Contestants, by participating, agree to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules, our Privacy Policy and by our and the judges’ decisions, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to the Contest. Carroll County Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber” or “we” or “us”) is the host of the Carroll Biz Challenge (“Contest”).


The Contest is open to individuals and teams, otherwise eligible, who are proposing a business or product idea that is not yet established. This includes, but may not be limited to, brand new business ideas, budding startup businesses, or businesses that launched or will launch in 2023. The proposed businesses must be a company that is or will be headquartered or principally located in Carroll County, Maryland. Individuals and teams, otherwise eligible, must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry.

The following persons are ineligible: (i) employees and principals of the Chamber or any of its affiliates; participating advertising and promotion agencies and prize suppliers and their employees and affiliates; any member of the immediate family of a natural person excluded under clause (i) or clause (ii) of this sentence (i.e., such person’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses) regardless or residence; persons living in the household of a natural person excluded under clause (i) or clause (ii) of this sentence, whether or not related to such person; and members of a guild, union or other organization that prohibits or restricts its members from participating in the Contest or that otherwise has the right to oppose such members’ participation or, as a condition of such participation, to assess any special dues or other payment to the organization.

Prizes will be awarded in the name of the individual or business that entered. Any individual submitting an entry on behalf of a business entity represents and warrants that he/she is authorized to submit an entry on behalf of such business entity. This Contest is a skill-based contest, not a sweepstakes or other game of chance. Winners will not be selected randomly but on the basis of objective judging criteria (as set forth below).

Final determination of eligibility will be made by the Chamber under the guidance of the Contest Advisory Board.




The entry period begins at 6:00:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) on February 7, 2023 and ends at 11:59:59 P.M. EDT on May 31, 2023 (“Entry Period”). To enter, log onto (the “Contest Website”) during the Entry Period. You will be directed to create an account and complete the official entry form by following the instructions provided. You will be required to submit a description of your startup business idea. Each description of a new startup business idea or existing early stage startup business will from now on in these Official Rules be referred to as a (“Business Proposition”). Each entry form and Business Proposition (collectively, the “Entry”) must be submitted in English and meet the requirements of Rule 5.

More than one Entry may be submitted by a contestant but no more than one Entry per contestant will be eligible to be selected as a Finalist (as defined below). An Entry may be disqualified if, in the opinion of the Advisory Board, it is substantially similar to another other Entry submitted by the same contestant. Contestants are responsible for all costs associated with preparing and submitting their Entries, including applications, and building and testing prototypes. Entries must be received no later than 11:59:59 P.M. (EDT) on May 31, 2023. Once submitted, entries may be amended or supplemented until 11:59:59 P.M. (EDT) on May 31, 2023.  ALL ENTRIES ARE FINAL AS OF 11:59:59 P.M. (EDT) on May 31, 2023 AND MAY NO LONGER BE AMENDED, SUPPLEMENTED OR WITHDRAWN AND RESUBMITTED.


First Round

All qualified Entries will be judged by a panel of qualified judges that we select (“Advisory Board”). The Advisory Board will select competition finalists. The Advisory Board will judge the qualified Entries using the following judging criteria: (a) Innovation; (b) Product/Service Clarity; (c) Market Potential; (d) Competitive Advantage; (e) Future Milestones; (f) Sustainability; (g) Leadership; (h) Community Impact; and (i) Showmanship (the “Judging Criteria”).


We reserve the right to not award the prize at all if, in our sole discretion, we do not receive a minimum of 10 eligible and qualified Entries.

Finalists will be notified by phone and or email of their selection. In order to proceed to the Final Round, each potential Finalist must notify us of his/her willingness to proceed to the Final Round within 3 business days of notification and satisfy other eligibility requirements described in these Official Rules. If a potential Finalist does not timely satisfy all requirements set forth in these Official Rules, as determined by us in our sole discretion, a runner-up may be notified. The Finalists’ names will be announced on the Contest Website.

Final Round

The final round will take place on the evening of August 3rd in Westminster, Maryland. Each Finalist must be present in person at the Final Round and must prepare, at his/her expense, a presentation and demo of his/her Business Proposition. There will be a special panel of judges selected for the final round (“Event Judges”). The Finalist will present the presentation and demo to the Event Judges and to a live audience. The presentation and demo must be no longer than 5 minutes in duration. Each presentation and demo will be followed by up to 7 minutes of Q&A by the Event Judges.

The Finalists’ Entries will be judged on the Judging Criteria and the strength of the presentation and demo.

After all of the presentations and demos, the live audience will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite. The Finalist with the most audience votes will receive the $2,023 People’s Choice Award.

A representative from the United Way of Central Maryland will announce their choice for the Changemaker Challenge Award based on their criteria. The chosen contestant will receive $5,000 and need not be present.

The Event Judges will then meet privately to conduct a final review of the Finalists’ Entries and determine the Grand Prize winner.  After the private Final Round Judging sessions, the Grand Prize winner will be announced live, on stage. Finalists must be present at the Final Round to be eligible to win the Grand Prize.

Tie Breakers: 
In the event there are two or more identical and equally qualified Entries, as determined by us in our sole discretion, only the first one to be submitted will be considered.

In the event of a tie in the Final Round for the $2,023 People’s Choice Award, the live audience will have the opportunity to vote again, voting only for the Finalists who tied. The Finalist with the most live audience votes will be selected as the $2,023 People’s Choice Award Winner.

In the event of a tie in the Final Round for the $10,000 Grand Prize, the audience will vote to break the tie.

All decisions of the Advisory Board, Event Judges and audience vote are final and binding. For the purpose of these Official Rules, the Grand Prize winner, the People’s Choice Award winner and the Finalists may also be referred to in these Official Rules as “winners”.


One Grand Prize, will be awarded to the Grand Prize winner, consisting of $10,000 USD in cash.

One People’s Choice Award, will be awarded to the People’s Choice Award winner as determined by the live contest audience’s popular vote, consisting of $2,023 USD in cash.

One United Way of Central Maryland Changemaker Challenge Award in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded to a Biz Challenge applicant (not necessarily one of the Five Finalists) based on the criteria set forth by the United Way of Central Maryland. It will be awarded to the applicant who they feel best meets their criteria i.e. “the winner will have an innovative business idea/program that benefits the residents of our region.” 


Prizes will be delivered up to 90 days after the winner is announced. ALL TAXES ASSOCIATED WITH ANY PRIZE ACCEPTANCE ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNERS. All other taxes, costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of any prize not specified in these Official Rules as being provided are the sole responsibility of the winners. IF TAXES ARE APPLICABLE TO THE PRIZE(S), IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER TO PAY TO THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES. We reserve the right to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) for an item of comparable or greater value, at our sole discretion. Prizes are awarded without warranty of any kind from us, express or implied, without limitation. PAYMENTS TO CONTEST WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS REQUIREMENT THAT THE WINNER SUBMIT TO Carroll County Chamber of Commerce ALL DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED BY Carroll County Chamber of Commerce TO PERMIT COMPLIANCE WITH ALL APPLICABLE STATE, FEDERAL, LOCAL AND FOREIGN (INCLUDING PROVINCIAL) TAX REPORTING AND WITHHOLDING REQUIREMENTS. Contest winners are responsible for ensuring that the tax documentation submitted to Carroll County Chamber of Commerce complies with all applicable tax laws and requirements. If a winner fails to provide the documentation or submits incomplete documentation, the prize may be forfeited and we may, in our sole discretion, select an alternate winner.


The Advisory Board and Contest Judges may request additional information from the contestants as may be necessary to judge the Business Propositions. Contestants must respond to any requests for additional information within 3 business days from the time the request is made. Finalists and winners from any round of this Contest may forfeit prizes or opportunities to proceed in the Contest if (1) we are unable to contact him/her within 3 business days of first attempted notification, or (2) the contestant fails to respond as required within 3 business days of the date of any notification by us. Failure to comply with these deadlines or with these Official Rules may result in forfeiture of place as a Finalist or winner.


By submitting an Entry, each contestant grants to us and our affiliates the irrevocable, royalty-free right and license to use and publicize the Submission Materials, the contestant’s name, and the contestant’s likeness, trademarks and logos for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Contest on the Contest Website, in press releases, and in any and all media now or hereafter devised, worldwide in perpetuity (or to the maximum extent permissible under applicable law), without additional compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law.


Participation in the contest constitutes each contestant’s agreement to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber and their respective affiliates, agents, directors, officers, employees and assigns (collectively, “Released Parties”) from and against any and all loss, cost, damage liability or expense arising from or relating to (i) any third-party claim inconsistent with the representations set forth in Official Rule 5 (ii) any act or omission by us in connection with administering or publicizing the Contest.


We will be under no duty to keep Submission Materials confidential. Contestants should be guided by their own attorneys as to the desirability of seeking patents or other protection for their Business Propositions. Each contestant acknowledges that we or our affiliates may currently or in the future be developing information internally, or receiving information from other parties, that is similar to Submission Materials (“Our Developed Materials”). Nothing in these Official Rules will be construed as a representation or agreement that we or our affiliates have not developed or will not develop products, concepts, systems or techniques that are similar to or compete with the products, concepts, systems or techniques contemplated by or embodied in any Submission Materials. Each contestant agrees to waive any claims or action he/she has or may have in connection with Our Developed Materials.


Released Parties are not responsible for transmission errors resulting in omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials, or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions or limitations of any kind, or inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive entry information by us on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or any combination thereof. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to any entrant’s or any other computer resulting from downloading any materials in connection with the Contest.


We, in our sole discretion, reserve the right to terminate the Contest in the event it does not receive a minimum of 10 qualified Entries from separate eligible contestants. In addition, if for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, we may, in our sole discretion, change these Official Rules or cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest. If we elect to terminate the Contest, we reserve the right to select a winner from all non-suspect, eligible entries received as of the termination date using the judging procedure outlined above. We may disqualify any contestant and void its Entry if the contestant is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or website; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person.


This promotion is governed by United States federal law and the laws of the State of Maryland. Any and all legal actions or claims arising in connection with the Contest shall be adjudicated solely in a court of competent jurisdiction in the State of Maryland.

13. HOST

The proprietor of this Contest is Carroll County Chamber of Commerce (“we” or “us”), 9 East Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157.

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