The 2022 edition of the Cooperathon offers participants two different journeys depending on the development stage of their entrepreneurial project:
Alpha journey: Aspiring entrepreneurs (individuals or teams) with or without an initial idea before registration and, at most, a conceptual prototype.
Beta journey: Development startups with at least two co-founders and either a working prototype or one under development.
DURATION OF THE COOPERATHON
The Cooperathon (hereinafter the “Program”) is organized by Desjardins Group (hereinafter “Desjardins”) and held from July 14, 2022, 12:01 a.m (eastern time) to November 18, 2022, 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) in Canada (hereinafter the “Cooperathon Period”).
FOR THE ALPHA JOURNEY:
- July 14, 2022, to October 2, 2022: Alpha participant registration
- September 8, 2022, to October 2, 2022: Alpha journey team training and mentor assignment (team building phase)
- October 2, 2022: Deadline for Alpha journey participant registration and team creation
- October 4, 2022, to October 16, 2022: Training, mentorship and prototyping program
- October 17, 2022: Project submissions to present the prototype
- October 20, 2022: Announcement of Alpha journey challenge winners
FOR THE BETA JOURNEY:
- July 14, 2022, to October 28, 2022: Beta participant registration
- October 20, 2022: Start of Beta journey
- November 10, 2022: Announcement of Beta journey challenge winners
FOR BOTH JOURNEYS:
- November 17, 2022: Competition between the winners of the Alpha and Beta journeys for the Cooperathon Grand Prizes
- November 17, 2022: Announcement of the winners
The Cooperathon is open to all individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Residents of Canada who are 18 at the time of registration.
- Aspiring ALPHA entrepreneur, with or without an idea, in pre-startup mode and without a working prototype at the time of registering for the Cooperathon.
- Member of a BETA team if your team has at least two people and with a working prototype at the time of registering for the Cooperathon.
- Other conditions may apply to those participating in the Open Innovation Challenges. For more information on the eligibility criteria for each challenge, see the challenge sheets at https://cooperathon.ca/#defis.
Ineligible as participants: Desjardins officers, jury members and persons with whom they are domiciled, mentors and persons with whom they are domiciled, and members of the Desjardins Innovation and Emerging Business Opportunities Department and persons with whom they are domiciled.
HOW TO ENTER
To enter, eligible participants must:
- Go to the cooperathon.ca website (http://cooperathon.ca/) and click the registration button for the desired journey (Alpha or Beta).
- Create a user profile and go to the competition section on the Cooperathon Global platform (https://cooperathon.global/).
- Confirm that they have read the Cooperathon 2022 Rules.
Completing these steps enables participation in the Cooperathon training and mentoring program. During this time, the teams will move forward with their business idea and entrepreneurial project.
Alpha participants are not required to be part of a team at the time of registration. However, they must form or join a team to work on an idea or project throughout the training and mentoring program.
To participate in the competition phase of the Alpha journey:
- The team must submit a prototype of its idea or project. The submission includes a description of the problem, solution and team, as well as a two-minute video presenting the prototype.
- Teams must have at least two members and no more than seven.
To participate in the competition phase of the Beta journey:
- The team must be selected by one of the partners that launched a challenge.
- The team must have at least two members.
- Registration will open on July 14, 2022, for the two separate journeys:
- Alpha journey: https://cooperathon.ca/?lang=en. Each person registered for the Cooperathon must create a user profile on the Cooperathon Global collaboration platform. Registration for the Alpha journey ends at on October 2, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. (eastern time).
- Beta journey: Registration is done through an online form that must be completed no later than October 28, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. (eastern time). This form must set out the problem, the value proposition for the proposed challenge and the prototype, if applicable.
FOR THE ALPHA JOURNEY
- Teams must work on a problem of their choice in the area of Earth or human health. Their work can be part of a specific theme chosen by the open innovation partners. If this is the case, the teams will be eligible for the prize awarded by the open innovation partner. For open innovation challenges, the team is responsible for ensuring that they meet all eligibility criteria.
- September 8 to October 16, 2022, is the preparation, training and mentoring period for the Alpha journey.
- Individuals and teams with or without an idea and, at most, a conceptual prototype, will be classified as being on the Alpha journey when they register. These teams must work on a problem and propose a solution in the form of a data science and/or artificial intelligence prototype. Highly recommended workshops will be offered throughout the duration of the Cooperathon training program to provide support in developing their ideas or projects and preparing the prototype for their solution, which will be presented to a jury (see Point 5). The teams will also have access to group mentoring.
- The evaluation grid to be used to assess projects during the competition phase will be published on the Global platform on October 4, 2022.
- The deadline for submitting prototype applications is October 17, 2022, at 11:59 a.m. (eastern time): A jury of members from the partner that launched the challenge will review the submitted applications and select the best Alpha teams (first, second and third place). The winning projects (first place) will receive a cash prize of up to $5,000. First- and second-place winners will automatically be invited to make a pitch to a jury (consisting of members from Canada’s innovation ecosystems or senior executives from the various partners) at the Cooperathon Grand Prize Competition on November 17, 2022. At the discretion of the open innovation partner, a cash prize, also at the partner’s discretion, may be awarded to the team that places second.
The Desjardins and Montreal NewTech team reserves the right to identify up to three additional teams with strong potential for impact and growth to make a pitch before the Cooperathon Grand Prize jury.
Applications, to be submitted by October 17, 2022, will be made via an online form and include:
- A written description of the:
- Solution (value proposition)
- A video showing the developed prototype. The video must be no more than two minutes long.
- A written description of the:
The winning Alpha journey teams will be announced at the October 20, 2022 event.
FOR THE BETA JOURNEY
- Startups recruited by the Desjardins and Montreal NewTech teams to meet the challenges launched by the open innovation partners will have three meetings between October 20 and November 10, 2022, with the open innovation partner: expert meetings, Beta startup partner pitches, and industry night. At the end of these three meetings, each open innovation partner will nominate the winner of their challenge and inform the Desjardins and Montreal NewTech team by November 9, 2022. The winning projects (first place) will receive a cash prize of up to $5,000, and those placing first and second will be automatically invited to make a pitch before a jury at the Cooperathon Grand Prize Competition on November 17, 2022. At the discretion of the open innovation partner, a cash prize, the amount of which will also be at the partner’s discretion, may be awarded to the team that places second.
- Teams with at least two co-founders and a working prototype or one under development will be registered for the Cooperathon as part of the Beta journey. These teams must move forward with their business model, their working prototype and the validation of their prototype with future users.
- Three workshops will be offered to Beta startups that have been pre-recruited and selected to meet the challenge launched by the open innovation partner.
- A common evaluation grid for all projects will be used by the juries for each team’s assessment and will be available by October 4, 2022, at www.cooperathon.ca.
COOPERATHON GRAND PRIZE: PITCH AND ANNOUNCEMENT
- On November 17, 2022, all journey finalist teams for the Cooperathon prizes must be available (in whole or in part), in virtual or in-person mode (at the option of the participants) to present their project over a total of 14 minutes, including one minute to set up in the room or connect via the videoconference link, three minutes to pitch their project live and ten minutes for questions and answers with the judges.
- The jury members for the Cooperathon Grand Prizes are recognized experts in the Quebec and Canadian startup ecosystem and among the open innovation partners. They are selected by the Cooperathon organizing team (Innovation and Emerging Business Opportunities Department, Desjardins).
- The juries will select the Cooperathon Grand Prize winners based on the presentation, question period and the application submitted for the competition.
- A common evaluation grid for all projects will be used by the juries for each team’s assessment and will be available by October 4, 2022, at www.cooperathon.ca.
- The Cooperathon award winners will be announced on November 17, 2022.
- The cash amount of each Open Innovation Challenge prize will be awarded directly to the winning Alpha and Beta team by Desjardins or its partners. Payment of the grant must be made within 30 business days following receipt of the banking details of all members of the team that won the grant. The amount of each grant will be distributed equally among the winning team members indicated on the team member list.
- Cash payments for the Open Innovation Challenge prizes will be made by direct deposit to each team member’s account if there is no incorporated startup. For incorporated startups, the grant amount will be deposited directly into the company account. The winning team members are responsible for providing the bank details of the account to be used for the grant deposit.
- The cash amount of the Cooperathon Grand Prizes will be paid by Desjardins (or a designated partner) to the winning teams within 30 business days following receipt of the banking details of all the winners. The amount of each prize will be distributed equally among the winning team members, as indicated on the list of team members.
- The Cooperathon Grand Prize cash amounts will be paid by direct deposit by Desjardins (or a designated partner) into the account of each winning team member if there is no incorporated startup. For prize-winning startups, the prize amount will be deposited directly in the company’s account. The winning team members are responsible for providing the bank details of the account to be used for the prize deposit.
- Each member of the team that wins the Cooperathon Grand Prize undertakes to sign a declaration and release form prior to receiving the prize.
COOPERATHON 2022 PRIZES
Open Innovation Challenge prizes
Each partner of the Open Innovation Challenge offers, as part of the Alpha or Beta journey, a prize (maximum value of $5,000) for the team that wins the challenge.
Cooperathon Grand Prizes
- Best Cooperathon Beta Team Grand Prize (value of $20,000).
- Best Cooperathon Alpha Team Grand Prize (value of $10,000).
- The team engagement award ($2,500) recognizes the team that was the most involved in the Cooperathon journey, in particular by participating in the training activities.
A team can win more than one of these prizes.
All prizes will be posted on the Cooperathon website (https://cooperathon.ca).
Several prizes may be added as new open innovation challenges are added, and the organizing team reserves the right to add Cooperathon prizes, as well as additional strategic and community partner prizes, before the Cooperathon start date of October 1, 2022. All eligible entrants will be notified of the prizes to be added and the conditions for the awarding of these prizes.
The evaluation criteria for the Alpha and Beta journeys will be sent to participants after they have registered for the competition. Project evaluation criteria will be available on October 4, 2022, at the start of the Cooperathon training and mentoring program. The judges will use these criteria to assess:
- The Alpha program: Evaluation of the submitted prototypes
- The competition for the Cooperathon Grand Prizes: Projects during the Cooperathon competition, (semifinal and final phases)
Jury members for the open innovation challenges and strategic and community partner prizes may use additional criteria to choose the winning team for their grant. Additional criteria will be communicated publicly to the eligible participants.
- To be declared a winner for a Cooperathon Grand Prize, the selected winning team must meet the following conditions:
- Confirm that they meet the eligibility conditions and other requirements set out in these Rules.
- Attend (virtually or in person) the pitch on November 17, 2022. Failure to comply with any of the above conditions or any other condition in these Rules will result in disqualification of the team. In such a case, the organizers may, at their discretion, cancel the prize or award it to another team in accordance with these Rules. The same conditions will apply, subject to any necessary modifications, if applicable.
- To be declared a winner for an Open Innovation Prize (Challenge) (Alpha or Beta journeys), the selected winning team must meet the following conditions:
- Confirm that it meets the eligibility criteria and other requirements set out in these Rules.
- Confirm that it meets the eligibility criteria for the Open Innovation Challenge, as defined by the partner for each challenge.
- Be selected by the Open Innovation Challenge partner as a winning team.
- Be present when the prizes are awarded.
- Commit to continuing their project in collaboration with the partner that offered the Open Innovation Challenge and the Desjardins Open Innovation Department team (Foundry Program) for three months for the Alpha program challenges, and for five months for the Beta program challenges. Failure to comply with any of the above conditions or any other condition in these Rules will result in disqualification of the team. In such a case, the organizers may, at their discretion, cancel the grant or award it to another team in accordance with these Rules. The same conditions will apply, subject to any necessary modifications, if applicable.
- Awarding of prizes. Should the selected participant refuse the prize, Desjardins and its partners will be released from all obligations relating to the awarding of the prize and may, at their discretion, withdraw the prize or award a new prize in accordance with the procedure described in paragraph 1 of the General Conditions. The prize will be awarded to the team by a means agreed upon by the winners and the Cooperathon organization.
- Verification. All entries and Declaration Forms may be subject to verification by Desjardins. Any entry or Declaration Form that is incomplete, inaccurate, illegible, mechanically reproduced, defaced, fraudulent, submitted or mailed after the entry deadline, or that contains an invalid telephone number or is otherwise non-compliant, may be rejected and will not entitle the entrant to the prize.
- Disqualification. Anyone who enters or attempts to enter this Cooperathon by means that contravene these Rules or that are unfair to other entrants (such as hacking or failure to disclose previous intellectual property) will be automatically disqualified and may be reported to the appropriate legal authorities. Similarly, Alpha team projects that do not comply with the pre-incubation (prototyping) status and Beta team projects that do not comply with the pre-sales (MVP) status will be disqualified.
- Intellectual property. Participants agree that the intellectual property of the prototype and pitches produced during the Cooperathon belong to the entire team. Teams are responsible for planning how to allocate this intellectual property and for ensuring its confidentiality, if applicable. If the team uses any pre-existing intellectual property elements and/or third parties, the team must ensure that it has obtained all the necessary rights before using them as part of the Cooperathon. Participants who are employees of other organizations wishing to use intellectual property elements resulting from their work must first ensure that their participation and use of these elements are authorized by their employer.
- Program operation. Any attempt to sabotage the legitimate operation of this Program may constitute a violation of civil and criminal laws. In the event of any such attempt, Desjardins reserves the right to reject the participant’s entries and seek redress under the law.
- Acceptance of prizes. Prizes must be accepted as described on the Cooperathon website and cannot, in any case, be transferred to another team, in whole or in part, be substituted by another prize or redeemed for cash, subject to the discretion of the Organizers.
- Survey. Finalists and/or winning participants agree to participate in surveys and interviews to inform Desjardins about the progress of their project.
- Role as ambassador for the Cooperathon program: The Cooperathon winners and alumni in general undertake to:
- Promote and convey a positive image of Cooperathon and Desjardins, in accordance with all instructions provided by the person in charge of Cooperathon.
- Obtain Desjardins’s consent before making any announcement or statement regarding their participation in the Cooperathon (including on their website or in their marketing materials). • Promote and convey a positive image of the Cooperathon and Desjardins, in accordance with all guidelines provided by the person in charge of the Cooperathon.
- Agree to obtain Desjardins’s consent before making any announcement or statement regarding their participation in the Cooperathon (including on their website or in their marketing materials) and agree to delete or modify any such announcement or statement, including following requests for changes concerning the use of Desjardins trademarks online or in their marketing materials) and agree to delete or modify any such announcement or statement, including requests for modifications regarding the use of Desjardins trademarks.
- Place the Cooperathon logo on their website (with Desjardins’s consent) with a link to www.cooperathon.ca for at least 12 months starting on November 21, 2022.
- Publish on their social media (with Desjardins’s consent), within six months after the end of the Cooperathon, a positive post on their experience and prize (if applicable) at least once.
- Limitation of liability:
- Awarding of prize. If Desjardins is unable to award the prize as described on the Cooperathon website (www.cooperathon.ca), it reserves the right to award a similar prize of the same type and equivalent value or, at its sole discretion, to award the cash value of the prize indicated herein.
- Use of the prize. The winner releases Desjardins from any liability for any damages that may result from participating in the competition and accepting and using the prize. The winner acknowledges that upon receipt of the prize or the letter confirming that they have won the prize, fulfilment of prize-related obligations becomes the sole and exclusive responsibility of the various product and service providers. The winner undertakes to sign a declaration and release form to this effect. The winner acknowledges that the only applicable guarantee is the usual provider’s warranty.
- Uncontrollable circumstances. Desjardins will not be liable in any way whatsoever in the event that its inability to act resulting from a fact or situation beyond its control, or from a strike, lockout or other labour dispute occurring in the organizations or companies whose services are used for the Program.
- Participating in the Cooperathon. Desjardins will not be liable for any lost entries or for any breakdown, for any reason whatsoever, of the website during the Program, including any damage to an entrant’s computer or mobile device.
- Participating in the Cooperathon. Persons who enter or attempt to enter the Cooperathon release Desjardins from any and all liability for damages they may incur as a result of their participation or attempted participation in the Program.
- Other participants. Desjardins will not assume any liability whatsoever in connection with the behaviour of the other Cooperathon participants.
- Changes to the Program. Desjardins reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Program, in whole or in part, should human intervention or any event take place that could alter or affect the administration, security, impartiality or rollout of the Program as provided for in these Rules. Desjardins cannot be held liable should such an event or intervention occur.
- End of Program participation. If participation in the Cooperathon must be terminated, in whole or in part, for any reason whatsoever, before the closing date provided for in these Rules, the prize may be awarded, at the sole discretion of Desjardins, among the entries duly registered and received up to the date of the event ending participation in the competition.
- By registering, all participants authorize Desjardins to use, if required, their name, photo, likeness, voice, place of residence, as well as prize statements, if part of a winning team, for publicity purposes, without any form of compensation.
- If a section of the contest rules is declared or deemed illegal, unenforceable or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, that section will be considered null and void, but all other sections that are not affected will be enforced to the extent permitted by law.
- These Rules are available at https://cooperathon.ca and on the Cooperathon Global collaboration platform (https://cooperathon.global/).
- In the event of any discrepancy between the French and English versions of these Rules, the French version will prevail.
- The Cooperathon is subject to all applicable laws.
- Decisions. All entrants must comply with these Rules and with any decisions made by the Organizers, which are final and binding.