If you're wondering what the catch is, the catch is you have to follow the rules. Luckily they're pretty simple, and we'll run them down right here:
- Existing products / updates to existing products will not be accepted.
- Product should not be officially announced, though those with limited coverage will be assessed on an individual basis.
- Product must not have an existing Kickstarter, Indiegogo or other crowdfunding effort already underway.
- Companies must be ready to launch crowdfunding campaigns around the event.
- Products must fall within Engadget's coverage scope.
- Products must have a hardware component and not be purely software or web services in origin.
- Inventors will need a working prototype or other presentation for a team of Engadget editors ahead of the event.
- Simulations or product renderings will not suffice to enter Insert Coin; what you have to show to us must be functional.
- No products from major manufacturers will be accepted.
- Rules are subject to change and qualified submissions are not guaranteed for inclusion.
Full official rules: For the full legalese please be sure to read the Official Rules. Most notably in addition to the above, you must be 13 years of age or older and reside in the U.S. or Canada (excluding Quebec).
- 10 semifinalists will receive tickets to Expand and a $1,000 travel stipend to defray associated costs of appearing at the event.
- 1 Reader's Choice Winner will receive $5,000 and a product review on Engadget.
- 1 Grand Prize Winner will receive $20,000 and a product review on Engadget.
How the process works
Submissions accepted: 12/28/2012 to 11:59pm EST on 2/8/2013
Follow the instructions on how to enter below during this time period. The Engadget editors will review all submissions and select 10 semi-finalists to appear at Expand and receive a $1,000 travel stipend. We will be judging according to the following criteria: innovativeness, design, functionality, overall quality, and market fitness. After submissions close we will begin contacting prospective semi-finalists the following week to confirm eligibility requirements, so be sure to pay extra special close attention to your email and voicemail!
We will announce the slate of 10 semi-finalists on February 15, 2013.
Audience voting: 2/18/2013 to 2/27/2013
We will open the 10 semi-finalist projects for audience voting during this period. The top 5 projects as selected by you, dear readers, will be named as finalists. Finalists will receive stage time at the event to demo their product to the live Expand audience.
We will announce the 5 finalists on March 1, 2013.
Selecting winners: 3/16/2013 to 3/17/2013
After finalists and semi-finalists have had a chance to show off their projects at Expand, we will crown two winners according to the following criteria:
- Grand Prize Winner: Selected by a combination of the judges' panel vote, the in-person audience vote, and the livestream audience vote (all three weighted equally). Winner will receive $20,000 to help fund the project, as well as a review on Engadget.
- Reader's Choice Winner: The project with the greatest number of votes from the total pool of Expand audience (excluding judges) and Engadget online audience will receive $5,000 to help fund the product, as well as a review on Engadget.
Here's how to enter
Submit all of the details about your project and your contact information at this form -- remember, you must not have an existing crowdfunding effort underway for this project! Your product must also not be launched or in production currently; we would prefer your project not have received widespread media coverage to date as well, but will take individual projects on a case by case basis if you have managed to attract attention already.
If you have questions about the contest, its rules, or whether your project meets the submission criteria, please contact expand[at]engadget.com.
And if you don't have a project that's eligible, but you know someone who does -- please help us get the word out to them! If you are a member of any hacker or DIY community that might be interested, we will love you long time if you can spread the news.
Good luck, and may the best project(s) win!