Please review carefully before entering the competition.

What is the Innovators’ Circle Competition?

Innovators' Circle is a pitch competition to stimulate innovation in the horseracing industry. The competition consists of two rounds: a Preliminary Round, and the Final Round consisting of an exhibition and a pitch-off presentation.

In the Preliminary Round, contestants will submit an entry package consisting of a written summary of their pitch.

Finalists will be selected from those submissions and invited to the Final Round at the Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming, which takes place from December 5 - 7, 2016, in Tucson, Arizona. Finalists will present their entry at the Symposium, and will participate in a pitch-off on the main stage.

You must participate in the Preliminary Round in order to be considered for the Final Round.


The competition is open to anyone with a great idea, product or business that has the potential to revolutionize the horse racing industry.

An entrant may be an individual or a team.

Individuals or team members under the age of 18 must provide parental consent to participate in the competition.

A pitch may only be entered once and the subject of the pitch must be your own work or that of your team. Any entrants discovered to be pitching others’ ideas without appropriate consent will be immediately disqualified.

Individuals or teams must not have accepted any outside funding for the idea being presented. Companies may present if they have accepted no funding and have not commercialized the product or service being pitched.


The entrant must be present on the day of the event to participate and present at the exhibition/pitch-off in order to win.

Entries must be submitted and presented in English.

Entrants who qualify for the Final Round exhibition/pitch-off will be required to be present at the 43rd Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming, held on December 5 - 7, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. Finalists will be given complimentary passes to the Symposium. Team finalists shall be represented by no more than three members.

You must be able and willing to travel to the Symposium to participate if your entry is selected.

At all times, entrants are expected to behave respectfully to all other contestants, sponsors, judges, volunteers, and audience members.

Structure of Competition

Preliminary Round

Entrants will submit a digital package consisting of:

  • a completed entry form

  • an executive summary

  • a main document describing the entry (1,000 words or less)

  • photographs, videos, diagrams or graphics to support the main document

All submissions must be made through this link:

Final Round

Each entrant will prepare an exhibit of their choosing that fits on a 2.5 x 6 foot table placed in the Symposium’s exhibition hall, and give a ten-minute presentation of their entry to a distinguished panel of judges and the Symposium attendees. This will be followed by a Q&A session where the judges will have the opportunity to challenge the entrants through a series of questions. At the discretion of the judges, Q&A may be opened to the audience.

Pitches are limited to ten-minutes and contestants will be promptly cut off at the end of their allotted time.

Pitches will be delivered in a random order determined on the day of the event. If an entrant misses their assigned slot, they may not be permitted to present and may be disqualified.

The pitch must be presented live and in person by the entrant. Team entries may have no more than two members of the team onstage.

A slide presentation may be used. The presentation must be submitted to the organizers in the form of a Microsoft PowerPoint or compatible file. The file must be submitted within one week of notification of selection as a finalist.

If physical objects or other aids are required for the presentation, the items must be able to be brought into the Symposium venue and be displayed on stage comfortably and safely. Detailed description of the objects must be submitted within one week of notification of selection as a finalist. The finalist will be responsible for providing the items and will be solely responsible for them.

Entry Deadlines

The Preliminary Round is now open for submissions and will have a rolling deadline.

Only a specific number of entries will be accepted. Once that number of entries has been reached, submissions will no longer be accepted — submit early to avoid disappointment.

While the deadline for the Final Round entrants is the event itself, please note that certain materials must be submitted in advance in accordance with the rules stated herein for those respective materials.

Judging Criteria

In the Preliminary Round, written applications will be evaluated on the strength and quality of various business and technical criteria, with an emphasis on its ability to advance the sport and business of racing, as presented in the application.

In the Final Round, pitches will be evaluated on four categories:

  • Presentation
    • Body Language/Charisma, Clarity, Articulation, Passion
  • Opportunity
    • Market identification, Size and attractiveness, Target customer identification
  • Solution
    • Value proposition, Differentiation, Financial viability/profitability
  • Impact
    • How will it affect the sport and business of racing.

Decisions of the judges are final and may not be appealed.


A Grand Prize consisting of Fifteen Thousand U.S. Dollars (USD$15,000.00) will be awarded to an Entrant deemed by the panel of judges to be the best entry according to the judging criteria (the “Winner”).

Additional prizes and/or categories may be added at any time without prior notification.

Team entrants are solely responsible for deciding how the prize should be divided among the team’s members.

The winners are solely responsible for any taxes owed on their prizes. The organizers shall require the winners to submit any required identification and documentation (such as IRS Form W-9, tax identification numbers, etc.) before the prizes are awarded. In some cases, the organizers may be required to withhold taxes on the prizes.

Investment Opportunity

Entrants may be invited to privately present to potential industry investors. These invitations are determined on a case-by-case basis and is separate and independent of the competition's judging procedure.

Entrants that did not get selected to be finalists may be invited to present to potential industry investors.

These presentations shall not be considered as part of the competition and their outcome will have no impact on the competition.

Declining the opportunity to present to potential industry investors will not impact the results of the competition.

Disclosure Notice

All entries will be accessible to the contest's organizers, judges and sponsors.

Your entry shall not constitute an attempt to solicit investment from the organizers, judges or the attendees of the Symposium.

Finalists will be required to exhibit AND pitch to the attendees of the Symposium. By participating, entrants agree that all presentation materials and information presented in the competition will become public knowledge. Entrants should take any necessary measures to protect their intellectual property accordingly, as no formal guarantee of confidentiality will be provided or implied.

Furthermore you allow the organizers to use your name, likeness, and the information provided in this competition in print and electronic communication media.

The organizers of the competition reserve the right to suspend or cancel the competition at any time for any reason. No prizes will be awarded if the competition is suspended or cancelled.