AppItup Challenge rules and guidelines
AppItUP is a new mobile application Idea Challenge, designed to solicit the best app ideas from the Penn community and connect them with the technical expertise and funding necessary to take them to the next level. Up to five app ideas submitted during the Challenge will be turned into prototypes.
The Challenge will be divided into five separate stages:
Submission: Stage 1 consists of the month-long submission period, when participants will submit their ideas through the AppItUP website.
Review and scoring by VCs: During Stage2, submissions will be reviewed and rated by a panel of venture capital experts (“VC Experts”) who will rate all of the app ideas. Ten of the most highly rated submissions will be invited to take part in Stage 3.
AppItUP Challenge Event/Developer Pitch: Stage 3 is a live event where the ten finalists will present their app ideas to our VC Experts and application development partners (“Development Partners”), at the conclusion of which the Development Partners will choose five ideas to be developed into prototypes, at no expense to the participants. In the event that two or more Development Partners choose the same idea to be prototyped, the selected participants will get to choose one Development Partner to work on their idea.
Prototype Development: During Stage 4, Development Partners will work on creating a prototype for each project chosen, based on a statement of work document (SOW) to be prepared for each prototype, which will outline the functionality and the time-frame for each project.
Commercialization: During Stage 5, each finalist will work with Penn CTT to build a business and/or distribute products and services based on their app idea and prototype.
The AppItUP Challenge is organized by UPStart, which is part of the University of Pennsylvania (“Penn”) Center for Technology Transfer (“CTT”). CTT is responsible for the management of all intellectual property (the “IP”) owned by Penn. CTT is charged with these responsibilities under the “Patent and Tangible Research Property Policies and Procedures of the University of Pennsylvania,” effective July 1, 2010 (the “Penn Patent Policy”). While UPStart’s mission is to assist Penn faculty and staff in the formation of new businesses based around Penn IP (click here for more information), APPItUP is available to the broader Penn community as defined below.
The AppItUP Challenge is open to anyone with a current Penn email address who is a current employee, faculty member or student at the University of Pennsylvania, including the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Individual participants, or at least one member of each team of participants, must have a valid Penn email address and be a currently active member of the Penn community (excluding Alumni or former employees). During the submission stage of the Challenge, individual participants or teams of participants must submit their mobile application ideas via the AppItUP Challenge website (www.appitupchallenge.com) to have their idea considered.
Submissions will not be considered if they are incomplete, late, or cannot be viewed due to technical error or if the idea is not an original idea of the submitting participant or team of participants. By submitting their idea, participants acknowledge and hereby agree that they will fully comply with these program guidelines including all participation requirements and all applicable University of Pennsylvania policies and regulations. Failure by a participant to adhere to any of the aforementioned conditions will result in withdrawal of such participant’s (or their team’s) idea from the Challenge. Penn reserves the right to withdraw submissions from the Challenge at its sole discretion.
The AppItUP Challenge will open for submissions starting on September 23rd and will accept entries until midnight on October 14th at which time the submission stage of the Challenge will close. Eligible submissions received during the submission period will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of VC Experts. By November 11th ten participants will be notified and invited to make a formal presentation during the live AppItUP Challenge Event on November 22nd.
All official AppItUP communications will be delivered through the Penn email address provided on the submission form. The AppItUP team can be contacted through the “Contact Us” tab on the www.appitupchallenge.com website.
During Stage 2 of the Challenge, submissions will be evaluated and scored on the conceptual merits of the app idea, its potential for commercialization and its marketability (or social impact in the case of non-commercial participants). App ideas do not need to have been developed into software in order to be considered. Supporting documents may be included to help illustrate and/or clarify an idea (i.e. drawings, wireframes, videos or documents) and may be uploaded through the submission form. Submissions with supporting documents will not necessarily have an advantage over the submissions without such materials, but documentation may help the VC Experts to understand the idea more easily.
Challenge Development Partners
Challenge Development Partners are professional app development firms that have agreed to participate in the Challenge. Each participating firm has committed to creating at least one prototype, free of charge, as part of the AppItUP Challenge. A list of the current Challenge Development Partners can be found on the “Partners” tab of the www.appitupchallenge.com website.
Each of the 10 finalists will be required to enter into a participation agreement with CTT prior to the Stage 3 live event. The form of agreement will vary depending on the commercialization path chosen by the participant. All chosen ideas must be commercialized in partnership with CTT by one of three options as described below. Each participant chosen during Stage 3 will be required to enter into a Development Agreement with a Challenge Development Partner in order to proceed to prototype development (Stage 4). The Development Agreement will outline the mutual expectations of the parties, including the minimum functionality of the application that will result from prototype development and the amount of time needed for development.
APP Commercialization and/or Distribution
During Stage 5, each finalist will partner with Penn CTT to commercialize and/or build a business around their app idea and prototype. Challenge finalists will choose one of the following commercialization/distribution alternatives: (i) participate in the creation of a company in partnership with UPstart, (ii) create a new company with the assistance of UPadvisors, or (iii) agree to assign the idea to Penn and rely on CTT’s licensing team to commercialize the concept and prototype under the Penn Patent Policy. CTT staff will assist in choosing the appropriate path for each participant or team, depending on the most appropriate development, commercialization or distribution model for a given app opportunity.
Intellectual Property and Ownership
Should any app idea be identified as Penn owned IP, it will be treated in accordance with Penn’s policies governing Intellectual Property including Penn Patent Policy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to any app idea that (a) does not contain Penn-owned IP according to the Penn Patent Policy and (b) is not chosen for prototype development, the participant will be free to pursue the development of the app idea on their own time and at their own expense with no further obligation to AppItUP.
Fees and Expenses
There is no registration fee to participate in the Challenge. Participants will be solely responsible for their own out of pocket expenses incurred via participation in the Challenge and/or AppItUP Event, including travel and accommodation costs, if any.
Limitation of liability
THE APPITUP CHALLENGE AND ANY ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES THAT ARE OR MAY BE PROVIDED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ARE PROVIDED “AS IS.” PENN MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, CONDITIONS, OR REPRESENTATIONS (EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ORAL OR WRITTEN), WITH RESPECT TO THE CHALLENGE OR PROTOTYPES, OR ANY PART THEREOF, INCLUDING, AS TO CONDITION OF TITLE, NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILTIY, OR FITNESS OR SUITABILITY FOR A PARTICULAR PUPOSE. PENN WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTICIPANT/TEAM MEMBER, VC EXPERT, DEVELOPMENT PARTNER OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY, LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO DATA, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, LOSS OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION, OR OTHER ECONOMIC DAMAGE), WHETHER ARISING IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER PENN WAS ADVISED, HAD OTHER REASON TO KNOW, SHOULD HAVE ANTICIPATED, OR IN FACT KNEW OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH ARE INDEPENDENT OF, SEVERABLE FROM, AND TO BE ENFORCED INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OTHER ENFORCEABLE OR UNENFORCEABLE PROVISION HEREOF.
Waiver and Consent
By participating in the AppItUP Challenge each participant and team member agrees as follows:
I recognize, acknowledge and understand that participating in the Challenge carries with it certain inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, including the risk of loss of patent, trade secret or other IP protection for an app idea.
Notwithstanding the risks, which I recognize and accept, and in consideration of being permitted to participate in any way in the Challenge, I , for myself, my heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby waive, release and discharge the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and its trustees, officers, employees and agents, from any and all claims for personal injury, accidents or illness (including death), and property damage, arising in any manner out of my participation in the Challenge, including transportation to and from the Challenge. I further acknowledge that the risks stated herein are not intended to be all inclusive and that my participation is voluntary and that I knowingly and voluntarily assume all risks known or unknown. I am eighteen (18) years of age or older.**
Spirit of the Challenge
These guidelines are not all encompassing, and situations may arise that are not covered in this document. The organizers expect that any issues or disputes will be resolved in a spirit of friendly competition and professionalism. It is therefore expected that participants will maintain a proper standard of conduct and, above all, have a fun learning experience.
*All dates subject to change.
**If you are under the age of 18, please contact AppItUP to obtain a parent/guardian consent form.
 Challenge organizers, VC advisors, Development Partners, CTT, their employees, their spouses/domestic partners and family members are not eligible to participate in the Challenge.
AppItUp is a program of the Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania