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Boost Your Business

Official Rules

Forbes.com “Boost Your Business 2009” Contest

No Entry Fee or Purchase Required to enter. Visit www.Forbes.com/boost anytime between May 15, 2009 and June 30, 2009, follow the guidelines to write and pitch your plan for expanding your existing small business, and submit your entry in the completed registration form, including answers to the registration questions. You will have the ability to preview your entry and the option to revise it before final submission. Once your entry is submitted there will be no further revisions allowed. To assist with writing your entry, please note the Judging Criteria in section 2, below. Entries must not exceed five hundred (500) words in length, and must include the following six contest specifics:

a. a description of your business
b. a discussion of your business model
c. capitalization – how is your business funded?
d. differentiators – how is your business different from, or better than, your competition?
e. years of relevant experience (for you and your management team)
f. your plan for using the prize to “boost your business”

See Entry Instructions next to the entry form for additional explanation of the above six specifics. The business outlined in the entry must be currently operating, and entrant must be either an owner or executive in a position to influence the direction of the company profiled in the entry. The business profiled in the entry must comply with all of the following to be eligible. Your business must:

1. have at least one salaried employee, aside from the owner
2. be incorporated for five (5) years or less at the time of entry (LLCs, LLPs, &    LPs allowed)
3. be a for-profit entity
4. have annual revenues between $0 and $5,000,000

Limit one (1) entry per business. Entries must be complete with all registration information and question responses to be eligible. Contestants who submit multiple entries or invalid information will be disqualified. Entries must be received by 11:59 PM ET June 30, 2009. Entries may be submitted online, only, via the Contest website. No mail-in or email entries will be accepted.

2. Judging Criteria: Entries must be five hundred (500) words or less. All entries will be judged on the following criteria, with equal weight given to each, in all rounds of judging:

i.  overall quality & clarity of entry
ii.  how well the ideas contained in the entry were conveyed
iii.  completeness of a. through f. in section 1, above (and further detailed in the instructions accompanying the entry form), originality, & strength of you business investment pitch

Any submissions containing unsuitable language or inappropriate content of any kind will be disqualified, as determined by the Contest judges at their sole discretion. Sponsors and Independent Judging Organization reserve the right to declare non-qualified entries (those that are plagiarized; created under false pretenses or with false statements; show obvious lack of effort; contain incomplete or inappropriate content, etc.) ineligible.

3. Judging: Entries will be judged according to the criteria listed above in all rounds of judging, under the supervision of Promosis, Inc. In the event of a tie in any of the judging rounds, the tied entries will be re-judged using the identical criteria until the designated number of finalists and winner are determined.

Initial Round: Entries will be judged approximately between July 1, 2009 and July 31, 2009 to determine not more than 20 entries as semi-finalists, based on review and the established criteria. Initial round judging will be conducted by a screening panel of established members of academia, small business operators and consultants, and Forbes.com editorial department, coordinated by Promosis.

Second Round: The twenty (20) semi-finalists will be notified of their semi-finalist status by August 4, 2009, and will be required to submit a thirty-second “elevator pitch” video based on their original entry (assistance will be provided for semi-finalists in locating a videographer and creating the video, if necessary). Elevator pitch videos must be received by Forbes no later than August 14, 2009. Semi-finalists not complying with this requirement will be disqualified. Semi-finalist entries and elevator pitch videos will be judged approximately between August 17, 2009 and September 30, 2009 to determine not more than five (5) finalists. Second round judging will be conducted via online voting by Forbes.com readers.

Profiles & Presentations Round: The five (5) finalists will be notified of their finalist status by October 8, 2009, and will be required to submit a more-detailed business plan based on their original entry, plus an overview or executive summary of the detailed plan. Finalists will receive a trip to Forbes.com in New York City , scheduled for mid-to-late October, 2009. While in New York , each finalist will meet with a presentation coach and prepare a ten-minute presentation. Presentations will be made to the judges by each finalist, followed by a ten-minute question and answer session, both of which will be videotaped. Transportation and hotel accommodations will be provided by Forbes.com. Finalists will be required to travel to New York during the time period specified by Forbes.com, and to have their detailed business plans/overviews received by Forbes before the NY trips are scheduled, or forfeit any potential prizes.

Final Round: Each finalist’s presentation video and summarized business plan will be posted on Forbes.com for reader voting, approximately between November 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009. Final judging panel opinions and online reader voting combined will determine the Grand Prize winner. The opinions of the judging panel and the results of the online voting will each comprise fifty percent (50%) toward the outcome of the final judging round. Potential winner will be contacted by email from Promosis to the address supplied during the entry process, with follow-up notification sent by overnight courier, and will be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility and liability/publicity release that must be returned and received within 14 days of the date mailed to the potential winner, or an alternate winning entry will be selected. Winner will be announced on or about December 10, 2009.

4. Verification and Publicity of Entries: Entries that are judged to be one of the twenty (20) semi-finalists after the initial screening and judging round (see Judging, above) will be subject to individual verification by PROMOSIS, Inc., an independent judging organization whose procedures and decisions in all matters relating to this Contest are final. Verification will determine eligibility of each semi-finalist entry for inclusion in successive rounds of the Contest. Each semi-finalist entry will be reviewed and each semi-finalist entrant will be interviewed to determine whether entry is valid, i.e. that the business profiled in the entry is a recognized, legitimate, and currently operating entity. If, in the independent judging organization’s sole opinion, an entry is determined to be ineligible according to the above criteria, that entry will be disqualified, and the entry judged to be next in line will be included in the group of twenty semi-finalists. The Contest Sponsors, including, but not limited to Forbes.com LLC and Comcast (“Sponsors”) may publicize any initially submitted entries in full or in part. By entering, participants (1) acknowledge that Sponsors, Judges, and/or Forbes.com readers may develop or promote ideas, concepts or products which are similar to any ideas, concepts or products you may submit as part of your contest entry; and (2) to the fullest extent permitted by law, agree to release and indemnify Sponsors, Judges, and/or Forbes.com readers from and against any and all liability arising out of any similar ideas concepts or products developed or promoted by Sponsors, Judges, and/or Forbes.com readers. Sponsors, Judges, and Forbes.com readers will be granted access to some or all of the business descriptions and information submitted as entries in this Contest. Access to the business ideas will be granted to the members of the judging panels, visitors to Forbes.com, and Promosis to screen and conduct judging of entries.

5. Prizes: One (1) Grand Prize: $50,000 cash to be used for business development as described in winning entry, plus $50,000 worth of advertising credit on Forbes.com. Approximate retail value of Grand Prize is $100,000. Prize may not be transferred. Forbes.com advertising credit portion of prize may not be exchanged for cash. No substitution for Forbes.com advertising credit portion of prize permitted, except by Sponsors in the event of unavailability. Grand Prize will be awarded to the winner at the Forbes Galleries in New York , on or about December 10, 2009, date to be scheduled. Sponsors make no warranties, representations or guarantees, express or implied, in fact or in law, respecting the performance or use of the Forbes.com advertising credit portion of prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Winner is solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on the value of the prize. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority. In no event will Sponsors be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules.

6. Eligibility: The Contest is open only to legal residents of the United States who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. Entrant must either hold an ownership stake in the business that is the subject of his/her entry, or hold an employment position within the company that is responsible for, or influences the direction of the company. This Contest is not open to publicly traded companies. Grand Prize winning companies from previous years of the Contest are not eligible. Finalists in previous years of the Contest are eligible. Employees of Forbes LLC, Forbes.com LLC, Comcast and any other program sponsors, and Promosis, Inc., their subsidiaries, respective affiliates, and advertising and public relations agencies, and their immediate families as well as individuals living in the same households of such employees are ineligible. Entrants agree to the release of their name, address, and email information to Promosis, Inc. for winner notification purposes and for public winner disclosure as required by law, in addition to the disclosure outlined above. Contest is void where prohibited by law or regulation, and is subject to all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. By entering, participants agree to be bound by these official rules. All submitted entry/registration data becomes the property of Forbes.com LLC. Entries must be original, unpublished, and not previously or currently submitted for consideration in any other contest or promotion. Entries must be conceived and created entirely by the entrant, and may not be used or submitted to any other entity for concurrent publication or consideration. By entering this Contest, entrant assigns all rights of ownership of the entry (not the idea or business) to Forbes.com and the Contest Sponsors, including copyright, publicity rights, and the rights to reprint and otherwise reproduce the text in promotional, advertising, training, and publicity materials for any purpose, and in any medium.

7. Limitation of Liability: Sponsors, their promotion partners, independent judging organization, and their affiliates are not responsible for typographical errors in any Contest-related materials; for lost, late, misdirected, incomplete, or illegible entries or email; for technical, hardware, software, Internet, or telephone failures of any kind; for lost or unavailable network connections; or for failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions that may limit or interfere with a participant’s ability to take part in the promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to cancel or modify promotion if fraud or technical failure compromises the integrity of the promotion, or corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness, or proper play of the Contest, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Sponsors, their promotion partners, related companies, agencies, and their respective employees or officers shall not be liable for injury, losses, damages, or costs of any kind resulting from participation in this promotion, or acceptance of or use or misuse of a prize or parts thereof. Sponsors and Promosis, Inc. may prohibit any entrant from participating in this Contest or any future promotion, if, in the sole opinion of Sponsors or Promosis such entrant (i) has tampered with the entry process or the operation of the Contest, (ii) repeatedly shows a disregard for the rules, or (iii) acts (a) in an unsportsmanlike manner, (b) with an intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass Sponsors or Promosis, or any other entrant, or (c) in any other disruptive manner. The Contest may be terminated at any time after its commencement without prior notice; however if such termination should occur, prizes will be awarded to winners judged from valid entries received.

8. Dispute Resolution: Participants and Sponsors agree that any Dispute between Participants and Sponsors not resolved by Promosis, Inc. will be resolved exclusively and finally by arbitration administered by the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) and conducted under its rules, except as otherwise provided below. Participants and Sponsors will agree on another arbitration forum if NAF ceases operations. The arbitration will be conducted before a single arbitrator, and will be limited solely to the Dispute between Participants and Sponsors. Neither the arbitration, nor any portion of it, will be consolidated with any other arbitration or will be conducted on a class-wide or class action basis. The arbitration shall be held at any reasonable location near residence by submission of documents, by telephone, online or in person. Any decision rendered in such arbitration proceedings will be final and binding on the parties, and judgment may be entered thereon in any court of competent jurisdiction. Should either party bring a Dispute in a forum other than NAF, the arbitrator may award the other party its reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees, incurred in staying or dismissing such other proceedings or in otherwise enforcing compliance with this dispute resolution provision. Participants understand that, in the absence of this provision, you would have had a right to litigate disputes through a court, including the right to litigate claims on a class-wide or class-action basis, and that Participants have expressly and knowingly waived those rights and agreed to resolve any Disputes through binding arbitration in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph. This arbitration provision shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Section 1, et seq. For the purposes of this provision, the term “Dispute” means any dispute, controversy, or claim arising out of or relating to (i) this Agreement, its interpretation, or the breach, termination, applicability or validity thereof, (ii) the related order for, purchase, delivery, receipt or use of any product or service from Sponsors, or iii) any other dispute arising out of or relating to the relationship between Participants and Sponsors; the term “Sponsors” means including but not limited to Forbes.com LLC, Comcast, and Promosis, Inc., their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, beneficiaries, agents, assigns, component suppliers (both hardware and software), and/or any third party who provides products or services purchased from or distributed by Sponsors; and the term “Participants” means you, or those in privity with you, such as family members or beneficiaries. Information may be obtained from the NAF on line at www.arb-forum.com, by calling 800-474-2371 or writing to P.O. Box 50191 , Minneapolis , MN , 55405 .

9. Winners List: For the name of the winner, send a standard size postcard, only, with your name and address to: Forbes.com “Boost Your Business 2009” Contest Winners List, P.O. Box 38 , Marblehead , MA   01945 . Requests must be received by February 29, 2010.

10. Main Sponsor: Forbes.com LLC, 90 Fifth Avenue , New York , NY   10011 .

© 2009 Promosis, Inc.