 P.M. United States Eastern Daylight Time on November 1, 2021 Void where prohibited and restricted by law. Total approx retail value of all prizes awarded: $50,000 USD. For official rules, go to verizonforwardforgood.com. Sponsor: Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc.