Official Rules


Financial Empowerment App Hackathon

Competition Requirements

Official Rules



The Financial Empowerment App Hackathon (the “Competition”) is an initiative of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE). The Competition is intended to provide recognition to individuals (“Contestants”) who submit portfolios that demonstrate a capacity to develop useful tools or applications that will empower clients of OFE’s Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) to manage their personal finances through safe and affordable banking practices, establish/improve credit scores, decrease debt, and increase savings. The Competition will be judged by a panel of experts (the “Competition Judge or Judges”). Contestants must demonstrate the right combination of skill and experience to participate in the Hackathon to be held March 2-3, 2013 pursuant to the criteria set forth below. The goal of the Competition is (1) to develop tools and apps that could benefit OFE FEC clients in NYC ; and (2) engage the developer community in identifying technology that could improve quality of life and financial stability of New Yorkers.

By participating in the Hackathon, you agree that others may use or promote tools that you develop in the course of the Hackathon.

Summary of How to Enter and Winner Selection Process

Visit to apply by submitting a link or links to your portfolio (the “Submission”). Space is limited to 150 participants, who will be invited to participate in the Hackathon for two days (March 2013) during which time they will develop digital tools for use by City employees, subcontractors, Financial Empowerment Center clients and the public.

*Review the sections below for a more detailed description and important requirements and restrictions.

1. Can I Participate?

The Competition is open only to legal residents, 18 or older, of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia) at the time of entry. Void in Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories and possessions and where prohibited by law. Employees of sponsors (The CFE Fund, Capital One and OFE) and their immediate family (spouse, parents and step-parents, sibling and step-siblings, and children and step-children) and household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year) of each such employee are not eligible to participate. If a Judge’s employees or employees of any of their respective affiliates enter, Judges will be required to recuse themselves from scoring any submission from such person or team. In this case, the score for that entrants’ submission will be calculated by adding the average of the other judges’ scores to the total score. The Competition is subject to all applicable United States federal, state and local laws and regulations. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Experts and Sponsors and Administrators’ decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Competition. Winning by being asked to participate in the Hackathon is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

2. When Do I Enter?

Entrants must apply online by March 1, 2013 5:00 PM (the “Competition Submission Period”). Administrator’s computer is the official time keeping device for this Competition.

3. How Do I Enter?

A. Apply:

Visit and apply. It is free to apply. You must submit a valid email address to complete your application. Contestants will be able to enter links to their work, and all of the materials linked must represent your original work. In the event of a dispute as to any application, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register will be deemed to be the Contestant’s. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person 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. Potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

B. The Submission:

When you apply, you must complete a short questionnaire. You will have the option to link to examples of your work and, if desired, to provide a brief text description describing your prior work and experience.

C. Submission Requirements:

Submissions must be the original work of the individual submitting it (“Contestant”) and the Contestant must own all right, title, and interest to the Submission.

Submissions must not be indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrate a lack of respect for public morals or conduct or adversely affect the reputation of the Sponsors.

Submission must not a) be illegal under applicable laws; b) depict hatred, threaten a specific community in the society or incite violence; c) contain vulgar language or violence; or d) contain pornography, obscenity or sexual activity.

D. Submission Rights for Entrants:

By participating in the Hackathon, you agree that others may use or further develop ideas or materials that you provide during the Hackathon. As to your Submission for this Contest, the City of New York, Sponsors and Administrators will maintain a royalty-free license to, without limitation, use your Submission for purposes of judging the Competition. Once a Contestant enters a Submission, the Submission cannot be modified in any way until after the judging is complete. Submissions, to the extent that they consist of any tangible materials, will not be returned to Contestants.

4. Display and Judging of Submissions

Submissions that violate a Submission requirement will not be considered. All Contestants will have equal access to submit their Submissions through a web form, posted on the website. Registration will be required in order to receive updates on the Competition. Contestants may not pay the Competition Judges or provide any other type of consideration in exchange for votes. Any Contestant who violates the ban on paying or providing consideration in exchange for votes will be disqualified.

5. Selection and Judging

Sponsors reserve the right to substitute or modify the judging panel at any time for any reason. Hackathon Judges have the right to withdrawal without advance notice in the event of extenuating circumstances beyond their control and will be fair and impartial. A Judge may elect to recuse him or herself from judging a Submission, if in the Competition Judge’s sole discretion it is not appropriate for him or her to judge that particular Submission because of a past or current relationship with that particular Contestant. A Submission will not be at a disadvantage if one or more Competition Judge recuses him or herself.

All Hackathon participants must sign a participant waiver before the start of the Hackathon. No travel, per diem or other expenses will be paid for attendance at the Hackathon. Selected participants will be responsible for all costs associated with attending.

Hackathon winners must include the following language in their winning application’s information summary: “This application was developed during New York City’s First Financial Empowerment App Hackathon, which took place on March 2 and 3rd, 2013.”

6. Verification of Potential Winners

ALL POTENTIAL COMPETITION WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION BY SPONSORS AND/OR ADMINISTRATORS WHOSE DECISIONS ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE COMPETITION. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules. The potential winners will be required to sign and return to Administrator an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release in order to attend the Hackathon on March 2 and 3, 2013. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if the winner notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits attendance at the Hackathon. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsors may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner who had the highest score remaining of the eligible entries.

7. What Can I Win?

The Hackathon will be held on March 2 and 3rd, 2013, at the Dumbo Loft, located at 155 Water Street. During the Hackathon, participants will be judged based on the best applications and digital tools that are developed over the course of the weekend and may be eligible to receive cash or in-kind prizes at the conclusion of the Hackathon. Winners are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute prizes of comparable value. No transfer or substitution of a prize is permitted except by Sponsors.

8. Other Things to Know

A. Entry Conditions and Release

By entering, each Contestant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors, Administrator, and/or the Competition Judges which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Competition; (b) release and hold harmless the Sponsors, Administrator, and their respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliated companies, the prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Competition, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a Contestant’s entry, creation of an entry or submission of an entry, participation in the Competition, acceptance or use or misuse of prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, transmission, performance, exploitation or use of entry; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Sponsors and Administrator from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or relating to a Contestant’s participation in the Competition and/or Contestant’s acceptance, use or misuse of prize.

B. Ownership of Submissions

Competitors will retain all rights to their Submissions except for the limited rights granted in Section 3.D above.

C. Releases Required for Hackathon Participation

All Hackathon entrants will be asked to submit original software applications (“Content”) for future use by the City of New York. Hackathon participants must agree that the City and its agents and assigns may use and develop the Content suggested or presented by participants in the Hackathon and must grant the City a royalty-free, perpetual license to post, design, launch and promote City initiatives on the City’s website and functionality related thereto.

Participants in the Hackathon must represent that Content they contribute is original work that does not violate the rights of any third party. In addition, Contest winners must represent and warrant that they do not need to obtain the permission of, nor make any payments to anyone else in order to grant the City the right to use Content developed during the Hackathon. If such permissions or payments are required, the Contest winner must agree to be responsible for such payment or obtaining such permission and release, indemnify and hold harmless the City, (the “Released Parties”) from any liabilities arising therefrom.

Those participating in the Hackathon must agree that the City has access to and/or may create or have created materials and ideas which may be similar or identical to the Content in theme, idea, or other respects and agree that they will not be entitled to any compensation or other consideration because of the use by the City of any similar or identical Content which may have been independently created or come to the City from any other independent source or may be in the public domain.

Those participating in the Hackathon must also agree that they will be acting as volunteers and that they are doing so without expectation or promise of future paid employment by the City of themselves or any entity with which they are affiliated.
Contest winners are not entitled to use or authorize third parties to use the Content incorporating City data or in the same way the City is using the Content for a period of seven (7) years in the tri-state area.

D. Publicity

Except where prohibited, participation in the Hackathon constitutes winners’ consent to Sponsor’s, Administrators’ and their agents’ use of winner’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purpose in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

E. General Conditions

Sponsors and Administrator reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond Sponsors and/or Administrator’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by Sponsors and/or Administrator in their sole discretion. Sponsors and/or Administrator reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual or Competitor it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsors and/or Administrator reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsors and/or Administrator’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsors and/or Administrator are not responsible for, nor are they required to count, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful or illicit votes, including those secured through payment, votes achieved through automated means or by registering more than one e-mail account and name, using another Contestant’s e-mail account and name, as well as those lost for technical reasons or otherwise.

F. Limitations of Liability

The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Competition, (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Competition; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Competition or receipt or use of any prize. If for any reason an entrant’s Submission is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, entrant’s sole remedy is to provide another Submission. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.

G. Disputes

Entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Competition, or any prizes awarded, other than those concerning the administration of the Competition or the determination of winners, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (2) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Competition, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved exclusively by the United States District Court or the appropriate New York State Court; (3) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Competition, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (4) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant and Sponsors in connection with the Competition, 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 of conflict of law rules (whether of the State of New York or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York

H. Privacy

Sponsors collect personal information from you when you enter the Competition. The information collected is subject to the privacy policy, which can be found

I. Competition Results

For Competition results go to on or about March 8, 2013.

J. Sponsors and Administrator

Sponsors: (1) Capital One Bank, P.O. Box 4199, Houston, TX 77210 (1); Administrator: (1) The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, 1040 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018; (2) New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, Department of Consumer Affairs, 42 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10004