Social Venture Network Innovation Awards Rules

The 2014 Social Venture Network Innovation Awards are open to For-Profit and Nonprofit organizations that meet the eligibility requirements described in the Social Venture Network Innovation Awards Rules.

Social Venture Network Innovation Awards Rules


The Social Venture Network Innovation Awards (“Awards”) are sponsored by Social Venture Network (“Sponsor”), P.O. Box 29221, San Francisco, CA 94129.


The Awards are open only to entrants (each, an “Applicant”) which fulfill each of the following criteria:

Applicant’s organization has been fully operational for more than one (1) year but less than ten (10) years as of May 9, 2014. “Fully operational” within the Awards context means that the Applicant has already started offering its services, products or programs to its intended “customers.” Any application submitted on behalf of an Applicant that is still in the business plan phase, or that is still in the process of launching but has not actually launched, will not be considered.

Applicant’s organization must have generated at least $250,000 USD in revenue in the previous year.

One entry is allowed per Applicant.

No Awards judge, volunteer, advisor, or individual who is otherwise involved with the organization or operation of the Awards, may be an officer, director, employee, independent contractor or other affiliate of any Applicant, or an immediate family member of or person living in the same household of any of the aforementioned persons.

How to Enter: Award applications submissions will be accepted starting February 7th, 2014

Applicants may enter the Awards only via entries emailed to (each, a “Submission”). The Awards application process begins on 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) on February 7, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on May 9, 2014 (the “Awards Application Period”), all according to Sponsor’s internal time clock. All Submissions must be submitted during the Awards Application Period. Sponsor is not responsible for attempted Submissions and will not give credit to any attempted Submission received that is incomplete in any way. Sponsor is not required to acknowledge receipt of Submissions. All Submissions received by the end of the Awards Application Period that are complete and otherwise qualified may be eligible to win (“Qualified Submissions”).

During the Awards Application Period, Applicants may access the entry form at, and must answer ALL of the questions listed in the entry form within the character limitations specified for each question. All answers must be truthful and must pertain to the Applicant, but can be as creative as desired within the Submission Guidelines set forth below. Please do not attach other materials to Submissions, as they cannot be considered.

Submission Guidelines

Each Submission must be an original work of authorship created on behalf of, and owned by, the Applicant. The response to each question must be no longer than the character limits specified for each question. Entries that are incomplete or corrupted are void and will not be accepted. Submissions may not contain any illegal, offensive or obscene subject matter, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Applicants may not copy or otherwise plagiarize all or any part of any Submission from any source, nor may any Submission include third party material. Applicants must hold all rights to the entire Submission. Sponsor is not responsible for legal protection or clearance of Submissions in any form. Applicant agrees to indemnify Sponsor against any and all claims from any third party for any use of Applicant’s Submission. If, in the sole discretion of Sponsor, a Submission constitutes infringement or otherwise violates the rights of any third party, such Submission will be disqualified.


The judging of the Submissions will take place in two rounds, although not all Submissions will be judged in the second round. All entries will be prescreened to ensure the entries have correctly met the Submission Guidelines prior to any judging. Sponsor and the judging panel reserve the right to contact any Applicant for additional information or clarification regarding such Applicant’s Submission. It will be such Applicant’s responsibility to respond to these requests in a timely manner. The judging panel reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in its judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the Awards guidelines, processes and rules, and its decisions are final and binding.

Round One

Judging of Qualified Entries will begin on or about May 9, 2014. A panel of judges selected by Sponsor will select a small group of Finalists according to the judging criteria below.
Each Submission will be judged according to the following criteria:

25 percent: Innovation
25 percent: Impact
25 percent: Potential for the enterprise to scale/expand
25 percent: Extent to which the Applicant is working to build a more just and sustainable world by addressing one or more of the following categories:

Finalists will be notified by email in mid to late June 2014, using the information provided in their Submissions. In the event that a finalist does not respond, no alternate finalist need be selected.

Round Two

Finalists may be asked for additional documentation, which may include, but is not limited to, business plans, financial statements, letters of reference, and other information. Finalists will also be asked to participate in a phone interview with one or more of the judges and/or Sponsor representatives. Finalists who do not submit the requested additional documentation in a timely manner or do not make themselves available for a phone interview will be disqualified from further consideration in the judging panel’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to conduct criminal background checks on the named individual listed for Finalist Submissions.

In mid to late July 2014, the judging panel will select at least three (3) and up to ten (10) from the group of Finalists who will be deemed the winners of the Awards (“Selected Applicants.”). Selected Applicants will be notified by phone or email using the information provided in the Submissions and will be required to respond (as directed) to the phone and/or e-mail notification within seventy-two (72) hours of attempted notification.

The failure to respond timely to the notification may result in forfeiture of the Award; and, in such case, Sponsor may choose the next highest scoring entry from among the remaining eligible entries. The Selected Applicants will also be sent an affidavit of eligibility and compliance and liability/publicity release (collectively, the “Release”). Unless restricted by law, each Selected Applicant will be required to complete and return the Release and any other requested documents within the time period specified therein pursuant to these Official Rules in order to be eligible to receive the prize. In some cases, Selected Applicants may be asked to provide proof of business ownership. Should a Selected Applicant be unwilling or otherwise unable to return a completed Release or otherwise cannot accept or receive the prize for any reason, the Applicant with the next highest score will be chosen from the remaining entries until one who is able to meet all requirements can be selected. Each Selected Applicant’s full name and city may be announced and posted on and affiliate web sites before July 31, 2014 and all or part of such Selected Applicant’s Submission may potentially be posted online or published for use, viewing and/or implementation by third parties throughout the world.


Each Selected Applicant will be awarded: 

(i) Two years of Social Venture Network Individual Level membership (value = $2600);
(ii) waived Social Venture Network Conference registration fees for 2014 and 2015 (value = $3120);
(iii) waived orientation fee for Social Venture Network Peer Circle participation (value = $500)
(iv) a table at the Fall Conference’s Products and Services Expo (value = $700)

Sponsor will also reimburse each Selected Applicant for travel and hotel expenses up to an aggregate of $1500 each to travel to and attend the Social Venture Network Fall 2014 Conference. In the event that a Selected Applicant does not attend the Fall 2014 Conference, such Selected Applicant forfeits that portion of the Award and shall not be entitled to a substitution of cash or any other award. Selected Applicants are responsible for making their own air travel arrangements, although Sponsor will make hotel arrangements as long as the Selected Applicant will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Greenwich, CT where the conference will be held. No prize substitution is allowed except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. If a prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of Sponsor, a substitute prize of equal or greater retail value may be awarded. Prizes will be awarded, subject to the limitations stated in these Rules. Any costs or fees not specifically listed herein are the responsibility of Selected Applicants. Selected Applicants must take delivery of prize on or before October 1, 2014.


The Awards are subject to these Official Rules. Applicants represent and warrant that there are no patents or copyrights pending or registered in whole or part of their Submissions. Applicants further agree to waive any and all proprietary right(s) and claim(s) they may have in whole or part of their Submissions, including without limitation any copyright or patent right(s). By participating, Applicants agree: (i) to be bound by these complete Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor and the judging panel which shall be final and binding; and (ii) to waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Awards or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law. By participating in the Awards or accepting a prize, each Applicant agrees to release Sponsor, including any affiliated entities together with their respective directors, employees, officers, licensees, licensors and agents, and respective advertising and promotion entities and any person or entity associated with the production, judging, or administration of the Awards, (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with awarding, receipt and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in the Awards or any prize-related activities. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Awards, in its sole discretion, should it receive fewer than 20 entries, or due to circumstances beyond its control, including natural disasters. Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, cancel, modify or suspend the Awards should a virus, bug, computer problem, unauthorized intervention or other causes beyond Sponsor’s control, corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Awards. Sponsor may prohibit an Applicant from participating in the Awards or any future awards, or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it believes such Applicant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Awards by cheating, deception, or any other unfair playing practices of intending to annoy, abuse, threaten, undermine or harass any other players or Sponsor representatives. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Applicants it suspects to be violating these Official Rules. Disputes regarding these Official Rules and/or these Awards will be governed by the internal laws of the State of California. In the event that Sponsor cancels the Awards, all Applicants who have submitted a complete Submission on or before the cancellation date, will receive a book from the SVN Book Series.


Sponsor reserves the right to use the Submissions for all business purposes, including advertising and promotional activities, prior to or after the Awards end date, in any media, and to use the name, likeness, hometown name, of the named individual listed for each Submission, and all or part of each Submission, throughout the world, in perpetuity, without any compensation, notice or approval, unless specifically prohibited by law. Each Applicant grants Sponsor a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid up, transferable, sublicensable license to copy, use, modify, display and otherwise exploit his or her entry (including all copyrights, trademarks, design rights, moral rights and all other intellectual property rights embodied in such ideas and submissions) for any and all purposes in any and all formats, including for posting on Sponsor’s website and for use in Sponsor’s marketing material. Each Applicant waives any moral rights such Applicant may have in its Submission. Selected Applicants understand and agree that all or part of their Submissions may potentially be posted or published for use, viewing and/or implementation by third parties throughout the world, with or without credit to Selected Applicant. That said, it is not the intention of Sponsor to publish any of the information contained in a Submission without first attempting to notify the Applicant.

Taxability; Legal Restrictions

Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of Selected Applicants, and Applicants may be issued an IRS Form 1099 for the ARV of any awarded prize. Selected Applicants may be required to supply a Taxpayer ID Number prior to the award of any prize. The Awards are void outside the United States and where prohibited or restricted by law, and subject to applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws.

Additional Rules

Situations which arise not contemplated by the above Official Rules will be resolved by the judging panel of the Awards and their decision will be final. Sponsor and the judging panel reserve the right to amend the Official Rules without notice, including in the event situations occur that are not covered by the above Official Rules or to further interpret or clarify the existing Official Rules when necessary.

Official Rules and Winners List

For a copy of these Official Rules or the names of Selected Applicants, send your request in a self-addressed, stamped envelope (WA, VT residents need not affix postage) to: Social Venture Network, 2014 Innovation Awards P.O. Box 29221 San Francisco, CA 94129-0221. Request must be received by December 31, 2014.

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