Redeye Presents The Big Idea Awards

Official Contest Rules

PLEASE NOTE: Our prizes just got even better. In addition, to the prize listed below, each category winner can also choose to receive:

  • Up to $10,000 worth of new business launch services from Venture Connects.
  • A one-year Executive Membership to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, a $300 Chicagoland Chamber gift certificate to apply toward event registration, and a pre-event business presentation session to help with marketing best practices. Membership will start as soon as the award recipient completes a membership application, and is good for the next 12 months (ex. 12/1/2017 thru 11/30/2018). ARV: $1,300.
  • Complimentary, three-month WeWork membership for each Group. ARV: $6,150. The membership may be redeemed for a Dedicated Desk or Private Office solely at WeWork State Street (100 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60603) beginning on or before December 1, 2017. The prize can be redeemed only by non-WeWorkmembers.

Additional prizes subject to terms below.


The entry period for “RedEye Presents The Big Idea Awards” (the “Contest”) starts at 12:01 AM (CT) on September 1, 2017 and ends at 5:00 PM (CT) on October 4, 2017 (the “Entry Period”). The Contest is subject to these Official Rules, and by entering, all contestants agree to abide and be bound by the terms and conditions herein and the decisions of RedEye (the “Sponsor”).

1) Eligibility

This Contest is open to legal U.S. residents residing in the Illinois counties of Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane, and Will who are 21 to 40 years of age as of the first day of the Entry Period and who have an innovative idea (the “Big Idea”) and demonstrable progress toward realizing the Big Idea, in one of the following four categories: 1. Food & Drink; 2. Arts & Design; 3. Technology + Apps; or 4. Giving Back. You must not have a significant source of funding for your Big Idea as of the first day of the Entry Period. For purposes of this Contest, a significant source of funding is defined as more than $100,000 that has been provided by a third party in debt, equity, or in-kind services to support your Big Idea or that you have already received in support of the development of your Big Idea. Employees (and their immediate family members (defined as spouse, parents, siblings or children) or household members (whether or not related)) of Sponsor, Final Round (defined below) location, and of their parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, and/or public relations companies associated with this Contest (collectively, the “Contest Entities”), are not eligible to participate. A potential winner may be requested to provide proof that all eligibility requirements are met as well as proof of ownership of the email address associated with the winning entry. If entrant is a group (“Group”), all Group members must meet the eligibility criteria. Groups must consist of five or fewer members. Limit one entry per person, regardless of whether the person is entering as an individual or as a member of a Group. Void where prohibited and outside the above-listed Contest area.

2) Entry

Entrants may enter through an online entry form at (the “Website”) during the Entry Period. Entrants must provide all information requested, which may include: name, age, address, email, phone, social media handles (not required), current occupation, Category (defined below), a visual representation of the Big Idea (e.g., photos, sketches) (the “Visual Representation”) and an essay response (the “Essay”) to the following: Describe your Big Idea. When did you start building your Big Idea and why? Describe any funding/financing/profit you have already received for your Big Idea, including amounts, investors and funding sources. The Essay must be in English and no more than 500 words long. (Collectively, the Essay and Visual Representation will be referred to as the “Submitted Materials.”)

The Big Idea must fall into only one of the four eligible categories (each, a “Category”):

  • Food & Drink: creating, providing, refining food or beverage-related items
  • Arts & Design: Creating, performing, organizing in the arts or design industries, including but not limited to music, dance, graphic, design, painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.
  • Technology & Apps: creating or developing applications, software, tools, gadgets, or machinery
  • Giving Back: resolving problems, enhancing communities, providing opportunities, gathering resources within communities.

3) Selection of Finalists and Notification

Up to four Finalists (the “Finalists”) in each of the four Categories will be selected by the RedEye Editorial team (the “Judges”) from among eligible entries, provided a sufficient number of eligible entries are received. Submissions will be judged based on the following criteria: feasibility of Big Idea (one third); creativity/innovation (one third); and Big Idea’s potential to make a positive impact in an industry (one third). If there is a tie for fourth place in a Category, the Judges will re-evaluate the tied entries to break the tie. Sponsor will attempt to notify potential Finalists on or about October 16, 2017 by using the information provided by Finalists with their entry, and Finalists will be required to attend a mandatory photo shoot and interview on a date and at a site to be determined by Sponsor (the “Photo Shoot”). If the Finalist is a Group, at least one member of the Group must attend the Photo Shoot. Every Finalist who participates in the Photo Shoot will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Release prior to participating in the Photo Shoot. A potential Finalist will be disqualified and Sponsor may select another Finalist based on the next leading scorer, time permitting, if: (a) a Finalist does not respond within 12 hours of first notification attempt; (b) a Finalist does not fulfill the eligibility requirements; (c) a Finalist does not adhere to the Official Rules; (d) a Finalist does not participate in the Photo Shoot; (e) a Finalist does not provide required identification or documents by the deadlines established by Sponsor; and/or (f) if the notification is returned as undeliverable, refused, or declined.

4) Selection of Winners:

The Finalists must appear and demonstrate their Big Idea at the Big Idea Finalists event scheduled to be held at Untitled Supper Club, 111 West Kinzie Street, Chicago on November 6, 2017 between 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm (CT) in order to remain eligible in the final round (the “Final Round”). If the Finalist is a Group, at least one member of the Group must attend the Final Round. No substitutions allowed. The Final Round consists of onsite voting. Voters will have an opportunity to see each Finalist’s Big Idea demonstration. Members of the public must be onsite in order to vote. Each voter may submit one vote in each Category. The Finalist with the highest vote total in each Category will be declared the winner in that Category. If there is a tie, the winner will be the Finalist with the higher score from the Judges. A winner will be disqualified and the next leading vote recipient from all remaining Finalists will be designated the winner if: (a) a potential winner does not fulfill the eligibility requirements; (b) a potential winner does not adhere to the Official Rules; or (c) the potential winner (or at least one member of the Group) does not attend the Final Round.

5) Submitted Materials:

By participating in the Contest, each entrant represents and warrants that the Big Idea and all Submitted Materials: are the original idea of the entrant, that entrant has all rights necessary to submit; have not been copied in whole or in part from any other work; contain no defamatory, threatening, obscene, harassing or otherwise unlawful material; have never been previously published or submitted to any other competition; and do not violate or infringe any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary or privacy or publicity right of any person or entity. The Submitted Materials must be in compliance with the Website General Terms of Service. If entrant breaches any of these representations and warranties, or any of the Contest Rules, entrant is solely responsible for injury caused by the breach. Violation of any of these representations and warranties will be cause for disqualification. Entrants agree to indemnify, defend and hold Sponsor harmless against any and all liabilities, losses, damages, claims, debts, investigations, fines, penalties, costs, expenses and settlements (including attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation, settlement, judgment, interest and penalties) arising out of or related to a breach of the foregoing representations and warranties. Entrants grant to Sponsor an irrevocable, world-wide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and fully sub-licensable license to use, copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, publicly perform, publicly display, modify, adapt, translate, store, and create derivative works from their Big Ideas and Submitted Materials, in whole or in part, in any form, format, or medium of any kind now known or later developed, in any manner related to the Contest and to Sponsor, including but not limited to advertising for Sponsor, without prior notice, approval or compensation. Entrants otherwise retain all rights to their Big Ideas and Submitted Materials. Entries that do not comply with these Official Rules or that otherwise contain prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified and will not be considered for a prize.

6) Prizes:

Each Category winner will receive promotion for the winner’s business within the Chicago Tribune Media Group (“CTMG”) portfolio of print and digital media with a value of up to $15,000 for use anytime during the 2018 calendar year. The prize will be awarded to the winner’s business in which the Big Idea is being realized and executed and may not be used by the winner individually or by individual members of a winning Group. Winner and CTMG will jointly develop a marketing plan that must be confirmed by January 30, 2018. Placement to be agreed upon between winner and Sponsor. Creative provided by the Contest winner, must relate to Big Idea, and subject to approval of Sponsor in its sole discretion. All such advertising will be subject to the standard terms and conditions applicable to the digital or print platform in which the advertising appears, and will be valued at the rate card rate for such advertising. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $15,000. Total ARV for all prizes: $60,000. Winners’ businesses are solely responsible for any applicable federal, state and local taxes in connection with their prize. Prizes are not transferable. Only Sponsor may elect, at its discretion, to substitute a prize of greater or equal value. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee. All expenses not specifically provided for herein are the responsibility of the prize winners. Additional prizes may be determined during the Contest. Any additional prizes will be announced via RedEye social media channels, on the entry page at, and at the Final Round. Properly claimed prizes will be awarded, but in no event will Sponsor award more prizes than are provided for in these Official Rules.

7) Conditions Applicable to Voting:

Voters must be over the age of 21. Proxy voting is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to creating multiple or dummy emails. No one may purchase votes. The use of automated or third party software or web site to vote is prohibited. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any votes cast in violation of the above restrictions. Sponsor is not responsible for votes that are lost, late, deleted, garbled, corrupted, misdelivered, or misdirected.

8) Other Conditions:

The Sponsor and/or Judges will make all final decisions in any and all issues related to this Contest, and their decisions will be binding in all respects. Finalists (including all members of Finalist’s Group if applicable) will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Release prior to the Final Round, if they have not already done so prior to the Photo Shoot.

By entering this Contest, each entrant agrees to release, waive and hold harmless the Contest Entities from any and all injuries, claims, damages, losses, costs, or expenses of any kind (including without limitation attorney’s fees) resulting from accessing the Website; submitting an entry or otherwise participating in any aspect of the Contest; the receipt, ownership or use of any prize awarded; preparing for, participating in or traveling to and/or from any prize-related activity; or any printing, typographical or other error in these Official Rules or the announcement or offering of any prize. Neither the failure of Sponsor to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of these Official Rules or the failure, delay or omission by Sponsor in exercising any right with respect to any term of these Official Rules, will be construed as a waiver or relinquishment to any extent of Sponsor’s right to assert or rely upon any such provision or right in that or any other instance. If there is a conflict between the terms of these Official Rules and the terms of any advertising or entry materials used in connection with the Contest, the terms of these Official Rules will govern.

By accepting a prize, winners agree, where legal, to allow Sponsor and its agents and licensees to use their name, voice, photograph, likeness and any information provided on the entry, in any medium of communication, including advertising, promotional or other purposes, without additional compensation.

9) Internet/Fraud/Tampering:

If for any reason this Contest is not capable of running as planned, or if this Contest or the Website (or any portion thereof) becomes corrupted or does not allow proper participation in the Contest in accordance with these rules, or if infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, actions by entrants, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes, in the Sponsor’s sole opinion, corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual implicated in such action and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend this Contest or any portion thereof. If the Contest is cancelled during the Entry Period, the Sponsor will select Finalists by applying the criteria set forth above to eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to the time of the action or event warranting such cancellation and will re-open the Contest for selection of the winners. If such cancellation, termination, modification, or suspension occurs, notification will be posted at the Website. Sponsor reserves the right to prohibit any entrant or voter from participating in the Contest if, at its sole discretion, Sponsor finds such entrant or voter to be tampering with the operation of the Contest, or if such entrant or voter shows a disregard for, or attempts to circumvent, these Official Rules, or acts: (a) in a manner the Sponsor determines to be not fair or equitable; (b) in an annoying, threatening or harassing manner toward any other entrant, voter or Sponsor; or (c) in any other disruptive manner. If a dispute arises regarding compliance with these Official Rules, Sponsor may consider, in its sole discretion, data reasonably available to Sponsor through information technology systems in Sponsor’s control, but Sponsor will not be obligated to consider any data or other information collected from any other source. Sponsor assumes no liability for: (x) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, or for any faulty, failed, garbled or jumbled electronic data transmissions; (y) any unauthorized access to, or theft, destruction or alteration of entries at any point in the operation of this Contest; or (z) any technical malfunction, failure, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or communications line failure, regardless of cause, with regard to any equipment, systems, networks, lines, satellites, servers, computers or providers utilized in any aspect of the operation of the Contest.

10) In Case of Dispute:

By entering the Contest, entrants agree that: (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Contest, or any prizes awarded, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards will be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Contest but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. Some jurisdictions do not allow for limitations on the ability to pursue class action remedies, or certain kinds of damages, and so these limitations may not apply to you. This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of any other state’s laws. Venue for any action concerning the Contest or these Official Rules will be in the courts located in Cook County, Illinois.

11) Winners List:

For an Official Winners List (available after November 6, 2017), send a request and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to RedEye Marketing, ATTN: Elizabeth Montemurro, 435 N. Michigan Ave, TT300, Chicago, IL 60611. All requests for Winners List must be received by December 31, 2017.

12) Sponsor:

RedEye, a Chicago Tribune Company LLC publication, 4th Floor, 435 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.