Official Rules

SMC “Grow Your Own Business Challenge”
Official Rules


The Contest is open October 20, 2014 12:00 pm (noon) ET through January 31, 2015 12:00 pm (noon) ET

1. Eligibility: The SMC “Grow Your Own Business Challenge”  (hereafter “Competition”) is offered only to individuals who are legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia,  who are at least 7 years old and not older than 14 at the time an entry submission is actually submitted in accordance with Rule 8, below. Employees, officers, directors and advisors of the By Kids For Kids Company (“BKFK” or “Administrator”), the Fairholme Foundation (“Sponsor”), and Genius Brands International (“Creator”) and their respective parents, affiliated and subsidiary companies, advertising and promotion agencies, Competition judges, web masters and web suppliers, and persons engaged in the development of the Competition & Competition materials and members of the immediate family (parents, siblings, children [natural, adopted, foster] and spouse, wherever they reside) or household members (whether or not related) of such employees, officers, directors, advisors are not eligible. By participating, you agree (and if you are a minor in the jurisdiction in which you reside, [hereafter, a “minor”] your parent/legal guardian agrees) to these Official Rules and all the decisions of Administrator, which are final and binding in all respects. In the event you are chosen as a potential winner your parent/legal guardian will need to execute a formal acknowledgment and agreement to these rules in order for you to become the official winner. Void where prohibited.

2. Competition Period: Competition begins on 10/20/14 at 12:00 Noon (ET); and ends on 01/31/15 at 12:00pm (ET). The Competition computer is the official timekeeping device for the Competition.  Mail-in entries must be postmarked by 01/31/15.

3. How To Participate: You may participate in the SMC “Grow Your Own Business Challenge” by going to:, clicking on “contest,” and following instructions found at the website (hereinafter “the website”). When you access the website, you will be asked to select a username and password. (The username and password will not be associated with any personal information of an entrant under 13.) You will also be asked to enter your parent’s email address when you sign up. We will send an email to your parent/legal guardian notifying him/her that you have signed up with the website and they will have the option to opt you out of the website at their discretion, in which case you will no longer be allowed to enter the Competition. When you have selected the username and password you will be assigned an account. You may proceed to your assigned Entry Workspace and you can develop your Competition materials and potential submission. If you are not pre-registered, once you have signed up for an account you will be taken to a page where you can click on an icon, banner, or text link to develop your entry. When you enter the Competition you will be asked for the name(s) of your idea entry. You may also choose to enter as a Team (2 to 4 members) if you are working on an idea with other users.  You can start a team entry by recruiting existing users to your team or asking other members to sign up for accounts if they don’t have one. You may then develop the Competition materials and potential submission. Please note that only the member who starts the entry will have access to edit and submit the entry. The other members will be able to review the idea from their workspace.

4. Competition Online Entry Workspace: By following the instructions on the Website you will be able to store materials you are working on for your entry(s) (for example: the name, a written description and/or graphic material of your Idea/invention all as defined below), access those materials, change, alter and modify them to refine and build your entry at any time or times until you are ready to submit your entry. By having and using a Workspace, however, you are under no obligation to submit material into, or enter, the Competition. Until such submission, a) Administrator will have no access to your Workspace or the work in your account, and b) you can remove your work at any time prior to submission.

5. About Usernames/Passwords/Account: When you access the website to work in your account or to participate in the Competition, you must log in using your username and password. If at any time you forget your username or password, you may gain access to your username and password by following the on-screen instructions and your username or password will be shown to you on screen. You are solely responsible for the security of your username and password. You should take precautions to keep your username and password private to prevent unauthorized use. Neither BKFK nor any other person or entity will be responsible for any losses, damages or consequences you may suffer due to careless or unauthorized use of a username and password.  If you submit more than one Idea/Entry (as defined in Rule 6, below) all of your Idea/Entry(s) will be accessed using the same UN/PW & Workspace. When you access your Workspace, follow the directions to access the particular Idea/Entry on which you wish to work. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that the Idea/Entry materials you store and work on for each of your Idea/Entry are stored and worked on properly. You may also request assistance by clicking “contact us.”

6. The Competition Entry: An entry must be a new, original business idea based on a unique product and/or service (hereafter “the Idea/Entry” or sometimes “entry”). The Idea/Entry must have been conceived by the entrant or entrants and be the sole and original work of the entrant or entrants. The Idea/Entry must:
a. be within a defined Competition category – specifically a new product and/or service business idea.
b. be a new and unique business idea that could be (but not limited to) an online business, a physical retail business, or a combination of both.
c. be a measurable improvement as solely determined by Administrator (BKFK) if it is an improvement to an existing product or service business.
The Idea/Entry cannot:
a. be currently, or previously, an existing business (except if Administrator, in Administrator’s sole opinion, determines that it is a “measurable” improvement), or,
b. be just a cosmetic difference from a current or previously marketed business (unless that difference is also a “measurable” improvement relative to the function of the product/idea/process), or,
c. be for a product or service (or part thereof) which is already protected by patent or copyright unless the patent or copyright is owned by the entrant, or the patent or copyright is about to expire, or,
d. include entry materials, image uploads, or use of the site that are considered inappropriate in any way (as determined by Administrator, in Administrator’s sole opinion).

7. Creating the Competition Entry: –Your entry must be submitted through the Competition Entry Workspace on the website which was established in accordance with Rule 3, above. You may access the Competition Entry Workspace directly, by following instructions on the website. Your entry materials must fully complete the official Competition entry questions found at the Competition, including a written description of your new/original business idea. The written description should include such information as an entry name, specific description of the idea including the product or service the business is based on, what need/problem it addresses and why it is an improvement. While you can include any information you wish in the description, ALL questions must also be completed and typed in the “Competition” Workspace accessible via your username and password. There is a limit of 500 words per answer to each question. You may also include an original drawing, a photograph, and/or an original illustration or original documentation (“graphic material”), and following the online instructions store it in your Workspace. The graphic material can only be accepted in .tif, .jpg, .gif, .png, .doc, .pdf, .ppt, .txt, .rtf, .wps, .xls, .bmp, .png or .ppt formats. Graphic material cannot picture or depict any person, or the trademark, trade dress, or product of any third party. There is a limit of 3 pieces of graphic material per Idea/Entry.

8. Entry Submissions: When you have completed your Idea/Entry, and are satisfied that it contains a complete written description of the business idea, answers all questions fully, and includes the supplemental material which best illustrates your business, click on the “submit” button. When you click on the submit button your entry will be submitted. While you can change, alter or modify your Idea/Entry before it is submitted (while it is in your Workspace in edit mode), once an entry is submitted it cannot be changed, altered or modified for any reason and in any way, whatsoever. You may keep a ‘read only’ copy of your entry, which has been locked, in your Workspace for archival purposes. By submitting an Idea/Entry you (and your parent/legal guardian if you are a minor) warrant and represent, to the best of your knowledge, that the entry, and your submission thereof to the Competition, (1) does not violate any law, regulation or right of any third party, including but not limited to patent, copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property or sui generis right, (2) that the entry does not violate any fiduciary relationship or violate any agreement you may have, (3) that the entry is your or your team’s own sole and original business idea, (4) that the entry does not contain any virus, bugs, or other deleterious material. Entries must be received and recorded by the BKFK’s administrator’s Competition computer by January 31, 2015; 12:00 pm (noon), (ET) or postmarked January 31, 2015 if sent by mail. Please click, ‘contact us’ for assistance. 
There is no limit on the number of entry submissions from any entrant, but each must be submitted separately. All entries from a particular entrant must be unique as solely determined by BKFK. Each user may have only one username & password. Any entry that, in the sole opinion of BKFK, is considered inappropriate or not suitable for publication will be ineligible. Once an entry is submitted it is the sole responsibility of the entrant to keep his/her contact information, and that of his/her parent/legal guardian, current. Sponsor is not responsible for any failure to contact an entrant or his/her parent/legal guardian if their respective contact information is not current. To update contact information, please ‘contact us.’
Entries once submitted become the property of BKFK and will neither be acknowledged nor returned. By submitting an entry, entrant acknowledges that other entrants may submit the same or similar product or service business idea and/or that BKFK may have received the same or similar business idea from a third party independent of this Competition. Entrants (1) agree that neither BKFK nor any other party related to this Competition shall have any responsibility or liability for any such submissions in this Competition or from a third party, (2) waive any claims or damages of any kind or nature whatsoever, including but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages, should BKFK pursue, in any manner any such submission in this Competition or from a third party.

9. Judging: There will be four (4) rounds/phases of judging:
Upon registration in the Competition entrant will be given access to questions which must be fully completed for their entry to be eligible.
Round/Phase 1 of judging is the initial evaluation screening – during which judges will evaluate and confirm each entry’s compatibility with Competition theme; as well as whether it is a real entry (meets basic entry criteria and makes sense); all answers must be fully complete and submitted, received and recorded by the Competition computer in accordance with the directions on the questions, and no later than January 31, 2015; 12:00 pm (noon) (ET) or postmarked by January 31, 2015 if sent by mail or the entry will be disqualified.
At all times, and in every instance, any entrant whose entry materials, image uploads, or use of the site is considered inappropriate in any way, will be immediately and permanently disqualified.
If an entry is determined by the administrator and the evaluators as eligible in accordance with the Competition theme; is deemed a valid entry; and is received and recorded by the published deadline; it will be considered an ‘active’ entry and proceed to Round/Phase 2.
Round/Phase 2 of judging is the ‘active evaluation screening’ – during which judges will evaluate eligible entry submissions, with focus on: Uniqueness of concept – 40% or a maximum of 40 points; Depth and description of concept – 30% or a maximum of 30 points; Feasibility of execution of concept – determining each entry’s ability to be a successful business – 30% or a maximum of 30 points. There will be two (2) pools of entries for judging: One (1) pool for entries by individuals and one (1) pool for entries by teams (teams must be 2 – 4 members as stated in rule #3 above. All entries will be reviewed by a minimum of two (2) separate qualified judges. The ten (10) top scoring active entry individual submissions (provided that there are at least 10 active entry individual submissions), and the five (5) top scoring active entry team submissions (provided that there are at least 5 active entry team submissions), having received the highest compiled scores in this phase, and therefore deemed to be semifinalists of this Competition will proceed to the semifinal round of judging, Round/Phase 3.
The potential semifinalists as decided in Round/Phase 2 of the judging as outlined above (and semifinalist’s parent or legal guardian if semifinalist is a minor) will be required to complete, sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability Release, within the time stated on the notification. If documents are not returned timely, or if the documents are returned as non-deliverable, or if semifinalist is found to be ineligible or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules the semifinalist and the semifinalist’s entry will be disqualified, and all rights to the semifinal and grand prize will be forfeited and an alternate semifinalist will be selected.
Round/Phase 3 of judging will be completed by a panel of qualified sponsor and administrator appointed judges, who will evaluate the entries which advanced from Phase 2 using the (above) criteria to determine the top five (5) individual scoring entries and the top three (3) team scoring entries who will be named the Finalists in this Competition. Semifinalists who advanced to Round/Phase 3 from phase 2 may be asked to submit to the judges a video explaining their entry and additional information about their business to be used in this round of the judging. If a video and additional information is requested, it will be requested from all of the semifinalists and complete guidelines for the contents of the video and the additional information will be communicated to each semifinalist.
Final Round/Phase 4 judging will be a combination of an Online Consumer Vote (20% of the final score) and an in-person final judging panel of 5 to 7 Judges (80% of the final score) to determine the one (1) Grand Prize winning individual and the one (1) Grand Prize winning team.
Final Round Judging: The five (5) individual Finalists’ entries and three (3) team Finalists’ entries will be posted online at and consumers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite Finalist ideas, on or around 5/4/15 through 5/11/15. The individual entry and the team entry that receives the highest number of consumer votes will each receive 5 points. The individual entry and the team entry with the second most consumer votes will each receive 3 points. The individual entry and the team entry that receives the third most consumer votes will each receive one (1) point. There is a limit of one (1) vote per consumer, per day. These points will be added to the final tabulated judging score for that idea (see below for remainder of judging), when determining the Grand Prize Individual Winner and the Grand Prize Team Winner. The five individual Finalists and the 3 team Finalists will then be asked to present their ideas in person, for a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes, at the Grand Prize Event in May, 2015, in Omaha, NE (date and location of Grand Prize Event is subject to change). Each individual Finalist and each member of the Finalist Teams must be accompanied by one (1) parent/legal guardian each who will be allowed to attend (but not participate in) the Finalist presentations. Finalists will need to adhere to the Sponsor/Administrator-specified presentation guidelines (provided prior to or at the event). Finalists will then be judged again by a panel of judges on Judging Criteria (as defined in above) whose decisions are final on all matters relating to this Contest. Each judge will award 5 points to his/her top individual entry and 5 points to his/her top team entry, 3 points to his/her second place individual selection and 3 points to his/her second place team selection and 1 point to his/her third place individual selection and 1 point to his/her third place team selection. The individual Finalist and the Team Finalist with the highest cumulative score (combined with online voting, as indicated above, 20% for online scores and 80% for final judging panel scores) will determine the 1 Grand Prize Individual Winner and the 1 Grand Prize Team Winner. Judges will use the above listed Judging Criteria (by percentage, not points) when determining their top Finalist. In the event of a tie in the Grand Prize round of judging, Sponsor will make the final determination of the Grand Prize Winner. In the event of a tie in any round (besides Grand Prize judging), tied entries will be re-judged based solely on feasibility of the business idea.

10. PRIZES AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUES: Grand Prize (1 Individual & 1 Team): $5,000 to the 1 Individual and to each member of the 1 team, awarded in the form of a check (ARV $5,000 per team member). Finalist Prize (5 Individual and 3 Teams): A 3-day/2-night trip for two (Winner and parent/legal guardian) to the Grand Prize Event, on a Sponsor-specified date in May, 2015, to attend the Grand Prize Event. Trip consists of round-trip coach air transportation from the major airport nearest to the Winner’s residence, round-trip transfers between airport and hotel, and standard double-occupancy hotel accommodations (ARV $1,000 each). Runner-Up Prizes (4 Individuals, 2 teams –– for those Finalists who do not win the Grand Prize): $500, awarded in the form of a check to each individual and to each member of the 2 teams. Semifinalist Prize (10 individuals, 5 teams): $250 awarded in the form of a check to each individual and to each member of the 5 teams.
Each of the 5 individual finalists and 3 team finalists will be invited to name a teacher/instructor who was most inspirational in their entry process. Teacher/Instructor Finalist Prize (up to 8): A 3-day/2-night trip for one (1) to the Grand Prize Event, on a Sponsor-specified date in May, 2015, to attend the Grand Prize Event. Trip consists of round-trip coach air transportation from the major airport nearest to the Winner’s residence as determined by sponsor, round-trip transfers between airport and hotel, and standard double-occupancy hotel accommodations (ARV $750 each). Teacher/Instructor Grand Prize (1 for the individual Grand Prize Winner and 1 for the Team Grand Prize winner): $1,000 in the form of a check. Teacher/Instructor Runner-up Prizes (up to 6): $250 in the form of a check. If no teacher/instructor is identified by a Finalist, then this prize will not be awarded. Prizes cannot be transferred, substituted, or redeemed for cash, but Administrator reserves the right to substitute prize, or a portion of prize with a prize, or portion or prize of equal or greater value if such prize or portion becomes unavailable. Taxes on prize, if any, are solely the responsibility of winner.

11. General Conditions: Participants (and participant’s parent/legal guardian, if participant is a minor) hereby: (1) grant to BKFK a non-exclusive, perpetual license to receive, reproduce, distribute, display and otherwise process submitted data, materials and information, and to evaluate same, both in connection with the Competition and outside of the Competition, and (2) agree (a) that BKFK, The Fairholme Foundation and Genius Brands International, their respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, advertising and promotion agencies, and all of their respective officers, directors, trustees, employees, representatives, advisors and agents (individually and collectively “Releasees”) are released, will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by participants (and a participant’s parent/legal guardian, if participant is a minor) against any liability for any injuries, losses or damages (whether due to negligence or otherwise) of any kind to person(s), including death, or property, or for breach or failure of any representation, warranty or obligation, or for infringement of rights of intellectual property, publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light, resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in this Competition or any Competition related activities, and (b) except where legally prohibited, winner (and winner’s parent/legal guardian, if winner is minor) grant (and agree to confirm that grant in writing) permission to BKFK and those acting under its authority the right to the use of the winner’s name, picture, likeness, voice, biographical information and statements, and entry (or any part thereof) at any time or times, for advertising, trade, publicity and promotional purposes without additional compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide and on the Internet and World Wide Web, without notice, review or approval, and (c) winner (and winner’s parent/legal guardian, if winner is minor) agree that the winner shall appear at any times and at any places deemed reasonably necessary by BKFK to advertise, promote, or otherwise market the winner’s idea (it being understood that any such appearance will be on reasonable notice to the winner, that winner will be excused from such appearance should he/she have a prior commitment which cannot be delayed, and reasonable expenses as determined by BKFK for any such appearance will be borne by BKFK). The parent or legal guardian of all potential finalists must sign Publicity and Liability Releases on behalf of the entrant and guest by the deadline established by Sponsor in order for any entrant to advance to the final round.

12. Liability Limitations: Releasees are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, incomplete, or non-delivered entries; or for interrupted or unavailable satellite, network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, telephone or other connections, availability or accessibility, or miscommunications, or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, or lines, or technical failure or jumbled, corrupted, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures, or technical errors or difficulties, or other errors of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic or network or the incorrect or inaccurate capture of entry or other information or the failure to capture, store, or loss of, any such information. Entrants are expected to, and shall, retain copies of all portions of their entries, and shall not rely on Administrator to retain same. Administrator shall not be responsible for lost or corrupted submission materials. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of this Competition, as solely determined by the Administrator, will be disqualified. Any use of robotic, automatic, macro, programmed, third party, or like entry methods will void all such entries by such methods, and disqualify any entrant using such methods. Releasees are not responsible for injury or damage to participants' or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this Competition or downloading or printing materials of any kind from, or for, this Competition, or use of the website. Should any portion of the Competition be, in Administrator’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, technical failures or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Administrator, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct, or submission of entries, Administrator reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Competition, and select the winner from entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Administrator. Releasees are not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Competition, and assume no responsibility for any error, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation, or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction, or unauthorized use to this website. In case of dispute, the authorized website registrant whose username and password is used to enter the Competition at the actual time of the submission of an entry will be deemed to be the entrant, and must comply with these Official Rules.


14. Arbitration/Choice Of Law: Except where prohibited, entrants (and entrants parent/legal guardian if entrant is a minor) agree that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Competition, or any prize awarded, or the determination of the winner(s), shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by arbitration pursuant to the Rules of the American Arbitration Association, then effective, and (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Competition but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim 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 entrant and/or Administrator in connection with the Competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Connecticut, without regard for conflicts of law doctrine, and all proceedings shall take place in the State of Connecticut. If permitted by law, and the Rules of the American Arbitration Association, entrants (and entrant’s parent/legal guardian if entrant is a minor) agree, all proceedings commenced hereunder, the details, transcripts, testimony and all particulars of all such proceedings, and the results of all such proceedings, for example but not limited to findings of fact and/or law, and awards, (all as however characterized), shall be kept and maintained as confidential by all of the parties (and their counsel or representative(s)) to any proceeding, and shall not be disclosed, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, to any third party.

15. Privacy: The personalized entry information provided is subject to the Privacy Policy on the above stated website. To read that Policy, access the website and then access the ‘Privacy Policy’.

16. Winner List: For the name of winners mail a first class self addressed stamped envelope to: BKFK, ATTN: Competition Winners; 1177 High Ridge Rd; Stamford, CT 06905 for receipt by June 30, 2015. Name of winners may also be posted on the website.

17. Administrator: By Kids For Kids, Company, 1177 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT 06905 USA

18. Sponsor: Fairholme Foundation, 4400 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33137 USA

19. Creator: Genius Brands International, 9401 Wilshire Blvd., #608, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 USA