underwritten by SAP


1.    Introduction

The Accelerator Grant (the “Program”) is an initiative of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (the “Sponsor”), challenging alumni of the Sponsor’s scholarship program who have launched a new fashion company to submit their business plans (each an “Application”) in hopes of receiving a $50,000 equity-free grant (the “Grant”) as well as industry mentorship. The 2019 YMA FSF Accelerator Grant will be underwritten by SAP.

Grant recipients will be determined in three stages. Alumni who wish to participate in the Program (“Applicants”) will submit their Applications through the Program website. Applications will be evaluated by an Alumni Association vetting panel, which will include a phone or skype interview with the Applicant. An executive panel, including the members of Sponsor’s Executive Committee, will then select up to five Applicants (the “Finalists”) who will be offered the opportunity to attend Sponsor’s Accelerator Grant Pitch Day (“Pitch Day”).

Submitting an Application constitutes Applicant’s agreement to these Official Rules and Regulations and to the Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Program and the Grant. Receipt of the Grant is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth in these Official Rules and Regulations.

2.    Overview of Program Dates

Application Period: January 15, 2019 (9:00am Eastern Time) – April 30, 2019 (11:59pm Eastern Time)
Finalists Notified:    Approximately May 24, 2019
Pitch Day: Approximately June 13, 2019
Grantee Announcement: June 13, 2019

3.    Eligibility

i.    Applicant must be an individual meeting the requirements of clauses (ii) and (iii) below.

ii.    The Applicant must be a former recipient of a scholarship from the Sponsor who is no longer enrolled in an undergraduate program at a college or university

iii.    The Applicant must identify the business that will receive the Grant proceeds (the “Organization”). The Organization must be a business that the Applicant has founded and at which the Applicant is in a permanent, senior leadership position (and the Applicant must remain in such capacities on each of the Grant Dates). The Organization need not be a legally registered business entity.

iv.    There are no restrictions on the time a business has been operating, revenue generated or investment raised.

v. Applicants who have founded and are in permanent, senior leadership positions at the same Organization may apply jointly.

4.    Program Application Period

i.    An Applicant must submit its Application between January 15, 2019 at 9:00am Eastern Time and April 30, 2019 at 11:59pm Eastern Time (the “Program Application Period”). The Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for this Program.

ii.    Any Application entered following the Program Application Period will not be eligible under the Program.

5.    Application

i.    Beginning at the start of Program Application Period, the link to the Application portal will be posted on https://www.ymafsf.org/adg/ (the “Program Website”). 

ii.    Applicants must create and develop a business plan that has applications within the fashion industry, is at an early of seed stage of development and exhibits potential for future growth (the “Plan”).

iii.    Applicants must confirm that they have read and agree to these Official Rules and Regulations and the legal notice available on the Program Website by checking the “ACCEPT TERMS” box on the Application.

iv.    Applications must include responses to various questions contained on the Application, including:

a)    General background and contact information;
b)    Information about the business and its founders;
c)    Responses to the specific questions, including a brief summary and business plan deck summarizing the Plan;
d)    Information relating to current level of investment; and
e)    Information relating to vision for future growth and how the Grant would be used.

v.    Once an Application has been submitted and the Program Application Period has ended, an Applicant may not make any changes or alterations to the Application. Applicants may save draft versions of their Application before submitting it on the Program Website.

vi.    In the event of a dispute pertaining to this Program, the authorized account holder of the email address used to enter the Program will be deemed to be the Applicant’s representative. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person or legal entity assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Applicants may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

6.    Application Requirements

i.    All Application materials must be in English.

ii.    Applications must: (1) be the original work product of the Applicant; (2) be solely owned by the Applicant and with no other person or entity having any right or interest in it; and (3) not violate the intellectual property rights or other rights including but not limited to copyright, trademark, patent, contract, and/or privacy rights, of any other person or entity. An Applicant may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the Application provided the Application components, including the design and prototype, if applicable, are solely the Applicant’s work product and the result of the Applicant’s ideas and creativity, and the Applicant owns all rights to them.

iii.    Applicants may be required to provide additional information, and the Sponsor has the right to request additional information, to verify any aspect of the Application. Failure by an Applicant to respond in a timely fashion or fully honor such a request may result in disqualification of the Application.

iv.    By entering an Application, an Applicant agrees that the Application complies with these Official Rules and Regulations

v.    An Applicant authorizes the use of the Application, and the material and information contained in the Application, by the Sponsor, and/or Judges (or any of their respective agents and representatives) in connection with the Program and the Grant. The Sponsor will provide Application materials only to its Governors, officers, employees, agents and representatives, including Alumni Association members involved in the selection process, and will advise them that their use of this information should be limited to selecting a Grantee. However, the Sponsor and its Governors, officers, employees, agents and representatives, including Alumni Association members, and the Judges will be permitted to disclose any information if requested or required by law, rule, or regulation, or order or other action of a judicial, regulatory, administrative, or governmental authority.

vi.    Each Applicant acknowledges and agrees to disclose any relationships it may have with any member of the Sponsor’s Board of Governors (including members of the Sponsor’s Executive Committee) or any Director of the Sponsor’s Alumni Association, any of their relatives and any business at which these people (including relatives) are employed or have an ownership interest. Examples of these relationships include ownership relationships (e.g., owning equity in the Applicant), employment relationships (e.g., working for the Applicant) and business relationships (e.g., as (or ownership of or employment at) a supplier, customer, service provider or service recipient of the Applicant). Each Applicant agrees to disclose any existing relationships as well as those that may potentially occur in the future. For example, if there have been any discussions regarding investments in the Applicant, employment at the Applicant or business relationships with the Applicant, these should be disclosed. Although not a list of all types of relationships that require disclosure, the following are examples of relationships that require disclosure:

a)    A Sponsor Governor/Alumni Association Director or a related person or company has invested in the Applicant or expressed an interest in investing in the Applicant;
b)    A Sponsor Governor/Alumni Association Director or a relative is an employee of the Applicant or will be hired if the Applicant receives funding;
c)    A Sponsor Governor/Alumni Association Director or a related person or company has (or will have) an ownership interest in (or is) a current or contemplated business partner of the Applicant;
d)    A Sponsor Governor/Alumni Association Director or a relative is (or will become) an employee of a current or contemplated business partner of the Applicant

The existence of a relationship will not necessarily disqualify an Applicant. However, certain relationships may result in the Sponsor determining that extending a Grant to an Applicant might not be appropriate or permitted given the purpose of the Program and the terms of the Sponsor’s conflict of interest policy or any other policy.

7.    Selection of Finalists

i.    After the close of the Application Period, the Applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges (the “Judges”) selected by the Sponsor. Such Applications may be evaluated in one or more rounds of judging, and each round of judging may involve different Judges. The Judges will evaluate each Application on the criteria identified below to select up to five Finalists who will be offered the opportunity to attend the Pitch Day. 

ii.    All Judges shall be and remain fair and impartial. Any Judge may recuse himself or herself from judging an Application if the Judge or the Sponsor considers that it is inappropriate, for any reason, for the Judge to evaluate a specific Application or group of Applications. This includes, but is not limited to, cases where a Judge has a business relationship or affiliation with an Applicant or where the Judge’s participation would be inconsistent with the Sponsor’s conflict of interest policy or any other policy.

iii.    Judges will rate the quality of all Applications using the following five equally weighted criteria:

a)    Viability of Idea: The Applicant’s product/service is a solution to a gap in the market that has been well-defined by the Applicant. A customer base willing to pay for the Applicant’s product/service exists and has been well-defined by the Applicant.
b)    Growth Potential: The Applicant’s product/service cannot be easily replicated. The Applicant has taken measures to protect its ideas, designs and brand through patents and/or trademarks. The Applicant has demonstrated that its product/service is urgently needed in the market place through quantifiable analysis and testing. The Applicant has sized the market for its idea, and its potential reach. The Applicant has clearly identified its direct and indirect competitors, and described competitive advantages of its product/service.
c)    Development and Vision: The Applicant demonstrated an extensive, well-researched sales and marketing plan that includes a mix of proven, cost-effective sales and marketing tactics. The Applicant has conducted thorough risk analysis of its venture, identifying major sources of risks, and described how it would mitigate them. The Applicant clearly defined how it will attract and retain the right team to deliver its product/service to market. The Applicant demonstrated a specific action plan on how it will use funds and resources from the Sponsor to deliver results outlined in its business plan within a reasonable time period.
d)    Progress Evaluation: The Applicant has effectively and efficiently used resources available to it thus far to develop expertise in its field, and to attract customers, marketing and distribution partnerships and other alliances, demonstrating significant personal investment into venture. The Applicant’s idea has momentum.
e)    Brand Fit: The Applicant demonstrated respect and appreciation for the Sponsor and can be expected to continue to stay engaged and supportive of Sponsor’s organization as Applicant’s business grows.

8.    Selection of Grantee

i.    Finalists must attend the Pitch Day for consideration as a Grantee. Entrance will be at no cost, and the Sponsor will provide stipends for the reasonable costs of transportation and lodging. 

ii.    Each Finalist will have 15 minutes to present its idea (the “Pitch”). Finalists may use presentation materials in connection with its Pitch. Each Pitch will be followed by a question and answer session from the Judges.

iii.    One Finalist will be selected by the Judges as the Grantee. The Grantee must have fully complied with these Official Rules and Regulations to receive the Grant.

9.    Verification of Applicants

i.    All Applicants are subject to verification of identify, qualifications and role in the creation of the Application by the Sponsor, whose decisions are final and binding in all matters related to the Program. The Applicants must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules and Regulations throughout the Program. Finalists will be notified by approximately May 24, 2019 using the email address associated with the account used to enter the Application. The Grantee will be notified by the end of the day on the Pitch Day. Finalists and the Grantee must keep the notifications confidential until the Sponsor issues a public announcement.

ii.    At the sole discretion of the Sponsor, an Applicant will be deemed ineligible to participate in the Program if:

a)    the Applicant does not respond to Sponsor within seven business days of when it is contacted;
b)    after submitting an Application, the Applicant declines to participate in the Program, including the Pitch Day;
c)    the notification to the Applicant is returned as undeliverable; or
d)    the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, determines that the Applicant is ineligible to participate in the Program or that such participation, or the receipt of a Grant, would be inconsistent with the Sponsor’s conflict of interest policy or any other policy

10.    Grant

i.    Half ($25,000) of the Grant will be awarded to the Grantee shortly following the announcement of the Grantee. The balance ($25,000) of the Grant will be awarded to the Grantee approximately 12 months after the receipt of the initial amount, provided the Applicant remains eligible for receiving the Grant (as set forth in Section 3) and has participated in a meaningful manner in at least one event hosted by the Sponsor, such event and level of participation to be mutually agreed upon in advance by the Sponsor and the Applicant.

ii.    The Grantee shall be responsible for any applicable federal, state, and local taxes associated with the Grant.

11.    Publicity

Participation in the Program constitutes an Applicant’s consent to Sponsor for Sponsor, its Governors, officers, employees, agents and representatives to use any information identifying the Applicant, including its name, logo, business description, relationship with Sponsor and its Alumni Association and is participation in the Program, for promotional purposes in any media at any time during and following the conclusion of the Program, without further payment or consideration.

12.    General Conditions

i.    Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Program, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failure or any other unanticipated factor or factor beyond Sponsor’s control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Program, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Applicant it finds to be tampering with the Program, specifically including but not limited to the entry process or the operation of the Program or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules and Regulations or in a manner that is inappropriate, not in the best interests of this Program or a violation of any applicable law, rule or regulation.

ii.    The Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules and Regulations shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. The Sponsor is not responsible for any technical difficulties in connection with any Application.

iii.    In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and Regulations and disclosures or other statements contained in any Program materials, including but not limited to the Program Application form, Program Website or advertising, the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and Regulations shall prevail.

iv.    The Sponsor reserves the right, without liability, to amend the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and Regulations at any time. The Sponsor will post the terms and conditions of any amended Official Rules and Regulations on the Program Website. Any amendment will become effective at the time the Sponsor posts the amended Official Rules and Regulations.

13.    Limitations of Liability

An Applicant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and Regulations and hereby releases the Sponsor and its Governor’s, officers, employees and representatives and the Judges from any and all liability in connection with the Applicant’s participation in the Program.

14.    Disputes

i.    An Applicant agrees that:

a)    any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Program shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action;
b)    any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Program, shall be resolved exclusively by the courts of the State of New York or in the federal courts located in New York County in the State of New York; and
c)    under no circumstances will Applicants be entitled to, and Applicants hereby waive all rights to claim, any punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased

ii.    All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules and Regulations, or the rights and obligations of the Applicants or the Sponsor in connection with the Program, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.

15.    Contact Us

If you have any questions or wish to send us any notice regarding this Program, please email us at info@ymafsf.org.