Start up of the Year 2018
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Our Startup of the Year team scours the planet searching for the world’s most innovative early stage companies. After multiple rounds of competition, including events at CES and SXSW, 100 semifinalists will get the chance to compete in our Startup of the Year Competition at the Innovate Celebrate Conference in Boston (Oct. 15-17th).

How the Competition Works:

  1. Submit an application by May 31, 2018.
  2. Startup of the Year Application is the same application for our events at SXSW and CES. If your startup is selected for these events and you win. You will automatically be one of our 100 semifinalist for Startup of the Year. Deadline to submit an application for SXSW is 2/12. 
  3. The Startup of the Year team and guest judges will review and score startups.
  4. Online audiences will vote for their favorite startups.
  5. Based on all of the scoring and feedback, one hundred semifinalists will be invited to join us for Innovate Celebrate to compete in person. Notifications will go out in July 2018.
  6. At the live event, judges will select five (5) startups to pitch to the final panel of judges for a chance to be named the 2018 Startup of the Year.
  7. You may update your application anytime before the application deadline on May 31, 2018. 


Startup of the Year Competition 2018 Official Rules


The Startup of the Year 2018 (“Contest”) is open only to organizations previously chosen as a semifinalist via Established, LLC’s review of applicants, judge review, winners of any Startup of the Year regional events identified herein, and online poll, or limited, select start­ups chosen to participate by our internal team in its sole discretion after completing an online application.

By entering the Contest, you agree to these rules.


For purposes of these rules, a start­up organization must:


●  Be fewer than 6 years old

●  Have raised less than $5MM in funding

●  Be an independent company (not a subsidiary)

●  Have a working beta or product or service


The Contest is sponsored by Established, LLC , 840 S Rancho Dr #4-936, Las Vegas, NV 89106 (“Established” or “Sponsor”).


The global Contest titled “Startup of the Year” will take place in Boston, MA in the fall of 2018. In addition, two regional events will also take place at CES in January 2018 and SXSW in March 2018 (the “Regional Events”). Specific Contest dates will be announced at a later date.


Entry in the Contest is restricted to select qualified entrants. In order to qualify for entry in the Contest, you must either (a) apply for free via the online application located at; or (b) be one of  the “wild card” selected start­ups who was invited and chosen by our internal team in its sole discretion. Winners of the Regional Events are also invited to participate in the Contest.


There is no fee to apply.

For semifinalists attending the Startup of the Year Contest, there is a $75 fee for administrative costs due prior to the Contest. This fee was designed for the purpose of covering the operating costs for the three-day Contest event (including but not limited to exhibit table(s), A/V equipment, and other presentation equipment available to you) and shall be submitted by August 28, 2018.  Payment of this fee does not impact each participant's chance of winning nor does it go towards available prizes. Due to some state laws, organizations based in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nebraska, Arizona, North Dakota, and Vermont are not allowed to pay this fee.


There will be two rounds of competition to determine a winner from the qualified entrants.

The Contest Winner will be selected based on determination by an independent panel of judges of the best startup company based on the following objective criteria: (i) Team, (ii) Strategy / Go-to-market Strategy (iii) Commercial Viability

The Top 100 semifinalist competition takes place in October of 2018 at the Startup of the Year event in Boston, MA. During the pitch sessions on the first day of the Contest, a randomly selected group of judges will be assigned a randomly selected group of startups who will each present a 3-minute pitch which will be voted on a scale. There will be a 2-minute Q&A session for judges to ask any additional questions after the pitch.

Following the Q&A session, judges will submit their votes and the scores will be tallied.

During the event, all participating startups (Top 100) will showcase at the “Startup of the Year” event - an event that is part of the Innovate Celebrate Conference program.  This event is required for all participating startups.

The five finalists will be announced on the third and final day. The five finalists will give a 5-minute pitch to the audience and judges, followed by 5-minutes of Q&A after each pitch on stage that afternoon. Specific times will be announced.

The details of the competition may be updated prior to the event and will be communicated to all semifinalists.

Decisions of the independent panel of judges and Startup of the Year staff are final.


There will be one (1) first place Winner, one (1) second place Winner, one (1) third place Winner, one (1) fourth place Winner, and one (1) fifth place Winner for the Contest (each, a “Winner”). Currently the approximate retail value for all of the potential prizes (each a “Prize” and together the “Prizes”) is One Hundred Thousand US Dollars ($100,000).

1. Assignability:



Winner cannot assign or transfer Prize to any other person or entity. Any expenses not stated herein (including, but not limited to, federal, state and local taxes or any other applicable fees or costs not expressly identified above that are related to participation in the Contest and the acceptance and/or use the Prizes) are the sole responsibility of the applicable recipient.

2. Prize Acceptance:



If the potential Winner is unwilling or unable to accept the prize requirements, such potential Winners could be disqualified and all privileges otherwise due as a Winner could be terminated and an alternative Winner could be chosen from among all of the remaining eligible entries received if time permits in Sponsor's sole discretion. Winners must complete a prize affidavit form.

3. Announcement:



Winners will be announced on the final day of the conference.

4. Taxes:


Winner is responsible for payment of any federal and state taxes due on all prizes.

5. Winner Verification & Acceptance:



Each Winner must prove eligibility within five (5) days of being notified as a potential Winner. In the event of non­compliance by a potential Winner, if the organization is found to be ineligible or if the organization cannot or does not comply with these Official Rules, such potential Winner shall be disqualified and all privileges otherwise due as a Winner shall be terminated and an alternative potential Winner may be chosen from among all of the remaining Eligible Entrants if time permits in Sponsor's sole discretion.


Sponsor is not responsible for any change in Entrant's mailing address, email address and/or phone number. Each potential Winner must sign within five (5) days of receipt of such documents from Sponsors: (a) an affidavit of eligibility and release of the Sponsor and its officers, directors, employees, agents, members, affiliated companies and subsidiaries, from any and all liability, loss, claims, demands, and causes of action for personal injury and/or damage, theft, loss, or any other harm suffered in connection with this Contest or the use/misuse or acceptance of any prize or any portion thereof to be eligible for a Prize; (b) except where prohibited by law, a promotional release granting the Promotion Parties the right to use their name and likeness for advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation; and (c) related tax documentation.



If your company would otherwise be eligible, it is still barred if employees of Established LLC, its distributors, affiliates, subsidiaries, vendors, advertising agencies and promotion agencies, and each of their respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, stockholders, bondholders, or agents and their immediate family members and persons living in the same household are not eligible to enter or win the Contest.

Immediate family means any spouse, ex spouse, de facto spouse, child or step­child (whether natural or by adoption), parent, step parent, grandparent, step grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, brother, sister, step­brother, step­sister or 1st cousin.


We reserve the right to restrict participation in the Contest or disqualify any entry for any reason, including any act in violation of these rules or any unethical or disruptive conduct. We also reserve the right to suspend, terminate, or modify the Contest in our sole discretion if any fraud, technical or other factors impair the integrity or function of the Contest and to seek reasonable damages, including attorney’s fees, from those responsible, if any.

Additionally, we reserve the right to modify these rules at any time in our sole discretion.


To Abide by these rules; and

To release and hold harmless Established LLC. and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, officers, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Contest or Prize won, including injuries resulting from our negligence, but not including injuries resulting from any intentionally tortious acts committed by us; and

Released Parties are not responsible for, and shall be defended, indemnified, held harmless and released by each entrant, and any of entrant’s agents, heirs, successors and assigns (the “Indemnifying Parties”) against any claims, liabilities, lawsuits, judgments, causes of action, proceedings, injuries, death, losses, costs, expenses or damages of any kind resulting from, in connection with, or arising from acceptance, receipt, delivery, use, nonuse, misuse, defect in, inability to use, possession, or loss of Prizes.  Furthermore, each entrant and the Indemnifying Parties, as a condition of participating in the Contest, agrees to release, defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Released Parties, from and against any injuries, death, losses, costs, expenses, damages, claims, judgments, causes of action and any liability of any kind in connection with, resulting from or arising from this Contest, participation in the Contest, including without limitation, acceptance, receipt, delivery, possession, use, misuse, inability to use, defect or nonuse or loss of the Prizes that may be awarded. The Released Parties shall not be liable to any entrant or any other person for any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God; any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entities (whether or not they prove to be valid); equipment failure; terrorist acts; earthquake; fire; flood; war; explosion; unusually severe weather; hurricane; embargo; labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal); labor or material shortage; transportation interruption of any kind; work slow-down; civil disturbance; insurrection; riot; or any other cause beyond Sponsor's sole control.


In addition, by participating in the Contest, each entrant grants Established LLC and its agents a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, broadcast, edit, modify, create derivative works from, display, and otherwise exploit all content created or submitted by you in connection with the Contest and to incorporate it into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, in any manner (including, without limitation, on websites and social media platforms of Sponsor), for the specific purpose of promoting the Contest, your participation in the Contest, and other promotional or marketing purposes solely in connection with the Contest, without compensation or notification to, or permission from you.


Participation in the Contest is Winner’s consent to Established LLC and its agents’ use of Winner’s company name and trademark, as well as Winner’s consent to have select company representatives give Established LLC and its agents use of their likeness, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state of its representatives during and after the Contest for advertising and promotional purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide in perpetuity, without further payment or consideration, notification or permission.


Except where prohibited, Entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any Prize awarded shall be resolved individually in Las Vegas, Nevada; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out­-of-­pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event attorneys' fees or court costs; and (3) under no circumstances will Entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and Entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out­-of-­pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Nevada without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Nevada or any other jurisdiction).


For Winner names or Official Rules, please visit If you have any questions about the Contest, Winner names, or Official Rules, please send an email to:

By freely entering the Contest, you, the entrant, agree to every element, aspect, description, and definition within these Official Rules.



This program is over