Competition conditions

Who can participate in OUT OF THE BOX.NRW? Every startup that you nominate for our state prize by March 8, 2021 that meets and accepts the following requirements and basic conditions:

The startup is based in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The startup was founded between November 1st, 2017 and November 1st, 2019 (criterium: entry in the commercial register or for companies not subject to registration: business registration / proof of membership of a professional association).
The founding team or the employees of the startup did not nominate themselves.
The startup pursues a scalable digital business model. No agencies, sorry.
Only startups that were nominated via the online form on the website and have confirmed their nomination on that website will be accepted.
The startup consents to having its details entered in the project database and used by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia for communication purposes.
Those nominated gather points for their startup in an online vote. At the same time, a jury of experts appraises the nominations. They evaluate the degree of innovation/originality, market/sales potential, competitive environment and team qualifications. The ten companies with the most votes and the best evaluations (weighting: 50:50) qualify for the final.
If their startup reaches the final, the founder(s) agree(s) to participate in the PIRATE Summit from June 28 to July 2, 2021 and to present their digital business idea to a jury in English. A postponement of the event cannot be ruled out due to the current situation. Participation in the event is mandatory for the awarding of prizes at the OOTB 2021 event. To prepare for the PIRATE Summit pitch, participation in a pitch preparation in English is obligatory.
Final decision: the elimination procedure will take place on the evening of the event. One of the founders is required to present the startup on the evening of the event. The first-placed startup will receive 25,000 euros, the second-placed 15,000 euros and the third-placed 10,000 euros.
The European Commission considers prize money to be state aid and therefore disburses it as so-called “de minimis aid”*.
For this reason, startups nominated for the OOTB event may not exceed a maximum amount of 200,000 euros in aid received over the last three fiscal years, including the prize money.

*Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1407/2013 dated 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid (de minimis Regulation), in the version of the Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/972 dated 2 July 2020 (OJ EU L 215/3 dated 7 July 2020).