Announcing the Results: Meet the Winner
Understand the legal rules governing the competition.

Thank you for your interest in the Pitt Sustainability Challenge (“Competition”). The Competition is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”) with platform support provided by Carrot. Please know that by participating in this Competition and in accordance with these Rules, You are eligible to receive various forms of recognition and possible funding from the Competition Sponsor in the form of a $300,000 Award to execute Your Entry in coordination with one or more representative(s) of Pitt. The Rules governing this Competition ("RULES") are stated here as an extension of the Terms & Conditions ("TERMS") for use of this website. “You" or “Your” means the person using the Website, including a User, or an Entity duly organized and validly existing under state or federal law in the United States of America or another nation for which the person using the Website is the representative of the Entity. The full TERMS are available for Your review by accessing them on this website. The RULES constitute "Competition Terms & Conditions" under Clause 2.3 of the TERMS. Capitalized words used but not defined in the RULES have meanings given to them in the TERMS.

Please read these RULES and the TERMS carefully, as they describe the conditions under which You are allowed to participate. As You participate, You may periodically be asked to recognize Your acceptance of these RULES and the TERMS by clicking "accept" at various pages on this website, but by continuing any use of this website You expressly consent to all of these RULES and the TERMS.



1. Eligibility

The Pitt Sustainability Challenge is a team-based competition. A team may consist of one or more organizations. Each team must identify a Lead Organization during registration to this Competition. The Lead Organization must be in good standing in the legal jurisdiction(s) that control status. The Lead Organization would assume responsibility for receiving and taking accountability for any Award funds, as well as providing the direction, control, and supervision for the proposed project, on behalf of the team members. The Competition Sponsor welcomes applications from Lead Organizations that meet the following definitions (also subject to limitations described under Ineligible persons or entities):

  • University of Pittsburgh Departments, Divisions, Centers, Offices, or other official units organized within the University of Pittsburgh with their own internal account code.
  1. Individual University faculty, staff, or students may submit proposals provided they are sponsored by University of Pittsburgh Departments, Divisions, Centers, Offices, or other official units.  In such situations, the University of Pittsburgh Departments, Divisions, Centers, Offices, or other official unit will be the Lead Organization.
  • An organization under section 501(c)(3) or 509(a)(1)/(2) of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) that has received a tax determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).
  • A private foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC that has received a tax determination letter from the IRS.
  • An entity that is recognized under the law of the applicable jurisdiction as a non-governmental organization, an educational organization, a charitable organization, a social welfare organization, a not-for-profit organization, or similar-type entity that is not a government agency.
  • Any for-profit company or legal entity that is not a government agency and that is in proper legal standing within the jurisdiction(s) where the company was established and/or is doing business.

The Competition Sponsor reserves the right to reject an application of any Lead Organization if, in the Competition Sponsor’s discretion, the laws of the governing jurisdiction applicable to the Lead Organization would prohibit or limit the Competition Sponsor from proceeding with the grant or contract as intended or the consideration or making of any grant or contract would impose additional administrative, tax, operational, or legal burdens on the Competition Sponsor.

An organization can submit only one application as the Lead Organization. An organization can also serve as a partner on a team for multiple applications provided that each application proposes a separate, distinct solution.

Regional or location-specific branches of larger organizations, as well as departments, schools, and nonprofits within or based in a college/university, can each register and submit separately as the Lead Organization on one application as long as the proposed solutions are different and separate. There should be no overlap in team members. The intent of the policy is to ensure that any team is concentrating their best effort into a single application. We encourage teams to select a single project that best represents your organization's ability to deliver a solution that meets the scoring criteria.

Ineligible persons or entities

The following are not eligible to apply for the Pitt Sustainability Challenge:

  • Individual persons who are not representing an eligible Lead Organization
  • Any government agency that is attempting to register and submit an application independent of an eligible Lead Organization (government agencies may participate as members of a team but are not eligible as a Lead Organization).
  • Teams that include employees of Carrot, and any of its subsidiaries and affiliates, and immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such employees, are not eligible.  

Location of a proposed project

The location of any proposed project must clearly show intention to benefit one or more of the University of Pittsburgh campuses and/or members of those campus communities. While the specific location of the proposed project may not be contained within the geographic boundaries of one or more of those campuses, You are required to make Your most compelling case for how those who live and work on one or more of those campuses would benefit from Your Entry.

Financial and Organizational Capacity

All applicants must demonstrate their financial and organizational capacity to carry out the proposed project and to appropriately manage any Award.

Treatment and Use of Intellectual Property

Each application should reflect the anticipated ownership, use, and licensing of any intellectual property. The Content created or provided by You must be your own. You represent and warrant that Your Entry and any Entry Content is an original work created solely by You and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the Entry, except as expressly identified by You to us in writing in the Entry. With regard to Your relationship with Carrot, You retain all right, title and interest in any inventions, software, or work of authorship contained in Your Entry and the Entry Content. Notwithstanding the forgoing, You, grant Competition Sponsor with the right to distribute and display you Entry in perpetuity.

The ownership and use of intellectual property arising from this Competition remains with You throughout the submission and assessment period. Finalists will be required to enter into a separate, customized agreement with the University of Pittsburgh regarding licensing and Intellectual Property (addressed below).  

Partnering with the University of Pittsburgh

Should Your team be determined as Finalist or Winner in this Competition, then Your team may be assigned to work directly with one or more representatives of the University of Pittsburgh. Your team may be required to coordinate either through assigned individuals and/or with specific department(s) or division(s) of the University of Pittsburgh.  This assignment would be for the purpose of leading any elements of the proposed implementation of Your solution to ensure compliance with Pitt-specific regulations or requirements for which compliance may not be known to any team or for which the inclusion of those representatives would be required.

Agreement with the University of Pittsburgh

The successful Winner will be expected to enter into a separate mutually agreeable contract with the University of Pittsburgh containing key terms and conditions which are separate from these RULES and the TERMS posted on this Website for this Competition. The deliverables of that agreement will be customized based on your Entry and the Intellectual Property terms will reflect University of Pittsburgh standards.   In the event the You are a Finalist and/or a Winner, prior to distribution of the Award, You and the University of Pittsburgh must enter into a separate mutually agreeable contract, which will define the right, title, ownership and licensing rights of any invention, software, work of authorship or other intellectual property contained in your Entry, Entry Content, and or invented or created by You during the sponsorship of the Award, by the Competition Sponsor.  In order for the University of Pittsburgh to adequately implement the winning Entry, it is likely that You will be asked to grant the University of Pittsburgh, at a minimum, non-exclusive license and right to the proposed solution.  

Parties accepting the Award will identify ownership and licensing rights to Intellectual Property.  Your Agreement with the University of Pittsburgh will define the right, title, ownership and licensing rights of any invention, software, work of authorship or other intellectual property contained in your Entry, Entry Content, and or invented or created by You during the sponsorship of the Award, by the Competition Sponsor.  

Before any offer of an Award is made, organizations proposing to work together may be required to demonstrate through a fully-executed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other similar agreement between those parties that a single eligible entity or organization will have direction, control, and supervision of the proposed project and management of all funds and reporting requirements.


Any Entity who enters into a separate agreement to receive funding will be required to report progress towards milestones and other goals. Those reporting requirements may vary, based on the organization and the project. However, it is likely necessary that a minimum of four financial reports per year, two narrative reports per year, and monthly project update meetings (either in person or remote) may be required.

Other Rules

1.1 Your application must be in English.

1.2 You must complete registration to participate in the Competition. Individuals representing an applicable organization must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry to participate.

1.3 Your Entry should meet the application requirements stipulated on this website. You are required to register in advance of any deadlines for the submission of an Entry, and You must comply with all other deadlines posted on this website. Your Entry may not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Competition Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend Competition in whole or in part without liability to You. Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot also reserve the right to disqualify You from participating.

1.4 By participating in the Pitt Sustainability Challenge, You represent, warrant, and agree that:

  1. You are the sole author, creator, and owner of the Entry;
  2. the Entry is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;
  3. the Entry does not and will not violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party;
  4. the Entry does not and will not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as "malware," "viruses" or "worms"); and
  5. the Entry, and Your use of the Entry, does not and will not violate any applicable laws or regulations, including, without limitation, applicable export control laws and regulations of the United States and other jurisdictions. If the Entry includes any third party works (such as third party content or open source code), You must provide the Competition Sponsor with all appropriate licenses and releases for such third party works. In the event You cannot provide all such required licenses and releases, the Competition Sponsor reserves the right, in the Competition Sponsor’s sole discretion, to disqualify the applicable Entry.

1.5 You may participate by registering, but You may not register more than one true and uniform identity; multiple registrations for a participant using multiple identities are not allowed. Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot reserve the right to disqualify any Entry made by a participant violating this limitation, regardless of whether all of the respective parties had knowledge of such violation. Each registrant may submit at most one Entry.  

1.6 The application requirements for Your Entry and the assessment process are clearly described on this website. Carrot and the Competition Sponsor do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status or gender identity and expression.  

1.7 Your Entry will be assessed initially by five Judges from the Evaluation Panel, who will be assigned to score Your Entry either randomly or after considering any potential conflicts of interest. Evaluation Panel members will score and comment upon assigned Entries using the Trait Scoring Rubric and any other judging criteria that are also described on this website. In cases where any Evaluation Panel member indicates any potential conflict of interest, the Entry will be assigned to another Evaluation Panel member. Those Judges, each of whom is named on this website, will be responsible for scoring Your Entry. A second panel of judges will be responsible for determining any final Award(s). The final judging criteria are not explicit but will be informed by the scores and comments provided during the initial judging process. Any final determination of Award(s) is based on the sole discretion of the Competition Sponsor and is not bound by any previous scores and/or comments. By participating in the Pitt Sustainability Challenge, You acknowledge and agree to be bound by the final decision of the Competition Sponsor.

1.8 If a Finalist is unable to fully participate in the next phase of the Competition, then they may forfeit their designation as a Finalist, and the next Competitor in the rank order of Entries may be named a Finalist in their place. Final determination of Finalists and any Winner rests with the Competition Sponsor.

1.9 The Selection Committee will determine any Winner using judging criteria that may incorporate considerations beyond any judges’ reviews.

1.10 While Common Pool, LLC (d/b/a Carrot),  (“Carrot”) is providing an online platform for Your participation, Carrot is not responsible for the payment of any Award(s). Payment of any Award(s) is the sole responsibility of the Competition Sponsor and its designees, and under the TERMS each participant has agreed to look solely to the Competition Sponsor, for the payment of any Award.

1.11 By submitting Your Entry, You agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless the Competition Sponsor and Carrot and their partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any Loss arising out of Your participation in Competition and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any Award(s). Neither the Competition Sponsor nor Carrot assume responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Competition entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. Neither the Competition Sponsor nor Carrot are responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to competitors’ or any other persons’ computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Competition. In the event of a dispute about the identity of any Competitor, an online registration will be declared as if made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at time of entry.

1.12 THIS COMPETITION IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Competitors agree that this Competition shall be subject to and governed by the laws of the United States of America and the forum of any dispute shall be in the courts of the United States of America.

1.13 If for any reason the Competition is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, Trojan horses, denial of service, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Carrot that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Competition, Carrot reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Competition. If Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot terminates the Competition, it will not retain any rights in the submitted Entries.

1.14 The Competition Sponsor reserves the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any Competitor who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Pitt Sustainability Challenge; to be acting in violation of these RULES or the TERMS; to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner; to be acting with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Pitt Sustainability Challenge; or to be acting to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person.

1.15 Entry into the Pitt Sustainability Challenge does not constitute entry into any other competition or promotion that may be offered by the Competition Sponsor Carrot, and/or either organization’s affiliates.

1.16 Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot reserve the right to disqualify any participant who violates these RULES, the TERMS, and/or any standards of behavior expressed or implied in them.

1.17 The names of the Finalists and Winner(s) may be posted on this website for such period of time as the Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot deems reasonable.

Contact Information

You may contact us with any questions or comments about these RULES. Please enter “Pitt Sustainability Challenge” in the subject line of your email. You may reach us via email.

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