South Side Pitch (“Contest”) Contestant Rules 


This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and void where prohibited.  Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Rules and Organizer’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest.  Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. Entrants that are selected as finalists or semi-finalists (as described below): (i) may be required to record and submit pitches and content, (ii) may be required to complete a live judging panel, and (iii) must be available on Thursday October 20, 2022 from approximately 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm CT. By entering, entrants agree that if they are selected as finalists or semifinalists, that they are available and willing to complete any such actions. 

What is South Side Pitch? 

South Side Pitch is a pitching competition that showcases some of the South Side’s most creative and promising businesses before an in-person and virtual audience. It will culminate in an event on October 20, 2022 where finalists’ business pitches will be presented and the winners chosen by a panel of judges will be announced. Organizer reserves the right to adjust or alter any round of submissions, including how and when the finalists’ pitches are completed. 

Entry Period: The Entry Period for the Contest begins on June 20, 2022 at 12:00:00 am CT and ends on August 1, 2022 at 11:59:59 pm CT. Only selected semi-finalists and finalists shall move on to the next round of the Contest. 

Event Details: 

South Side Pitch
Thursday, October 20, 2022 5:30-8:00PM
In-Person and Virtual Event 

Who is organizing South Side Pitch? 

The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School is the “Organizer” of South Side Pitch. 

Is my business eligible for South Side Pitch? 

In order for your business to be eligible for South Side Pitch, your business must meet the following requirements as of the start of the Contest: 

  • Have less than 50 employees 
  • Be past the idea stage and have a track record of serving customers 
  • Be a for-profit company 
  • Not be part of a franchise 
  • Not be a former or current client of the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship 
  • Not be a former South Side Pitch finalist 
  • Demonstrate connection to the South Side. At minimum, your primary business location must be on the South Side. If you own a home-based business or do not have a physical location for your business then your place of residency should be on the South Side. We define the South Side as any community area below Roosevelt Road. 
  • Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or older 
  • Made less than $1 million in annual revenue in 2020 

Am I eligible to be a pitching contestant? 

In order to be allowed to pitch for South Side Pitch, you must be an owner or founder of the eligible business. South Side Pitch is open to legal residents of Illinois, who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or older, and who are located in Illinois at the time of entry. Employees, contractors, directors, officers, owners or founders of former clients, owners or founders of current clients, and agents of the Institute for Justice, and members of their immediate family or household are not eligible to enter or win. 

How does this year’s contest work? 

This year, we will be looking for established South Side businesses that have made a positive impact on the lives of their customers, employees, community members, or owners through their business. We will pay special attention to entrepreneurs who can effectively describe what business project they hope to start or develop with the South Side Pitch prize money.  To enter the Contest, during the Contest Period, submit a complete application in the form on the website during the Entry Period.  An application that contains all required information, including answers to the required questions, and complies with all Content requirements described here receives one (1) entry into the Contest.  Limit: One (1) entry per person/business. By submitting your application, you agree to abide by the rules of the contest explained here and the decisions of the judges. 

On or before August 23, 2022, we will notify approximately 25 contestants who have been chosen to be South Side Pitch semi-finalists. Semi-finalists will be subject to verification. Only semi-finalists will proceed to the subsequent semi-finalist round. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, you will be asked to submit a thirty to sixty (30-60) second video about your business. On or before September 15, 2022we will upload the video of each semi-finalist and open up an online voting poll. The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite semi-finalists, from September 2, 2022 to September 22, 2022, and the winner of this online poll will be announced on September 25, 2022. The one (1) semi-finalist that receives the most votes will be the winner of this poll and will be guaranteed to advance to the finals. 

On September 25, 2022, we’ll announce our finalists, who will prepare a pitch and compete at our October 20, 2022event. Finalists will be invited to perform a five (5)-minute pitch before our panel of judges and an in-person and virtual audience including investors, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. The winners will receive prizes. Details of the final pitch process shall be provided to the finalists once they are selected. 

Around the time of our event on October 20, 2022, we’ll open up an online voting poll where the public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist. Each member of the public will be allowed to vote for their favorite finalist during this voting period and the first-place winner shall be deemed the “South Side Pitch Community Favorite”. There may not be any prize connected with winning the poll for the South Side Pitch Community Favorite. 

Potential semi-finalists, finalists, and winners are subject to verification. If any such individual is found not to be eligible or not in compliance with these Rules, if attempted notification or any prize is returned as undeliverable, if any required documents are not returned within the required number of days, cannot be verified, is unable to attend the pitches on the dates specified or unable to provide the content required, or is otherwise unable or unwilling to accept and claim the prize as stated, then such individual may be disqualified and the position and prize (if any) may be forfeited in Organizer’s sole discretion. 

What happens if there is a tie? 

If there is a tie at any level during the judging (including the public voting round), Organizer will decide who proceeds or wins. 

What goes in the submissions? 

Contest entries must comply with the Content requirements described here to be valid. “Content” refers to all content you submit in connection with your entry form for the Contest and, if applicable, any videos, pitches, or other content submitted during the semi-finalist and finalist rounds. Organizer reserves the right to remove any Content that does not adhere to the submission requirements, as determined in Organizer’s sole discretion, and/or disqualify the entrant. 

By entering the South Side Pitch, you represent and warrant that you are submitting only your original Content, which has not been copied from others and does not infringe on or violate the rights of any  third party or entity. You also represent and warrant that publication of the Content via various media including Web posting will not infringe on the rights of any third party. You represent and warrant that you have the right to enter the Contest on behalf of a business. If anyone claims the Content of your submissions is a violation of others’ rights, you promise to hold Organizer, Sponsors, Judges and others associated with the South Side Pitch harmless and indemnify them from any against any such claims. 

Any entrant whose Content includes likenesses of third parties or contains elements not owned by the entrant (such as, but not limited to, depictions of persons, buildings, trademarks or logos) must be able to provide legal releases for such use including Organizer’s use of such Content, in a form satisfactory to Organizer, upon request, prior to award of prize and/or naming of entrant as a semi-finalist or finalist. 

By submitting Content, you agree that your Content is gratuitous and made without restriction, and will not place Organizer under any obligation. You agree that Organizer is free to use or otherwise disclose the ideas contained in the Content on a non-confidential basis to anyone or otherwise use the Content without any additional compensation to you. You acknowledge that, by acceptance of your Content, Organizer does not waive any rights to use similar or related ideas previously known to Organizer, or developed by its employees, or obtained from sources other than you. 


All Content submitted by you must conform to the additional submission requirements set forth herein: 

  • Entries must be in English. 
  • Content must comply with these Official Rules; 
  • Content must comply with the posting requirements; 
  • Content cannot be sexually explicit or suggestive, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group, profane or pornographic, contain nudity or any materially dangerous activity; 
  • Content cannot promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message; 
  • Content cannot be obscene or offensive, endorse any form of hate or hate group; 
  • Content cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Organizer or its services, or other people, products or companies; 
  • Content cannot contain trademarks or trade dress owned by others, or advertise or promote any brand or product of any kind, without permission, or contain any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses; 
  • Content cannot contain copyrighted materials owned by others without permission; Organizer does not permit the infringement of others’ rights and any use of materials not original to the entrant (except copyrighted materials owned by Organizer) is grounds for disqualification from the Contest.  Do not copy your favorite book or use any other third party’s language unless you have obtained all rights necessary to permit you to use same in connection with your Content and grant the rights herein granted to Organizer; 
  • Content cannot contain materials embodying the names or other indicia identifying any person, living or dead, without permission; 
  • Content cannot communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Organizer wishes to associate (as determined by Organizer in its sole discretion); and 
  • Content cannot depict, and cannot itself, be in violation of any law. 

Organizer reserves the right to waive the Contest submission requirements set forth herein in its reasonable discretion. 

Will submissions be confidential? 

Submissions will NOT be confidential. Organizer of the South Side Pitch may announce or publicize the entries in the contest or post them on the web. Finalists will make a public presentation of their content. Submissions are not covered by attorney-client confidentiality. 

You should be aware that entering the Contest might be considered a publication or disclosure of your ideas, and it might affect your ability to patent any innovations contained in your entry. 

Who owns the submissions? 

Entrants will retain the ownership of the content and ideas in their submissions, but by entering entrants give Organizer and the South Side Pitch an unlimited, worldwide license and right to share, publish, use, publicize, and publicly perform the Content in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration to the entrant, as well as the same right and license to use their identities, name, likeness, and their pictures. 


What are the criteria for judging? 

The judges of South Side Pitch will judge entries on the quality of their answers to the questions. The Content submitted from applicants and semi-finalists will be judged on the impact of their business, the creativity of their business, the strength of their connection to the South Side, their ability to convey their business project idea, and their potential to contribute to an exciting pitch event. The panel of judges will assess the finalists based on the quality of their presentations and whether the pitch convinces the judges that the business will be an excellent example of the South Side’s entrepreneurial energy. The audience will also assess the finalists, and we can’t promise what they’ll consider! 

What is the prize and what are the rules for prize winners? 

The top three winners of South Side Pitch will receive a prize. The first-place winner will receive $8,000, second-place winner will receive $7,000, and third-place winner will receive $5,000. The individual who receives the most amount of valid public votes during the Finals Voting Period shall be deemed the “South Side Pitch Community Favorite” but may not be awarded any prize for such achievement. The first-place winner of the semifinals online poll, which will occur from September 2, 2022 to September 22, 2022, will be allowed to advance to the finals. Limit: one (1) prize per person/business. When the winners are announced, they will receive their prizes or certificates representing their prizes via direct deposit or mail (please allow 14 days to receive such item). If a prize, or any portion of it, cannot be awarded for any reason, Organizer reserves the right to substitute with another prize. Prize winners will be solely responsible for all federal, state, and/or local taxes, and for any other fees or costs associated with the prizes they receive. If required, winners will receive an IRS Form 1099 for the approximate retail value of the prize. Winners may be required to fill out an IRS W-9 Form, a Direct Deposit Authorization Form, and a Grants and Other Assistance Form, an Affidavit of Eligibility/Liability Release, and, where lawful, a Publicity Release, within ten (10) business days of attempted notification or prize may be forfeited. 

Any other rules for entrants? 

By entering, you agree to release Organizer, Sponsors, Judges and others associated with the South Side Pitch from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred as a result of the South Side Pitch. Organizer reserves the right to modify the plans for this Contest. Organizer is not responsible for any entries that are lost due to technical malfunctions or mistakes or failures or other issues outside its control.  Organizer shall not be responsible for a finalist’s or semi-finalist’s inability to access any live pitch events, inability to access any required virtual platform, and/or inability or difficulty in submitting any Contest Content or materials. Individuals who do not follow all of the instructions, provide the required information, fully complete the Contest questions, attend any required calls or provide any additional materials, and/or abide by these Rules or other instructions of Organizer may be disqualified. 

Organizer reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, bugs, virus, technical failures, or any other factor beyond Organizer’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or the proper functioning of the Contest, or if the Contest otherwise cannot be run or is not realistic to run because of factors outside of the Organizer’s reasonable control, all as determined by Organizer in its sole discretion. Organizer is not responsible for computer system, phone line, hardware, software or program malfunctions, or other errors, failures or delays in computer transmissions, any website, or network connections that are human or technical in nature. Organizer reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the website, or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of the Rules of this Contest or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Organizer reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Organizer’s delay or failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. 

As a condition of entering, entrants agree (and agree to confirm in writing): (a) to release Organizer,  Sponsors, Judges and others associated with the South Side Pitch, from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred with respect to the awarding, receipt, possession, and/or use or misuse of any prize; (b) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby knowingly and expressly waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses and/or any rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (d) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred (if any), excluding attorneys’ fees and court costs. 

How will entrant’s personal information be used? 

Please see the privacy policy located at for details of Organizer’s policy regarding the use of personal information collected in connection with this Contest. If you are selected as a winner, your information may also be included in a publicly-available winner’s list.