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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

#SmallBusinessWeek Hackathon 2019

Build apps and solutions that will help America's small businesses prepare and/or recover from major natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, tornados, snowstorms or earthquakes.

Small Business Administration

Type of Challenge: Software and apps
Submission Start: 05/03/2019 09:00 PM ET
Submission End: 05/05/2019 09:45 AM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Visa will conduct a National Small Business Week Hackathon Challenge (as further described herein, the “Challenge”). Each individual who registers for and participates in the National Small Business Week Hackathon Challenge is eligible to participate in the Challenge. The Challenge’s purpose is to develop a Solution that will help small businesses improve their operations by combining Visa or U.S. Government APIs (Federal, State, or Local) with other technology and other open APIs. 

Register now!


Before entering the Challenge, each Participant must review and agree to be bound by the Challenge’s Official Rules as set out below.

DATES: The Challenge will launch on May 3, 2019 and will conclude on May 5, 2019. The winners will be announced on May 5 at the conclusion of the judging period.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Morris, Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205–7422,


1. Eligibility:

The Challenge is only open to U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents of the United States of America; who are above the age of majority in their state of legal residence as of May 3, 2019; and who register to participate in the Challenge. If you are participating in a team, all Participants must be individually eligible and teams may be no larger than five (5) people.

The Challenge is not open to the following persons: employees, agents or representatives of SBA, SCORE or additional National Small Business Week cosponsors including Visa, the subsidiaries and affiliates of the Cosponsors, or employees, agents or representatives of Cosponsors and exhibitors providing prizes or other materials or services in connection with this Challenge, (collectively, the “Excluded Individuals”); immediate family members (parent, child, sibling and spouses of each) of the Excluded Individuals; any other persons with whom the Excluded Individuals reside; or individuals that have an outstanding, unresolved financial obligation to, or that are currently suspended or debarred by, the federal government.

Only the first 100 to arrive after registration opens will be permitted to attend and be Participants in the Challenge.

2. Registration:

Challenge registration will be available at Only the first 100 to arrive after registration opens will be permitted to attend and be Participants in the Challenge.

By registering for the Challenge, Participants acknowledge and agree to abide by the Official Rules contained herein and to any guidelines or instructions provided by Visa, SBA, and/or their representatives in connection with the Challenge. Furthermore, by registering, Participants agree

to comply with all applicable laws and to be bound by decisions made by Visa, SBA, and their representatives in connection with the Challenge. All Participants must begin and complete coding only when and as directed at the Challenge. Instructions will be given on site and coding will start on Friday, May 3rd at 9:00 PM (Eastern Time) and will end on Sunday, May 5th at 9:45 AM (Eastern time). To be considered in the competition, Participants must submit their Solution before Sunday, May 5th at 9:45 AM (Eastern time).

It is solely Participants’ responsibility to ensure that they have properly registered and submitted their Solutions. Visa and SBA are not responsible for any lost, delayed, misdirected, incomprehensible, incomplete, damaged, garbled or undeliverable registrations or Solutions, or any delay or failure to transmit, process, receive or consider registrations or Solutions.

3. Challenge Materials

Visa will provide certain applied programming interfaces and other materials available for use in the Challenge, subject at all times to these Official Rules (the “Visa Challenge Materials”). SBA may separately provide materials (the “SBA Challenge Materials”). Participant use of any Visa Challenge Materials or SBA Challenge Materials (together, the “Challenge Materials”) made available to them on behalf of Visa or SBA in connection with the Challenge will be governed by these Official Rules.

Visa may make certain Visa Challenge Materials available to Participants through a separate website known as the Visa Developer Portal. The Visa Developer Center Terms of Use (“TOU”) are available at These also include the Visa Developer Center Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) (available at To the extent Participants obtain any Challenge Materials from the Visa Developer Portal, Participants will be bound by the TOU and the Privacy Policy, which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety, as they exist now or hereafter are amended as if set forth herein. To the extent of any conflict among these Official Rules and the TOU or the Privacy Policy, then these Official Rules, the TOU, and the Privacy Policy, in that order of precedence, shall govern solely with respect to the creation and demonstration of Solutions in connection with participation in the Challenge. For any other permitted use only the TOU and Privacy Policy shall apply. Any capitalized terms not defined herein shall have the meanings set forth in the TOU or the Privacy Policy. Participants acknowledge that they have had an opportunity to access and review the TOU and Privacy Policy prior to agreeing to these Official Rules.

Subject to and conditioned upon Participant compliance with these Official Rules and compliance with the TOU, Visa grants to Participants a personal, limited, revocable, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sub licensable, royalty-free license to the Visa Materials in the United States solely during the Challenge and solely in connection with the creation and demonstration of a Solution for the Challenge.

Participants understand and agree that Visa may restrict the number of calls Participants make through Visa APIs, based on various factors including, but not limited to, concerns regarding stability or security of Visa APIs or other Visa systems. Visa may, in their sole discretion, change the method of access to the Visa Developer Portal at any time and may throttle, suspend, or permanently terminate responses to calls to their APIs.

U.S. Government APIs are subject to rules, terms, and conditions set forth by each individual Agency of the Federal, State, or Local Government.

Participants represent and warrant and agree that: (a) they will use the Challenge Materials only for purposes permitted by and in accordance with these Official Rules and applicable law and regulation and not for any commercial use, and any future commercial use of the Challenge Materials shall be subject to separate terms and conditions; and (b) they are solely responsible for (and neither Visa and SBA nor its affiliates have any responsibility to Participants or to any third party for): (1) any data, content, or resources that Participants obtain, transmit or display through their Solutions; and (2) any breach of Participant obligations under these Official Rules, any applicable third party license, or any applicable law or regulation, and for the consequences of such breach. Participants further represent that their Solution does not infringe on the Intellectual Property Rights of Visa and SBA or any third party. Any use of the Visa and SBA Challenge Materials shall include attribution to Visa or SBA as the source thereof and additionally shall contain all copyright and other proprietary notice or legends found on the original of the Visa and SBA Challenge Materials. For the purposes of these Official Rules, “Intellectual Property Rights” means (i) all rights under all classes or types of patents and applications thereof (including, without limitation, utility models, invention registrations, supplementary protection certificates, and all divisions, provisionals, continuations, continuations-in-part, extensions or re-examinations or reissues) and equivalent or similar rights anywhere in the world in inventions and discoveries in all countries of the world; (ii) trademarks (whether registered or unregistered), trademark applications, trade names, service marks (whether registered or unregistered), service mark applications, (iii) copyrights (whether registered or unregistered), copyright applications, mask work rights, moral rights, and other rights in works of authorship, (iv) and trade secrets to the extent protected by any federal or state law of the United States. Participants acknowledge and agree that authorized use of Visa and SBA Challenge Materials does not excuse them from, and Visa and SBA will not be responsible for, their compliance with applicable laws that may require them to be licensed as a money transmitter or chartered as a bank in the jurisdiction in which they are, may be, or will be offering services.

4. Judging Criteria:

At the conclusion of the Challenge, each team will have 3 minutes to demonstrate the Solution that Participants have developed in front of the panel of judges, followed by 2 minutes of Q&A. Demonstration time limits may be shortened or lengthened in Visa and SBA’s sole discretion depending on the number of teams. Participants may choose how to present their Solution, but are encouraged to explain and demonstrate how their Solution meets the judging criteria. Participants acknowledge that the panel of judges may ask them questions regarding their Solution. The order of demonstrations will be decided by the judges in their discretion.

Visa and SBA will award prizes (“Visa and SBA Prize”) to the Challenge teams that, in Visa and SBA’s sole determination, best meet the following criteria:

  • 0 - 30 POINTS: Innovation - Is this Solution different and unique from what is already on the market?
  • 0 - 30 POINTS: Market Potential will this Solution have viable reach, and market potential for small business owners and entrepreneurs?
  • 0 - 20 POINTS: Technical Execution - How effectively are the available APIs used? Is your Solution viable and easy to navigate?
  • 0 - 20 POINTS: Challenge Fit - Does this Solution effectively respond to the Challenge?

Decisions of Visa and SBA, their representatives, or individuals selected by Visa and SBA with respect to all aspects of the Challenge will be final and binding. Judges for this competition may be individuals from the public and/or private sector with subject matter expertise in the areas of entrepreneurship, banking, and/or information technology.

Solutions developed and submitted in connection with the Challenge should not:

  • Contain, depict, or refer (explicitly or otherwise) to any inappropriate, objectionable, or unsuitable language, activity or other content.
  • Contain, depict or refer to any content that disparages or refers negatively to Visa and SBA, the Challenge, or any other person or entity.
  • Contain any content that violates any law or any third party’s Intellectual Property Rights (as defined below), privacy, personality or other rights.
  • Collect any device or user tracking information like GPS location, device ID, etc. without explicit user approval, or store any non-public personal information on the device.

5. Prizes for winners:

Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by SBA or Visa.

The Visa and SBA Prizes will consist of the following for the winning teams:

  • First Place Prize: $25,000
  • Second Place Prize: $15,000
  • Third Place Prize: $10,000

Visa will also award one team $5,000 for best use of Visa Data and Analytic APIs, and one team $5,000 for the best use of APIs.

6. Winner Notification:

Visa or its agent will officially notify each potential prize recipient by e-mail (at the e-mail address provided by the Participant when registering for the Challenge). In the event Visa or its agent is unable to contact a potential winner, despite reasonable efforts to do so, as determined by SBA and Visa’s sole discretion, such potential winner’s prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be chosen by SBA and Visa.

The e-mail notifying the winners will include a link that contains a copy of a Release and Eligibility Agreement (the “Claim Form”) and other information required to claim the prize. All completed, un-amended Claim Forms must be received by Visa or its agent within ten (10) business days after it is e-mailed to the potential winner (“Submission Deadline”). In order to claim a prize, each potential winner must complete the Claim Form which includes representations of eligibility, compliance and release of liability and publicity release. Among other things, the submission of the Claim Form confirms compliance with these rules, acceptance of the prize, as awarded, and release of certain parties from any losses, liabilities, damages or claims arising from or related to the prize awarded and the Challenge itself. If a potential winner fails to submit the Claim Form with all information required by the Submission Deadline, Visa and SBA reserve the right to disqualify the potential winner, and Visa and SBA shall be fully and completely released and discharged from any liability or responsibility in this regard.

Each potential winner must prove he or she is a qualified winner by providing identification acceptable to Visa or its agent (e.g., state driver’s license; state issued identification card; valid passport with address verification; or birth certificate with social security card and photo identification and address verification). If a potential winner cannot prove he or she is a qualified winner, the prize will not be awarded. If a potential winner declines the prize, another winner with the next highest score may be selected based on the judging criteria.

7. General Conditions:

Entries that are incomplete, mutilated, altered, reproduced, forged, counterfeited or irregular in any way, are automatically void. Visa, SBA, or their agents are not responsible for the following: (a) lost, late, delayed, illegible, inaudible, stolen, damaged, altered, destroyed, mutilated, misdirected, illegal, incomplete or postage due rule requests, entries or prize claims; (b) lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software typographical, mechanical, telephonic, electronic or network relating to or in connection with this Challenge, including, without limitation, errors which may occur in connection with the administration of the Challenge, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes, or in any Challenge-related materials; or any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Challenge.

Visa and SBA fully reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, suspend, terminate or modify the Challenge if the Challenge is not capable of being completed as planned, including infection by computer viruses or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure or technical failures of any sort beyond the reasonable control of Visa or SBA, which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper play of this Challenge.

Visa and SBA are not responsible for printing errors in the Challenge materials or these Official Rules. If, due to a production or printing error or other unforeseen error, there are more winners than prizes for any level, Visa and SBA reserve the right to award any remaining prizes for that level through a random drawing of all eligible winners for that level. No more than the number of prizes listed herein will be awarded.

By entering the Challenge and voluntarily providing your personal information as described in these Official Rules, Participants agree to the collection and use of their personal information by Visa and SBA only for purposes of this Challenge.

Participants agree that Visa exclusively owns and shall retain all worldwide right, title and interest in and to the Visa Challenge Materials, and Visa’s trademarks, service marks, logos, trade dress, trade names or service names (“Visa Marks”), including without limitation all Intellectual Property Rights therein. No title to or ownership of any Intellectual Property Rights subsisting in, or embodied by, Visa Challenge Materials or Visa Marks, is granted (express or implied) or otherwise transferred to Participants any other entity or person under these Official Rules. Any rights not expressly granted herein are withheld.

Participants will retain ownership of their Solutions except to the extent of any Visa and SBA technologies or Intellectual Property Rights embodied or incorporated therein in accordance with these Official Rules and subject to Visa and SBA’s ownership of any Visa and SBA IP. Participants represent and warrant that they are (or their team is) the sole creator of their Solution and that they have obtained permission from all persons or Intellectual Property Right owners whose technology, materials, likeness, or work is contained therein for submission of their Solution as described in these Official Rules. To the extent a Solution contains any modifications, changes, enhancements, adaptations, alterations, corrections, error-fixes, updates, upgrades, improvements, and other additions to (a) Challenge Materials accessed through the Visa Developer Portal, or otherwise provided by Visa directly or through the National Small Business Week Hackathon Challenge Website, or (b) other Visa products or services (together, “Modifications”), then such Modifications shall constitute Input pursuant to the TOU.

Nothing in these Terms and Conditions grants Participants any rights to use any Visa and SBA Marks.

Participants waive any and all claims that they may have against Visa, SBA, or anyone participating in the Challenge. Participants also acknowledge that both Visa and SBA have access to many ideas, concepts, and technologies, many of which may be similar or identical to their Solutions, and Participants will not have any claim against Visa or SBA or be entitled to any compensation as a result of Visa or SBA’s use of similar or identical material. Participants agree that neither Visa nor SBA is responsible for any unauthorized use of their Solution (in whole or in part) by third parties.

8. Applicable Law:

This Challenge is being conducted by SBA and Visa pursuant to the Prize Competitions Act (15 U.S.C. 3719) and is subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. By participating in this Challenge, each contestant gives its full and unconditional agreement to the Official Rules and the related administrative decisions described in this notice, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Challenge. A contestant’s eligibility for a prize award is contingent upon their fulfilling all requirements identified in this notice and registration site Terms and Conditions. Publication of this notice is not an obligation of funds on the part of SBA or Visa. All prize monies are funded by Visa as a cosponsor of National Small Business Week. Visa is liable to the winners for payment of the prize. SBA and Visa reserve the right to modify or cancel this Challenge, in whole or in part, at any time prior to the award of prizes.

9. Conflicts of Interest:

No individual acting as a judge at any stage of this Challenge may have personal or financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of any contestant or have a familial or financial relationship with a contestant.

10. Publicity Rights:

By registering for and participating in the Challenge, each contestant consents to SBA’s, Visa’s and its agents’ use, in perpetuity, of its name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state information for promotional or informational purposes through any form of media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

11. Liability and Insurance Requirements:

By registering for participating in the Challenge, each contestant agrees to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in this Challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise. By registering for and participating in the Challenge, each contestant further represents and warrants that it possesses sufficient liability insurance or financial resources to cover claims by a third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage or loss resulting from any activity it carries out in connection with its participation in this Challenge, or claims by the Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity. Contest winners should be prepared to demonstrate proof of insurance or financial responsibility in the event SBA deems it necessary.

To the fullest extent permitted under applicable laws, under no circumstances will Visa or any of its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates or vendors or any officers, directors, employees, or agents of visa, or its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, or vendors (collectively “Visa Parties”) have any liability for any loss or damage resulting directly or indirectly from, without limitation: (a) participation in the Challenge; (b) use of any Visa or Challenge Materials; (c) receipt, use or redemption of the prize; (d) inability to receive, use or redeem the prize; or (f) lost revenue, lost profits, anticipated profits, lost business or injury to business reputation, or cost of procurement of substitute services, under any theory of liability or cause of action, whether in tort (including negligence), contract or otherwise, regardless of whether any Visa Party has been advised of the possibility of such damages. The Challenge Materials are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis with no warranty. To the fullest extent permissible by law, the Visa Parties expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether statutory, express, or implied with respect to the Challenge, prize, and Challenge Materials. In no event will the Visa Parties be liable to participants or any third party for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages in connection with the Challenge, the prize, the Challenge Materials, or these Official Rules. Participants release and agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Visa Parties from any and all damages, injuries, claims, causes of action, liabilities, costs and expenses (including legal fees and expenses), or losses of any kind, known or unknown, absolute or contingent, now or in the future (including but not limited to personal injury or death) arising from or related to: (a) failure to comply with any of these official rules; (b) any misrepresentation made under these official rules, or otherwise to Visa and/or SBA; (c) participation in the Challenge or the Hackathon; (d) receipt, use or redemption of the prize, or inability to receive, use or redeem the prize; (e) use of the products, services, documentation, data or materials provided under these official rules, or solutions or the use or distribution thereof; (f) any infringement or alleged infringement of a patent, copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights or proprietary right relating to these Official Rules or the TOU; or (g) any breach or alleged breach by participants of any representation, warranty, or obligation contained in these terms and conditions.

In no event will the Visa Parties’ liability to participants or any third party in connection with the Challenge, prize, Challenge Materials, these Official Rules, under any theory, exceed one hundred dollars ($100).

12. Record Retention and Disclosure:

Contestants should identify any confidential commercial information contained in their entries at the time of their submission. SBA will notify contestants of any Freedom of Information Act requests the Agency receives related to their submissions in accordance with 13 CFR part 102.