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SoFi Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition Rules

Overview:

Social Finance, Inc. (“SoFi”), the leading provider of student loan refinancing, is hosting a series of pitch competitions at top schools across the country. The winner of each school’s competition will receive a cash prize of $2,000 and automatic entry into the SoFi Entrepreneur Program, which allows members to defer their student loan payments for 6-12 months after graduating. SoFi will also award a grand prize of $5,000 to one overall winner, to be chosen from the pool of winners from each school.

General:

Teams can be any size, but at least 1 member must be a current student and a maximum of 2 people from each winning team will be admitted to the SoFi Entrepreneur Program. Representatives from the SoFi Entrepreneur Program will select no more than 6 teams at each school to compete in the pitch competition, as described below. The exact number of teams selected to pitch will depend on the number of entrants as well as time constraints for the competition at each school. Each of the teams selected at each school will have 6 minutes to make their pitch, utilizing slides or product demos (or nothing), to a panel of judges. Each panel of judges will include 1 or more representatives from the particular school’s Entrepreneurship Center, an alum of the SoFi Entrepreneur Program (when available), and a representative from the SoFi Entrepreneur Program. After the 6-minute pitch, the judges will conduct a 4-minute Q&A with each team. Business ideas will be assessed according to the weighted metrics described below with respect to Round 1 Judging.

The winning team at each school will receive:

  • $2,000 cash prize from SoFi
  • Automatic entry into the SoFi Entrepreneur Program for up to 2 members of the winning team.
  • If one or both of the 2 members of the winning team have student loans, they can take advantage of 6-12 months of deferment on their student loan payments upon refinancing with SoFi, provided that they meet the requirements of the SoFi Entrepreneur Program (i.e., he/she is a founder or co-founder working on his/her business full-time, and he/she qualifies for SoFi student loan refinancing).
  • If 1 or both of the 2 members of the winning team do not have student loans or do not qualify to refinance with SoFi, they can still receive automatic entry into the SoFi Entrepreneur Program, which provides them with access to investors, mentors, customers, press opportunities, and SoFi’s 170K+ member base, among other things.

How to Enter and Qualify for Round 1:

To apply to participate, applicants will submit a pitch deck (~5 to 10 slides) about their business plan, new venture idea, or early stage company. Representatives from the SoFi Entrepreneur Program will choose up to 6 teams at each school to compete based on the following weighted judging criteria:

  • Problem/Opportunity Identification (20%). Is there a problem that needs to be addressed, or an opportunity to be exploited? Is the pain/opportunity significant enough to support a profitable/successful company?
  • Market Size and Identification (20%). Is the plan specific about the immediately addressable market? How big is the addressable market?
  • Product Offering (15%). Is it clear what the product/offering is, and how it will address the market pain/opportunity?
  • Go-to-market Strategy (15%). How will you acquire your first customers? Is the Sales/Marketing plan clear and specific?
  • Competitive Differentiation (15%). What are the strengths and weaknesses of competitors? Why is your offering/product superior? Is your competitive advantage sustainable?
  • Team and Plan (15%). How credible and realistic are the team and plan?

Teams that have been selected to pitch will be notified at least 1 week in advance of the pitch competition, and must accept the invitation within 24 hours of being so notified. In the event that a team cannot pitch or does not respond within 24 hours of notification, the team with the next highest score based on the rubric above will be invited to pitch. All decisions by the SoFi Entrepreneur Program representatives will be final.

Round 1 Judging:

At each school, teams will pitch to the judges. Each of the teams will have 6 minutes to make their pitch, utilizing slides or product demos (or nothing), to a panel of 3 to 4 judges. The judges will include a representative from each school’s Entrepreneurship Center, an alum of the SoFi Entrepreneur Program (when applicable), and a representative from the SoFi Entrepreneur Program. After the 6-minute pitch, the judges will conduct a 4-minute Q&A session. Business ideas will be assessed according to the following weighted metrics:

  • Problem/Opportunity Identification (20%): Does the plan clearly establish that there is a problem that needs to be addressed, or an opportunity to be exploited? Is the pain/opportunity significant enough to support a profitable/successful company?
  • Market Size and Identification (15%): Is the plan specific about the immediately addressable market? How big is the addressable market?
  • Product Offering (15%): Is it clear what the product/offering is, and how it will address the market pain/opportunity?
  • Go-to-market Strategy (15%): How are you going to acquire your first customers? Is the Sales/Marketing plan clear and specific?
  • Competitive Differentiation (15%): What are the strengths and weaknesses of competitors? Why is your offering/product superior? Is your competitive advantage sustainable?
  • Monetization and Financials (15%): How does the company make money? What does the customer pay? What is the per unit margin? How does the business scale? Do the overall financial plans seem reasonable?
  • Credibility (5%): How credible and realistic are the team and plan?

Each judge will independently assess and rate each business plan. At the end of the pitches, the judges will convene to share their ratings. The team with the highest overall score will be declared the winner. All decisions by the judges will be final.

How to Qualify for Round 2:

All winning teams from each school’s pitch competition (Round 1) will automatically be qualified to participate in Round 2, which requires no additional effort or pitches.

Round 2 Judging:

At the end of all the pitch competitions at each school, representatives from the SoFi Entrepreneur Program will select one grand prize winner from the pool of winning teams from each school. The grand prize winner will be selected based on the same weighted metrics that were used in Round 1. All decisions by the SoFi Entrepreneur Program representatives will be final.

Cash Prizes:

The winning team of Round 1 at each school will receive a $2,000 prize. The sole winning team of Round 2 will receive a $5,000 prize.

Disclaimer:

Additional Terms and Conditions apply; for more details, see below. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

SoFi Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition Terms & Conditions

SoFi Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition Terms and Conditions

Important Note: These Terms and Conditions supplement the SoFi Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition Rules, which are incorporated herein by this reference and made a part of these Terms and Conditions. By submitting an entry in the SoFi Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition, you are agreeing that you have read and understand these Terms and Conditions and that you are bound by them. If you disagree with any part of these Terms and Conditions, then you may not participate in the SoFi Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition.

Eligibility: The SoFi Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition (the “Competition”) is open solely to individuals who are legal residents of the 50 United States (and the District of Columbia) who at time of entry are age 21 or older. Employees of Social Finance, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, public relations and promotion agencies (collectively, the “Sponsor Entities”), and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each, whether related or not, are not eligible to enter or win. The Competition is governed by U.S. law and subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited by law.

Content of Competition Entries: Each entry in the Completion (an “Entry,” and each member of a team submitting an Entry, an “Entrant”) must be original and not copied from any other work and must not infringe upon the rights of any third party. Content that may NOT be contained in an Entry includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Content in violation of third-party rights including, but not limited to: copyrights, trademark, right of publicity or any other proprietary rights;
  • Content that is libelous, defamatory, disparaging or tortious;
  • Content that is pornographic, adult-oriented or sexually-explicit;
  • Content portraying or including explicit or offensive language;
  • Content portraying or advocating violence or illegal activities;
  • Content portraying or referring to weapons of any kind including, but not limited to, guns or bombs;
  • Content that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, age or any basis protected by federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation; or
  • Content that denigrates, disparages or reflects negatively on the Sponsor, its services and products or its employees, or on any other person, company, services or product, or that disparages the Sponsor’s competitors.

If an Entry includes any of the prohibited elements listed above, the Entry will be disqualified, along with the team who submitted it. The above list is not intended to be exhaustive; the Sponsor may disqualify any Entry if it contains material the Sponsor deems, in its sole discretion, to be offensive or obscene in any way or to not be in compliance with these Terms and Conditions.

If the Entry contains any material or elements that are not owned by the Entrant and/or that are subject to the rights of third parties, the Entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the Entry, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Entry by the Sponsor in the manner set forth in these Terms and Conditions. The Sponsor reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to the Sponsor from any Entrant at any time.

The Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Entry for any reason, in its sole and absolute discretion. The Sponsor is under no obligation to disclose why an Entry has been disqualified other than that the Entry was ineligible under these Terms and Conditions.

Consent and Release: To the fullest extent possible in law, Entrants, and on behalf of their respective heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors and assigns (“Releasing Parties”), agree to release, defend and hold harmless the Sponsor Entities from any and all claims, losses, damages, actions, causes of action, suits, and demands whatsoever, in law or equity, whether known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, against the Sponsor Entities that any one or more of the Releasing Parties ever had, now have or hereafter can, shall or may have that in any way arise out of or result from such Entrant’s participation in the Competition or his/her acceptance and use or misuse of any prize (if determined to be a winner). The Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the description or administration of the Competition or in the announcement of any prize. In the event the Sponsor is prevented from continuing with the Competition as contemplated herein by any event beyond its control, or otherwise, including but not limited to fire, flood, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, terrorist threat or activity, war (declared or undeclared) or any federal, state, or local government law, order, or regulation, or order of any court, or other cause, the Sponsor shall have the right to modify, suspend or terminate the Competition. Furthermore, the Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Competition if it becomes technically corrupted (including if a computer virus or system malfunction inalterably impairs its ability to conduct the Competition), and to determine winners from among all eligible Entries received prior to termination. Entrants assume all liability for any injury, including death or damage, caused or claimed to be caused, by participation in this Competition or use or redemption of the prize (if Entrant is determined to be a winner).

Arbitration: This Competition shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of California, without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. Each Entrant hereby agrees that any and all disputes, claims, causes of action, or controversies (“Claims”) arising out of or in connection with this Competition shall be resolved, upon the election by the Entrant or the Sponsor, by arbitration pursuant to this provision and the code of procedures of either the National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) or the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), as selected by the Entrant. The arbitrator’s authority to resolve Claims is limited to Claims between the Sponsor and the Entrant alone, and the arbitrator’s authority to make awards is limited to awards to the Sponsor and the Entrant alone. The arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding. Furthermore, Claims brought by either party against the other may not be joined or consolidated in arbitration with Claims brought by or against any third party, unless agreed to in writing by all parties. No arbitration award or decision will have any preclusive effect as to issues or claims in any dispute with anyone who is not a named party to the arbitration.

Limitation of Liability: EACH ENTRANT HEREBY WAIVES ANY RIGHTS OR CLAIMS TO ATTORNEY’S FEES, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF SUCH ENTRANT, WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR NOT AND WHETHER BASED ON NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE.

General: By participating in the Competition, Entrants (i) agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions, including all eligibility requirements, and (ii) agree to be bound by the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding in all matters relating to the Competition. The Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or violates these Terms and Conditions. LEGAL WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN INDIVIDUAL, WHETHER OR NOT AN ENTRANT, TO DELIBERATELY INTERFERE WITH THE OPERATION OF THE COMPETITION, IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL & CIVIL LAWS, AND THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND DILIGENTLY PURSUE ALL REMEDIES AGAINST ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

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