Official Rules

Spring 2019 “Think like an Entrepreneur” Competition
Program Guidelines (“Guidelines”)

By participating in the Program, you agree to be bound by these Guidelines and by the interpretations of these Guidelines and decisions of GMAC, which are final in all matters relating to the Program. If you do not agree, please do not participate in the Program.

I. Program Objective & Overview

The Graduate Management Admission Council® (“GMAC”) presents the Spring 2019 “Think like an Entrepreneur” Competition, developed to encourage undergraduate students to use their problem-solving skills and address a social cause, connecting the skills needed for impactful social entrepreneurship with graduate business education.

II. Eligibility

To be eligible to enter and receive an Award (defined below) through this Program, you must be (i) a legal resident of the United States or D.C (the “Territory”); (ii) a full or part-time college student currently attending an accredited degree-granting undergraduate school located in the Territory; (iii) between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. Current employees, directors, and officers of GMAC, their affiliates, agents and their immediate families and those living in their household, are not eligible to participate in the Program. THE PROGRAM IS VOID OUTSIDE OF THE TERRITORY; IN ALL U.S. TERRITORIES (AMERICAN SAMOA, GUAM, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, PUERTO RICO, AND U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS); AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.

III. Application and Submission Information

     A. Submission Dates and Times. The Program begins at 12:00 am eastern time (ET) on February 1, 2019 and ends at 11:59 pm ET on March 31, 2019 (“Program Term”). Any application received after the Program Term will not be accepted.

     B. How to Apply. To apply, visit the Program website at and complete the submission, including the following information:

  • Personal information for each team member (up to 5), including:
    • First Name
    • Email Address
    • Phone Number
    • Date of Birth
    • University / College Name
  • A concept in the form of a Product, Service, or Program supported by a written rationale with the following requirements:
    • It must answer the following key questions:
      • What is the problem or opportunity that exists?
      • What is your proposed solution?
      • Who will this solution help?
      • How will your concept be promoted?
      • What is your anticipated impact?
    • Not to exceed 500 words, this summary should outline your strategy and rationale for why your approach will be successful.
  • A visual demonstration of your concept, such as website, sketch, video, social campaign, etc. (visit for additional prompts)
    • This demonstration must be provided in JPG, PNG, PDF, MP4, or MOV formats
    • Must not exceed the 100MB limit on file size.
  • For team submissions, each additional team member must opt in to communications from GMAC via email. Not opting in may affect the prize distribution.

Please note: Submissions that are, in whole or in part, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, hateful, embarrassing to another person or entity, deceptive, obscene, invasive of another's privacy, tortious, contain racial slurs, or contain explicit or graphic descriptions or accounts of, sexual acts, or are not within the spirit of the Program, will be deemed ineligible, as determined by GMAC in GMAC’s sole discretion. See Section V for information about what the judges will be considering when evaluating your submission.

Submission selection is dependent on the number of eligible submissions received and the judges’ analysis of the submissions in accordance with these Guidelines. Machine or computer-generated submissions will be disqualified. GMAC will not be liable for lost or damaged entries. Proof of transmission does not constitute proof of submission. All federal, state, and local laws apply. GMAC reserves the right to reference Application Materials in subsequent campaigns.


IV. Award Information.

     A. Awards. GMAC will award the following amount based on the Judging Criteria set forth in Section V:

A Grand Prize in the amount of $10,000 in cash (the “Grand Prize Award”) and four (4) First Place prizes of $500 each (collectively, the “Awards”). The Awards will be awarded by checks made payable to the Award recipients. The Awards will be split equally among the number of team members. The Awards are not transferable and may not be substituted, except that GMAC may substitute an award of equal or greater value in its sole discretion. Dependent on the judging panel’s semi-finalist selection, GMAC reserves the right not to award any prizes should no submissions meet the qualifying criteria. The Awards are subject to all federal, state, and local taxes and the Award recipients will be responsible for such taxes. Potential winners must complete and return, within 5 business days, a W-9 form. Winners will be issued an IRS Form 1099 reflecting the actual value of prizes. If such documents are not fully executed and returned within the specified time period, the prize will be forfeited.

Permissible Use.
The Awards may be used at the recipients’ discretion.


V. Judging & Notification

Between April 1, 2019 and April 15, 2019, a panel of qualified judges composed of experienced business professionals and educators will judge qualifying entries. All entries are scored anonymously and confidentially. Judges will select up to 10 Semi-Finalists for advancement to the Student Voting round. In the event that no qualifying submissions are selected by the judging panel, no Awards will be awarded. Note: there is no in-person presentation element required to the judging panel. Judges will evaluate the submissions based upon the following “Judging Criteria”:

  • Creativity (30%): Demonstrates ingenuity and a creative approach in addressing a social problem
  • Originality (30%): Demonstrates a unique and fresh perspective in addressing a social problem.
  • Strategic Message & Rationale (40%): Completely addresses the five questions listed in the Eligibility section, demonstrating a fully supported and clear business case around how their proposal can directly address a social problem.

Should judges determine that there are submissions eligible to be considered semi-finalists, selected Semi-Finalists will appear in an online gallery where students will be invited to vote for their favorite submission between April 15, 2019 and May 15, 2019. The submission with the most votes wins the Grand Prize; the four submissions with the next highest number of votes win the First Place Prizes. 

Should the judges award them, the Grand Prize and First Place Prize winners will be contacted by email on or about May 16, 2019.

In the event of a tie, the winning submission will be selected based upon the submission with the highest score in the area of “Strategic Message & Rationale.” On or about May 16, 2019, the potential recipient will be notified by email. Potential recipients will have ten (10) days from notification to claim his or her Award. Such recipients may be required to complete a certificate of eligibility, publicity and liability release document (“Award Documentation”) and provide tax identification or other information prior to receiving their Award, upon request.

GMAC and its affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, agents, officers and directors, advertising and marketing agencies, and their respective officers, directors, employees, and their respective agents will not be liable for unsuccessful efforts to notify a potential recipient. No Award transfer, assignment, or substitution by the Award recipient is permitted. All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, duties and surcharges, if any, on the Award are the sole responsibility of the Award recipient. If any potential recipient fails to respond to the notification within 14 days, declines the Award, fails to claim the Award, is unavailable for Award fulfillment, fails to abide by these Guidelines, or is ineligible, GMAC may select an alternate recipient based upon the Judging Criteria provided above.


VI. Award Administration Information

     A. Publicity. Except where prohibited by law, by accepting any Award, the recipient consents to the use of the Award recipients’ name, likeness, submission, and Application Materials by GMAC, and their partners, affiliates, parent companies and/or subsidiaries, for advertising and publicity purposes in any and all media worldwide (including Award recipients list) without additional compensation or notification. Award recipients will be required to complete Award Documentation, as described above.

     B. Intellectual Property. The following pertain to any intellectual property submitted during the course of the Program:

Warranty. By entering the Program, each applicant warrants and represents that the proposal submitted is his/her own original work created and recorded (as applicable) in accordance with these Guidelines and that he/she owns or otherwise controls all of the rights to the Application Materials, including the submission, and that the Application Materials do not violate any law, regulation or any right of any third-party, including but not limited to rights of copyright, trademark, publicity and/or privacy. Please understand that submitting any Application Materials, including the submission, that is copyrighted by another individual, or otherwise subject to the rights of another individual, will make the submitter responsible for any legal action the legal copyright holder might take.

License. By submitting an application into the Program, you grant to GMAC the right, without limitation, to display your name, submission, likeness, and biographical information (city/state/school) online and in any media now known or hereinafter developed.

     C. Limitation of Liability & Release. All applicants individually and on behalf of their relatives, heirs, assignees, executors, and administrators, hereby permanently, irrevocably and forever waive and release any and all rights, demands, losses, liabilities, claims and causes of action whatsoever which you may now or hereafter be entitled to assert against GMAC, its affiliates, parent, and subsidiary companies, its employees, agents and officers, advertising, marketing and promotion agencies, as well as all others associated with the development and execution of the Program (collectively, the “Released Parties”), including, but not limited to any death, injury, loss of enjoyment or other harm or loss of any nature whatsoever caused by, contributed to, or arising out of the Program and/or any Award received, any claim or demand for additional compensation or any other claim or demand related to the Program or what GMAC provides, and forever release and discharge the Released Parties from any and all liability with respect thereto. The Released Parties assume no 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 Program applications or forms; or alteration of applications or forms, or any registration, submission, judging, or recipient selection.


VII. Privacy Policy. Your personal information will be used to fulfill the terms of this Program and may therefore be shared with any subcontractor, agent or partner that assists or is otherwise involved in the Program or website operation as specified in GMAC's privacy policy available at the following page: If you have any questions about the use of your personal information, please contact us at


VIII. Other Information. Submission of an application to receive an Award constitutes agreement (a) to be bound to these Guidelines and by all decisions of GMAC and judges, acting in their sole discretion; b) to the transfer of your personal information and your application to GMAC and the use of your application, including your submission, by GMAC; and (c) that all Application Materials become the property of GMAC and will not be acknowledged or returned. GMAC is not responsible for: (i) lost, late, incomplete, invalid, illegible, or misdirected applications, which will be disqualified; (ii) for failed, partial or garbled computer transmissions; (iii) for technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to electronic malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software; or (iv) for any error, technical or otherwise. GMAC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any application not in compliance with these Guidelines. All issues of interpretation to be decided by GMAC. Decisions of GMAC and judges are final and binding in all matters related to this Program.

You acknowledge and agree that GMAC may keep your Application Materials indefinitely and disclose them for any purpose, including but not limited to:  (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce these Guidelines; (c) respond to claims that any Application Materials violate the rights of third-parties; or (d) without undertaking a duty to do so, protect the rights, property, or personal safety, of our users and the public.

GMAC reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to: disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the application process; and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Program. GMAC reserves the right to disqualify any application from this or any future Program if, in its sole discretion, GMAC reasonably believes that any person has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the Program, GMAC, or GMAC websites by cheating, deception, or other unfair practices, or has tampered with any of GMAC's websites, the submission process, the judging process, violated these Rules, or acted in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with an intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass GMAC, its agents, its assigns or any other applicant. No purchase necessary to submit an application to the Program. Void where prohibited.


IX. Governing Law. The Program and the rights and obligations of all applicants and applications shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA without effect to any principles of conflicts of law, and the federal law of the United States. Should any provision of these Guidelines be held to be void, invalid, unenforceable, or illegal by a proper legal authority, the validity and enforceability of the other provisions shall not be affected.


X. Dispute Resolution: All disputes, claims or demands that relate to these Guidelines and/or the Program will first be brought to the attention of the other party and will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. The receiving party shall have sixty (60) days from the date of such notice to remedy the described breach or violation and notify the complaining party in writing of the resolution. If the dispute, claim or demand is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant within 60 days, the complainant may request an informal resolution conference (mediation), which if agreed to by the other party will be scheduled to occur within 21 days of the written response. Each party shall have the right to be represented at such a conference by counsel and will ensure that a decision-maker with full and complete authority to resolve the dispute attends the conference. Such conference will be in front of a third party mediator chosen by the parties. If the parties do not agree to conference or are unable to resolve a dispute after such a conference, the parties agree that exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute, claim or demand related in any way to these Official Rules will be decided by binding arbitration. All disputes between the parties, of whatsoever kind or nature arising out of these Official Rules, shall be submitted to JAMS ( for binding arbitration under its rules then in effect, before one arbitrator to be mutually agreed upon by both parties. The parties agree to share equally in the arbitration costs incurred.


XI. Award Recipients List. To obtain the names of the Award recipient, send an email to with “Award Recipient” as the subject line. Requests must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 1, 2019. Award recipient lists will be sent after the recipients have been verified.


XII. GMAC Information. Graduate Management Admission Council®, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston VA 20190 USA.


XIII. Questions. Any questions or comments regarding this Program should be directed to GMAC by contacting