CoinDesk PitchFest Official Rules

Effective Date: January, 2024.

The Pitch (“Competition”), which will be conducted at Consensus 2024, is organized by CoinDesk, Inc., Delaware corporation, USA (“Coindesk”).

1. Eligibility. Any project is eligible to participate in the Competition if it satisfies the following criteria:
1.1. Startup enterprises, as well as any developer teams, distributed autonomous organization (DAO) or non-fungible token (NFT) projects/communities involved in deploying a commercial business product or service that uses any of the blockchain technologies discussed below are eligible to apply.

1.1.1 Open Payment and Exchange Systems: Cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions that deal with the core “medium of exchange” function of money to enable wider financial inclusion, easier and less costly global payments and “programmability” enhancements for peer-to-peer fund transfers.

1.1.2. Organizational Governance | DAOs: Solutions that draw from the ideas and technology surrounding decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) in order to enhance collective empowerment, optimize community decision-making and better allocate shared resources.

1.1.3. Metaverse life:Blockchain solutions that improve people’s cultural, economic or social experience in virtual worlds and seek to advance the public interest, with the benefits accruing both to our off- and online existences.

1.1.4. Creator economy | NFTs: Solutions that draw on NFTs and related technologies to empower creators of art, media and entertainment and which encourage the expansion of creative ideas across the widest possible community of participants.

1.1.5. Digital identity/credentials: Solutions that resolve challenges arising from the identity and credentialing demands that societies and their institutions have developed offline when applied to the special privacy-preserving access needs of participants in decentralized online communities and ecosystems.

1.1.6. Decentralized IoT networks Solutions that allow different kinds of edge-computing devices to independently and securely share data across a mass network in a decentralized manner that preserves privacy and which enables and incentivizes automated actions in the shared interests of the community of users.

1.1.7. Web 3 and blockchain infrastructure: Solutions that address core challenges for growing the overall Web 3 ecosystem, making it more widely accessible and advancing the principles of practical decentralization. Problems to address include blockchain scalability, transaction costs, privacy and security, interoperability, analytics, real-world and off-chain interfaces and universal price discovery.

1.2. The entity sponsoring, promoting or developing the project complies with all the terms and conditions of these Official Rules.

1.3 The project is not instantiated in nor has major operations in any Excluded Country.

1.4 The project’s leaders and principal contributors and/or officers, directors, managers and employees are not subject to sanctions in the United States or listed in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List or the Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Lists, which may be found here.

1.5 At least one of the project's leaders is a legal resident of an Eligible Country, and at least 18 years of age at the time of entry into the Competition.

1.6. You agree to notify us if you have any relationship with CoinDesk or any Judge (as defined below) that is either pre-existing or that develops prior to the judging of the Competition. CoinDesk will ensure that any judging is conducted only by qualified individuals who do not have a relationship with your project.

2. Eligible Countries. Each of the following is an Eligible Country: United States, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine (excluding Crimea), United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.

Excluded Countries. Each of the following is an Excluded Country: Belarus, Crimea – Region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Russia, Sudan and Syria. If the project is legally incorporated in a country that is neither an Eligible Country nor an Excluded Country, please send an email identifying the country of incorporation for further determination of whether your project is eligible to participate.

3. When and How to Enter the Competition.

3.1. For the Consensus Pitch (the “Primary Competition”), CoinDesk will accept Entries until the 19th April 2024, Pacific Daylight Time. (UTC -7). Submit Entries via the Startup portal once you have purchased a Startup bundle.

3.2. Each participating project (“Entrant”), must complete and submit a Competition application that complies with all the terms of these Official Rules (“Entry”).

4. Location of Competition

4.1. The Primary Competition is expected to be presented by CoinDesk, at the Consensus 2024 Conference in Austin, Texas, USA during the months of May/June, 2024. However, Coindesk has sole discretion to determine the final location of the Primary Competition and determine whether the Primary Competition is held in person or as a virtual event. The primary rounds will be evaluated and vetted virtually. CoinDesk will provide information to the Finalists about the location and format of the Primary Competition as soon as reasonably practical in advance of the Primary Competition.

5. Selection of Winners.
Judges and Judging Criteria

5.1 Representations and Warranties.You represent and warrant that:
Judges for the Competition (the “Judges”) will be a diverse group of experienced technologists, investors, academics and industry experts with experience and expertise in evaluating innovative projects, DAOs, NFTs and startups in the crypto and Web 3 domains. Each Judge is required to recuse themselves from judging any Entrant with whom there is a personal or business relationship, including but not limited to as employees, directors, officers, advisors, investors, or family members.

5.2 Finalists and Winners will be selected based on the Judges’ assessment of the following equally-weighted criteria:

5.2.1. PRODUCT INNOVATION – Does this project rely on the distinctive characteristics of blockchain implementations for its unique business proposition, and is this business proposition a disruptive innovation that creates a new market and/or a new value-ecosystem that displaces or radically modernizes an existing industry? Is it differentiated from competitive or substitute offerings?

5.2.2. MARKET AND COMMUNITY - Is there a clear purpose with network effect, and high levels of user retention and growth. Are the community metrics across platforms showing growth (i.e Discord, Telegram, Slack, Twitter etc.). Can the project demonstrate that it will scale enough in the addressable market for sufficient growth/profit to be an attractive investment?

5.2.3. TEAM - Is this team uniquely qualified to develop this project? Do they strongly understand their users and the industry and ecosystem in which they operate? Do they have the determination and endurance to carry this through to completion?

5.2.4. GOVERNANCE - Is the organizational governance fit for purpose? Does the project’s design encourage the forging of consensus across the network? Is there value capture and value creation across the platform?


5.2.5 In the final weeks before the completion of the Competition, Judges will select 40 Finalists designated as eligible to pitch their companies to a panel of investors for the privilege of being designated the CoinDesk Pitchfest champion (the “Winner”). The Winner will be highlighted on the Consensus website and in social media in accordance with these Official Rules and CoinDesk’s Privacy Policy.

Additional Finalist and Winner Terms and Conditions

5.2.6. Entrant may enter into business relationships with potential investors, including Consensus Sponsors, at any time and at Entrant’s sole discretion. However, if Entrant enters into a business relationship with a Consensus Sponsor or begins discussions to enter into a business relationship, Entrant is required to notify CoinDesk that a relationship with the Sponsor relationship exists, as required in Section 1.6. No such business relationship is required in order to participate in the Competition or be selected as a Finalist.

5.2.7. Winners may not substitute, barter, transfer or assign any prize or opportunities, to the extent that any such items are available.

5.2.8. Entrant agrees that the decisions of the Judges are final and binding.

6. Expenses. Entrants are solely responsible for any expenses incurred to participate in the Competition, including but not limited to any travel costs. CoinDesk and the Judges will have no responsibility for any Entrant’s costs and expenses related to the Competition. Entrants also are solely responsible for any taxes, tariffs or other applicable governmental charges from any federal, state or local authority that may be due as a result of any winnings or obtaining any opportunities as a result of the Competition. All Entrants should seek independent advice regarding tax and other liabilities associated with any prize that may be available or receiving other benefits as a result of the Competition.

7. Notifying the Winners. CoinDesk will notify the Entrants by email, using the email address provided in the Entry. Notifications are expected to be sent to Entrants on May 10th, 2024. If a Finalist does not respond and provide the required confirmations within three (3) days of notification, is found ineligible, or does not comply with these Official Rules, such Entry may be disqualified by CoinDesk, in its sole discretion, and the Judges will select a replacement Finalist or Winner.

8. Competition Entry Restrictions. A Competition Entry will not:

8.1 Infringe or otherwise violate the intellectual property rights of any third party, including copyrights, moral rights, patents, trademarks, design rights, trade secrets and rights of publicity;

8.2 Disclose or rely upon the confidential or proprietary information of a third party without appropriate written permission;

8.3 Contain libelous, defamatory, disparaging or unlawful content;

8.4 Invade the privacy or right of publicity rights of any person (living or deceased), or otherwise infringe upon a third party’s personal or proprietary rights;

8.5 Violate any laws or regulations;

8.6 Include sexually explicit subject matter;

8.7 Depict or inspire violence, weapons or dangerous stunts;

8.8 Depict discrimination, bigotry, harm or hatred;

8.9 Depict or inspire tobacco or illicit drug usage;

8.10 Promote activities that are illegal in the Entrant’s home country;

8.11 Promote any political agenda; or

8.12 Reflect negatively on the goodwill of CoinDesk, Consensus or any Competition Partner(s).

9. The above list is not exhaustive. CoinDesk may disqualify any Entry if the Entry includes content that CoinDesk, in its sole discretion, deems unsuitable for this Competition. CoinDesk may reject or disqualify any Entry at any time, in its sole discretion, without incurring any liability.

10. Confidentiality. CoinDesk agrees that it will use reasonable efforts to treat the non-public information from each Entry as the confidential information of the Entrant. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Entrant understands and agrees that CoinDesk may disclose Entrant’s entry to Judges, and professional, financial and similar advisors; provided that such other persons or firms are bound by agreement or law not to further disclose such confidential information to any third party. Entrant also understands and agrees that CoinDesk is not required to treat as confidential any portion of Entrant’s confidential information in the Entry that (i) was disclosed to CoinDesk without obligation of confidentiality; (ii) becomes publicly available through no fault of CoinDesk; or (iii) that CoinDesk develops without reference to Entrant’s confidentiality. Entrant understands and agrees that, given the nature of the Competition, many individuals may have access to an Entry, and CoinDesk strongly encourages Entrant to include only information that is not confidential in its Entry. Any confidential information in an Entry is provided at Entrant’s sole risk.

11. Representations. Each Entrant represents and warrants that:

11.1 It meets the Eligibility Requirements listed in Section 1;

11.2 Its Entry is wholly original, factually accurate to the best of Entrant’s knowledge, and is Entrant’s own creation;

11.3 The individuals acting on Entrant’s behalf in connection with the Competition have the authority to do so; and

11.4 It is the sole owner of all rights relating to its Entry, or has obtained all necessary rights, including all copyrights, moral rights, patents, trademarks, design rights, trade secrets, rights of publicity, and other relevant intellectual property rights for access to and use of the Entry by CoinDesk, Judges in connection with the Competition or otherwise as contemplated in these Official Rules.

12. Indemnification. Each Entrant agrees to indemnify and hold CoinDesk harmless from any and all liability resulting from or arising from CoinDesk’s use of any Entry.

13. Publicity.

13.1 Each Entrant irrevocably agrees that, if it is identified as a Finalist, its project name and a non-confidential description of its Entry may be publicized in whole or in part, or not at all, on CoinDesk’s website and through other marketing channels worldwide. Publicity may be done by CoinDesk or a third party authorized by CoinDesk, including its Competition Partner and vendors. In addition, Entrant will identify one (1) or more representatives to represent Entrant in the Competition, and Entrant hereby confirms that its representative(s) irrevocably agrees to allow CoinDesk and anyone authorized by it to use each such individual’s name, likeness, voice, image, photo or video, including statements made by such representative(s) (collectively, the “Materials”), worldwide for any purpose and in any manner in connection with the Competition, Consensus, or future competitions or in furtherance of CoinDesk’s mission, without compensation, notice or further consent.

13.2 Examples of uses of the Materials include (i) public streaming of the Final Competition including Entrant pitches; (ii) internet-based distribution/promotion, including social media; (iii) marketing or promotional purposes, including future activities or events; (iv) media distribution; and (v) archival purposes.

13.3 Entrant and its representative(s) agree that any right to inspect or approve the uses of the Materials have been waived, and Entrant and its representatives have no claim to any compensation arising out of the use of the Materials.

13.4 Entrant and its representative(s) further agree to release CoinDesk, its employees, agents, the Competition Partner and all associated entities and agree not to sue or bring any proceeding against any of the same for any claim arising out of the use of the Materials, or any claims of ownership in the Materials.

13.5 Entrant and its representative(s) understand that this Agreement does not represent an obligation or commitment by CoinDesk to use any Materials, or take any authorized action.

13.6 Entrant and its representative(s) hereby grant CoinDesk or vendors to record and edit any portions of the Competition, whether held in person or virtually, and to use and publish such Materials.

13.7 If an applicant is advanced to the Primary Competition (‘Pitch at Consensus 2024”), they will be asked to execute an Events Authorization and Release Agreement which covers images, recordings, trademarks, etc.

14. General Terms and Conditions.

14.1 Rules. Entrants agree that Consensus has the sole right to establish and change the Official Rules and the operation of the Competition or award of prizes at any time and without notice or liability.

14.2 Competition Changes. CoinDesk reserves the right to cancel, change or suspend this Competition for any reason, including cheating, technology failure, catastrophe, epidemics or pandemics, war or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that affects the integrity of the Competition. If the integrity of the Contest cannot be restored, CoinDesk may but is not required to select winners from among all eligible Entries received before CoinDesk canceled, changed or suspended the Competition.

14.3 Entry Disclaimers. CoinDesk will not be responsible or liable for any incomplete upload of any Entry, and/or for any misdirected or invalid Entries due to transmission errors or corrupted data files, including without limitation, interruption or inability to access CoinDesk’s website, problems with internet connectivity, firewalls, virus protection software or hardware devices, and/or Entries that are late, destroyed, lost, stolen, misdirected, tampered with, incomplete, deleted, or not in compliance with these Official Rules.

14.4 Use of Entry. No Entries will be returned to Entrants. Except as expressly provided in these Official Rules, Entrant retains all rights to its Entry. Subject to the confidentiality obligations in these Official Rules, Entrant hereby grants CoinDesk, and anyone authorized by CoinDesk, including the Competition Partner, a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty free, transferable, sublicensable, perpetual and irrevocable license to copy, display, perform, distribute, create derivative works and otherwise use its Entry for any purpose related to the Competition, Consensus, future Extreme Tech Challenge competitions, or any other CoinDesk-related purpose. Entrant further acknowledges and agrees that Judges and the Competition Partner will have access to and may retain copies of its Entry.

14.5 Privacy. Except as expressly provided in these Official Rules, this Competition is governed by CoinDesk’s Privacy Policy. In the event CoinDesk provides any personal information of Entrants to the Competition Sponsor, Competition Sponsor’s use of such information shall be governed by its Privacy Policy.

14.6 Void Where Prohibited. Notwithstanding the list of Eligible Countries, if this Competition is deemed unlawful in any country, all entries from such country will be void, as determined by CoinDesk.

14.7 Damage or Disruption. Any attempt to deliberately damage the Competition website, defraud CoinDesk or Judges, or tamper with or undermine the legitimate operations of the Competition or CoinDesk may be a violation of civil and/or criminal laws, and responsible persons may be prosecuted or sued to the full extent permitted by law and will not be eligible for a prize or to be a Winner.

14. 8 Liability Waiver and Release. Entrant agrees that CoinDesk, Judges, the Competition Partner and anyone acting on behalf of CoinDesk or the Competition in any way (“Released Parties”) will have no responsibility or liability (including, but not limited to, liability for any property loss, damage, personal injury or death, as well as claims based on publicity rights, defamation, and/or invasion of privacy) in connection with this Competition, including participation or the acceptance, receipt, possession, misuse, nonuse or use of any prize or opportunity (or portion thereof); or any damage to Entrant’s (or any third person’s) computer and/or its contents related to or resulting from any part of Competition; even if caused by the negligence of the Released Parties. Entrant acknowledges that the Released Parties have wide access to ideas and that new ideas are frequently submitted to them or are being developed by their employees, including ideas that may be competitive with Entrant’s business. Entrant agrees that it will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of any Released Entity’s use of material that is similar or identical to its Entry. Entrant hereby waives all rights to claim irreparable injury, equitable relief, direct, indirect, punitive, incidental and/or consequential damages, attorney fees or any damages other than actual out-of-pocket costs incurred to enter the Competition. In no event will the Released Parties’ aggregate liability under these Official Rules or in any way in connection with the Competition exceed U.S. $100. Entrants agree to release all rights to bring any claim, action, or proceeding against the Released Parties.

14.9 Choice of Law. These Official Rules will be interpreted under the laws of the state of New York, U.S., and controlling U.S. federal law. Choice of law rules of any jurisdiction and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods will not apply to any dispute under these Official Rules.

14.10 Dispute Resolution. If an Entrant has any dispute regarding the Competition, Entrant must first give CoinDesk an opportunity to resolve the dispute by sending a written description of the dispute to CoinDesk.. CoinDesk and Entrant will negotiate Entrant’s dispute in good faith. If the dispute is not resolved within sixty (60) days after CoinDesk acknowledges receipt of Entrant’s description of its dispute, Entrant may pursue arbitration as described below.

14.11 Binding Arbitration. Except as provided below and to the extent permitted by law, CoinDesk and Entrant (each a “Party” and together the “Parties”) agree that any dispute relating to the Competition that are not resolved by the dispute resolution process above may be resolved by binding arbitration to be held in the county of New York in accordance with the Commercial Rules then in effect of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). The Parties will mutually agree on a single arbitrator. If the Parties cannot mutually agree, the arbitrator will be appointed by the AAA. The arbitrator may grant injunctions or other relief in such dispute or controversy. The decision of the arbitrator will be final, conclusive and binding on the parties to the arbitration. Judgment may be entered on the arbitrator’s decision in any court of competent jurisdiction. The Party that does not prevail will pay all of the costs and expenses of such arbitration, and each Party will separately pay its respective counsel fees and expenses. The arbitrator will not have the power to award damages in excess of the limitation on actual compensatory, direct damages listed in these Official Rules and may not multiply actual damages or award punitive damages or any other damages that are specifically excluded under these Official Rules, and each Party hereby irrevocably waives any claim to such damages.

14.12 List of Winners. For a list of Finalists and Winners, please contact us