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Basic Rules

  • Website users 16 years and older may submit more than one unique idea for consideration.
  • Ideas may be submitted at any time prior to the May 31, 2021 deadline.
  • To be eligible Ideas submissions are limited to the following North Carolina counties. Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union.
  • Video recordings of pitches submitted to www.53idea.com will not be publicly viewable in there entirety.
  • The top 53 ideas chosen by the selection committee will attend and/or exhibit at the August 2021 Grand Pitch Event.
  • All those that submit ideas are eligible to participate in 53 Ideas contest training workshops which will be available online and possibly inperson.
  • Judges have full discretion over allocating grant moneys to the winners.
  • The 53 Ideas organizers may remove any idea from the website at their discretion.
  • The 53 chosen to receive $50 must attend the August 2021 Grand Pitch Event in order to be eligible for any future awards from 53 Ideas contests.
  • The top 53 chosen must participate in a closed pitch event for judges where ten will be selected and awarded $250 each.
  • The top ten chosen must pitch on stage for judges and a live audience to compete for first, second and third place awards. Award amounts will be $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500.

Terms & Conditions

Participation in the 53 Ideas contest constitutes permission for South Piedmont and 53 Ideas sponsors and partners to use the participant’s name, address (city and state), image, likeness, voice, biographical information, application, presentation, and/or video or audio recordings from live presentations—with the exception of the video recording uploaded to the 53 Ideas website by you in association with your 53 Ideas submission (the “Pitch”)—or otherwise for public display and advertising and promotional purposes in any form or media now known or developed in the future without notice or additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. Pitch recordings submitted through the website by registrants of 53 Ideas will not be made public without permission from the individual who submitted the idea.

South Piedmont may temporarily or permanently suspend the 53 Ideas contest, or modify the contest venues, structure, or rules at any time and without advance notice. The 53 Ideas, sponsors, and judges reserve the right, in their sole and absolute discretion, to disqualify and reject any entries and participants for any reason.

Employees of any of the participating community colleges in the southwest region and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouse) or members of the same household (whether related or not) of such individuals (“Related Parties”) are not eligible. A judge and his or her Related Parties are not eligible for the contest in which the judge is serving as a judge.

By entering the contest, entrants fully and unconditionally agree to be bound by the rules and the decisions of South Piedmont and the judges, which will be final and binding in all matters relating to the contest.

Any and all federal, state and local taxes and fees resulting from participation or receipt of any award are the sole responsibility of the participant. All federal, state, and local laws and rules apply.

By participating in the contest, all entrants and winners agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless South Piedmont, the judges, trainers, counselors and their respective affiliates, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors, from any and all liabilities, for losses, harm, damages, injuries, costs or expenses whatsoever including without limitation, property damage or injury which may occur in connection with participation in the contest, for any claims based on third party rights in the entry or arising out of the use of the entry as allowed by these rules including, but not limited to publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, trademark infringement or any other intellectual property-related cause of action.

Any attempted entry other than as set forth above is prohibited; no automatic, programmed, robotic or similar means of entry are permitted. South Piedmont and its affiliates are not responsible for technology, hardware, software, or communications malfunctions, errors or failures of any kind, lost, congested, or unavailable network or internet connections, incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause) or failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions which may limit one’s ability to enter the contest or vote, including issues resulting from downloading any materials from the contest, sponsor’s or partner’s website.

YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT SOUTH PIEDMONT, ITS JUDGES, AFFILIATES, PARTNERS, REPRESENTATIVES, AGENTS, SUCCESSORS, ASSIGNS, EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGE, LOSS, OR EXPENSE OF ANY KIND ARISING OUT OF OR RESULTING FROM YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE 53 IDEAS CONTEST
 REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH LIABILITY IS BASED IN TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE. IN NO EVENT, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, A NEGLIGENT ACT, SHALL CENTRAL PIEDMONT, ITS JUDGES, AFFILIATES, PARTNERS, REPRESENTATIVES, AGENTS, SUCCESSORS, ASSIGNS, EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OR CORRUPTION OF DATA, LOSS OF GOODWILL, WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR INTERRUPTION OF BUSINESS), ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY RELATED TO THE 53 IDEAS CONTEST OR ANY OTHER PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OR INFORMATION OFFERED, SOLD, OR DISPLAYED ON THIS SITE, YOUR USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THIS SITE GENERALLY, OR OTHERWISE IN CONNECTION WITH THIS AGREEMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER CENTRAL PIEDMONT, ITS JUDGES, AFFILIATES, PARTNERS, REPRESENTATIVES, AGENTS, SUCCESSORS, ASSIGNS, EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. BECAUSE SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

You expressly waive all rights to trial in any action or proceeding instituted in connection with these rules or the contest. Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to these rules or the contest shall be settled by binding arbitration in accordance with the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association.  The prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) in connection with the arbitration and any appeal from the losing party. Any award by the arbitrator shall be final and binding on all parties, subject to any limited right to appeal under the Federal Arbitration Act. Any court having jurisdiction may enter judgment on the arbitrator’s award.  Any such controversy or claim shall be arbitrated on an individual basis, and shall not be consolidated in any arbitration with any claim or controversy of any other party. The arbitration shall be conducted in the State of North Carolina, City of Charlotte. 

THESE OFFICIAL RULES AND THE INTERPRETATION OF ITS TERMS SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A., WITHOUT REGARD TO ITS CONFLICTS OF LAWS RULES.  South Piedmont makes no representation that the materials are appropriate or available for use outside the United States. If you access this site from outside the United States, you will be responsible for compliance with all local laws. You agree to comply with all laws and regulations applicable to your use of this site. For any disputes with Central Piedmont arising out of the contest or the rules that are not subject to arbitration, you agree to submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of the state or federal courts located within Mecklenburg County.


A list of winners will be posted at 53ideas.com following each contest.