PMI Open Innovation Challenge

Accelerating our Ecosystem to design a Smoke-Free Future


PMI Open Innovation Challenge

(the "Challenge")


(the "Rules")

This Challenge is sponsored by Philip Morris Asia Limited (the "Sponsor").
This Challenge is administered by Agorize SAS ("Agorize")

The aim of these Rules is to set out the terms and conditions governing your participation in the Challenge.
Please review these Rules carefully since participation in this Challenge is subject to your agreement to abide by these Rules.


This Challenge begins on Monday, 29 July 2019 at 8:00 am HKT and ends on Sunday, 17 November 2019 at 11:59 pm HKT.

By registering on the Challenge website and enrolling to participate in the Challenge, you ("Participant" or "you") agree on your behalf and on behalf of the Start-up (as defined in clause 4) that you and the Start-up shall be bound by all of the terms and conditions contained in these Rules (the "Rules"). 

To take part in the Challenge, Agorize must receive a completed registration through the Challenge Website ( (the "Challenge Website") no later than Sunday, 6 October 2019 at 11:59pm HKT.

To register, the Participant must first create a user account on the Challenge Website.

Registration details must be complete, true and accurate. Any registration based on inaccurate, false or incomplete information will result in the Participant’s disqualification.


This Challenge is open and offered solely to Start-ups. For the purposes of this Challenge, a Start-up must satisfy the following criteria:
  • Be a registered business entity; and
  • Must have commercialized at least a product or service prior to enrolling in the Challenge.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Challenge is not open to individuals or to business entities who have not previously commercialised a product or service prior to entry. The Sponsor may, in its discretion, require the Participant to provide documentary proof that the Start-up meets both requirements above. Failure to supply documentation to the Sponsor’s satisfaction will lead to the Participants’ disqualification from the Challenge.
This Challenge is not open to employees, representatives of or family members of the Sponsor, its affiliates or Agorize.
This Challenge is void in countries where it is prohibited or restricted by law.
The goal of the Challenge is for Start-ups to submit their ideas (or projects) in the form of a Deliverable (as defined in clause 6 below) which solves the following business problems:
Category 1: Supply Chain; applications and solutions for:
  • Transforming from offline to online retailing
  • Tracking transactions / purchasing habits of consumers via retailers
  • Using data insights to improve supply chain from company to retailer
Category 2: FinTech; applications and solutions for:
  • Consumer financing options
  • Retailer financing / credit facilities
  • Pay as you GO / Affordability solutions
Participants, on behalf of their Start-ups, shall enter the Challenge by registering on the Challenge Website. During the registration process, the Start-ups may designate no more than two individuals who will act as the representatives of the Start-up throughout the Challenge.
As a Start-up participating in this Challenge, you represent and warrant to the Sponsor that the Participant is (i) an authorized representative of Start-up and is participating in the challenge on behalf of the Start-up, and (ii) has obtained all necessary approvals from Start-up to enter the Challenge.
During the Challenge, Participants must upload to the Challenge Website their original solutions to the Challenge (the “Deliverable”).
The Deliverables must (i) address the specific business problem set out in clause 5 above, (ii) be in a common digital format, such as, DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, EXCEL MP3, MPEG, MOV, MP4, and (iii) be in English, and (iv) comply with these Rules.
If a Deliverable cannot be downloaded, is not in the correct format or is incompatible, illegible, or unintelligible, the Deliverable will be disqualified.
Timeline: The Challenge will be spread across 5 months with the following key rounds / timeline:
  • Challenge Launch: The Challenge will be launched at 8.00 am HKT on Monday, 29 July 2019
  • Round 1 – Application submission: Start-ups can apply and submit their initial Deliverable on the Challenge Website between Monday, 29 July 2019 at 8:00 am HKT and to Sunday, 6 October 2019 at 11:59pm HKT. At the end of Round 1, based on the selection criteria described below, up to 15 winning Start-ups will be selected to proceed to the next round.
  • Round 2 – Mentoring process: The second round will commence from Wednesday, 23 October 2019 at 8:00 am HKT to Sunday, 10 November 2019 at 11:59 pm HKT. During Round 2 the selected Start-ups will be given the opportunity to interact with selected Sponsor staff members who will provide the Start-ups with input and insights on the Deliverables from the Sponsor’s perspective. The purpose of this mentorship is to assist the Start-up in refining their Deliverable.
    At the end of Round 2, all Start-ups will be required to submit a more comprehensive proposal for the second round of voting by Sunday, 10 November 2019 at 11:59 pm HKT. At the end of Round 2, based on the selection criteria described below, up to 5 winning Start-ups will be selected to proceed to the final round.
  • Final Round: The top 5 Start-ups will be invited to Hong Kong to pitch their final Deliverable in person to a jury comprising of senior members of the Sponsor.
  • At the end of the Final Round and based on the selection criteria described below, the jury composed of Sponsor’s member will choose and announce the top two winning Deliverables.
Selection Criteria. Success in the Challenge depends on your creativity, capacity, ability, and ingenuity to solve difficult problems. 
In each round the Deliverables will be judged according to the following Selection Criteria:
  • Innovation: How innovative is the solution in its use of new or existing technology to solve the problems described in the Brief? Are there other solutions available and if so, how is the Start-ups’ solution different from existing solutions?
  • Relevancy: How well does the Deliverable respond to the specific needs set out in the Brief?
  • Feasibility: How feasible is the proposed solution? Does the solution make sense financially? Will the solution be sustainable over the long term?
  • Impact: What is the scale of potential impact? How broad is the impact? How many people will your solution reach? How significant is the impact?
  • Clarity: How well do you articulate your solution in the Deliverable?
Notification to Participants: Once each stage has been completed, Participants will be notified of the results by email, phone, or by other means, at Sponsor’s discretion. The Sponsor will be free to alter the dates on which results are released should this become necessary due to the number of Deliverables to be assessed.
Deadlines: If the Participants fail to upload the Deliverable, as described below, on the Challenge Website before the deadline, they will be disqualified from the Challenge. 
Deliverable Specifications: Deliverables must meet the requirements set out in Clause 6 above, and be submitted as follows:
A. Round 1 Deliverable
  • A brief one-page introduction to your start-up and business model.
  • A presentation of no more that 10-slides on your project produced using the template available for download from the Challenge website, in PPT or PDF format.
B. Round 2 Deliverable
  • A presentation of no more than 20-slides on your project produced using the template available for download from the Challenge website, in PPT or PDF format.
  • A 2-min video to demonstrate the proposed project in the form of physical or digital prototypes with voice-over commentary.
C. Final Round Deliverable
The Final Round will consist of a live oral presentation delivered by the Participants to the senior management of the Sponsor in Hong Kong. In addition to the oral presentation, Start-up participants must prepare a Deliverable which meets the requirements set out in clause 6 above and which consists of:
  • A presentation of no more than 20 slides which describes the overall project and the Start-ups’ solution to the problem it tackles, its estimated impact and the related business model required to achieve the solution.
The above Deliverable will be used as a presentation document during the final pitch.
Subject to compliance with these Rules, the winning Start-ups will receive the following prizes:
  • First Prize - USD 30,000
  • Second Prize - USD 20,000
For the avoidance of doubt, only one first prize and one second prize in total will be awarded for the Challenge and the Sponsor can award the two prizes to Deliverables addressing the same problem listed in clause 5.
All 5 finalist Start-ups (except those based in Hong Kong) will be provided with a lump sum of US$2,500 to assist with the Participant’s travel and accommodation costs associated with coming to Hong Kong to attend the final round. The Sponsor expects 2 members of the Start-ups to attend the Final Round in Hong Kong.
In addition, any or all of the top 5 finalist Start-ups may, at the absolute discretion of the Sponsor, be introduced to the Sponsor’s partner, PM Equity Partners (, for consideration of a potential equity investment. The introduction will not oblige PM Equity Partners in any way to invest in the Start-up and any future investment will be subject to separate and stand-alone discussions and agreements.
No assignment or transfer of prizes is allowed by a winner. If a potential winner is not contactable, is unable to accept the prize or any portion of the prize for any reason, Sponsor shall have no further obligation to such winner.
The Participant and Start-ups acknowledge and agree that the Sponsor may, both during the Challenge and for a period of 3 years following the Final Round, use the Start-ups’ and/or Participants’ name, company name, likeness, description, distinctive sign or trademark, Deliverable or part thereof and/ or photographs (in any format) of the Participants/Deliverable for the purpose of publicizing the Challenge and the results of the Challenge. Such publicity may be in any format including website, advertising banners, social networks, newsletter and press release. Such use by the Sponsor does not entitle the Participants or the Start-ups to any additional payment.
Definitions. For the purposes of the Challenge and these Rules:
"Intellectual Property Rights" means all patents, designs, utility models, rights to inventions, copyrights, trademarks and service marks, business names and domain names, rights in get-up and trade dress and confidential know-how and trade secrets, technology, software, rights in circuit layouts, topography rights and all other intellectual property rights, whether registered, pending applications or unregistered in any part of the world and the term "Intellectual Property Rights" shall be construed accordingly;

"Background IP" means any and all Intellectual Property Rights developed by the Participant and which forms part of or underpins any part of the submitted Deliverable.

Original work: The Participant warrants and represents that (i) the Deliverable and Background IP are original and created/exclusively owned by the Participant/Start-up (ii) that the Deliverable and Background IP do not infringe upon the Intellectual Property Rights of any third party.
Ownership of Deliverable and Background IP: The parties agree that the Deliverable and the Background IP shall remain the exclusive property of the Participant/Start-up and that the Sponsor shall not acquire any Intellectual Property Rights to the Deliverable or the Background IP through the Challenge. However, the Participant grants to the Sponsor the right to discuss and share the Deliverable and any other material or document that the Participant submitted in any round of the Challenge with employees of the Sponsor or any of its affiliates for purposes related to the Challenge and/or to discuss potential commercial relationships with the Participants/Start-up and/or in any other manner provided by these Rules. 
Right of First Refusal: By accepting these Rules, Participants who are winners of the Challenge (first or second prize) grant an exclusive right of first refusal to the Sponsor to purchase part or all of the Intellectual Property Rights (including Background IP) relating to the Deliverables submitted during the Challenge for a period of one year starting from the announcement of the winners of the Challenge.
Independent Creations: Participants specifically acknowledge that the Sponsor or any of its affiliates may currently or in the future be developing information internally, or receiving information from other parties, that may be regarded as similar to the information contained in any of the Deliverables submitted by Participants. Accordingly, the Parties agree that nothing herein shall prohibit Sponsor from independently acquiring, developing, or having developed for itself, products, concepts, systems, services, or techniques that are similar to or may compete with the products, concepts, systems or techniques contemplated by or embodied in any Deliverable.
The Participants recognize that other Participants, individuals or entities may have provided Sponsor or others, or made public, or may in the future submit, or make public, content that is the same or similar to any piece of information contained in any of their Deliverables. Hence, the Participants acknowledge, agree and accept that Sponsor shall have the right to use such same or similar materials, and that the Participants will not be entitled to any compensation arising from Sponsor’s use of such materials.
Purpose: The Participant agrees that the Sponsor and Agorize may collect personal information or personal data from the Participant for the purpose of administering and hosting the Challenge in accordance with these Rules.
Personal Data: Personal data collected and used by the Sponsor or Agorize may include the Participant’s name, age, nationally, contact details (address, email, address, telephone numbers), photographs, images and other personal data reasonably necessary for administering or hosting the Challenge.
Personal Data collected by the Sponsor or Agorize shall not be used for any purposes except those reasonably related to the Challenge as set out in these Rules.
Privacy Policy: In addition to terms contained in these Rules and the applicable data privacy law, the Participants acknowledge that the information provided will be used in accordance with the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. For further details, please see
Entire Understanding: These Rules contain the entire understanding between the parties hereto and supersede any prior understanding and/or agreements regarding the subject matter of the Challenge. 
Rules and Brief: The Parties agree that in the event of any inconsistency between the terms of the Brief and these Rules, the terms of these Rules shall prevail.
Deliverables not confidential: The Participant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor has no obligation to keep the information contained in the Deliverables confidential and the Participant understands and agrees that any information contained therein may, subject to the terms of these Rules, be publicly disclosed by the Sponsor.
Non-assignment: The Participant acknowledges that the benefit of these Rules and Challenge is personal to the Participant and shall not be capable of being assigned by the Participant.
No partnership or agency: Nothing contained in these Rules or actions taken by the parties in relation to the Challenge shall be construed or deemed to constitute, a partnership between the parties, or shall constitute either Party as the agent, employee or representative of the other.

Severance: Should any provision of these Rules be declared void or unenforceable by any competent authority or court, this shall not affect the other provisions of these Rules which are capable of severance, which shall continue unaffected.

Challenge Cancellation or Suspension: The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion, to (i) cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Challenge and these Rules, for any reason, at any time and without any liability, and (ii) to limit or restrict participation in the Challenge. The Sponsor will not be held liable for the modification, cancellation or suspension of the Challenge and no compensation or remuneration will be due to the Participants.

Liability: the Sponsor shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage that the Participant or the Start-up may suffer as a result of participating in or attempting to participate in the Challenge.

Indemnity: The Participant agrees to indemnify and hold the Sponsor and their respective affiliates, companies, directors, employees, agents and partners ("Sponsor associates") harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Sponsor or the Sponsor associates due to or arising out of the use of the Deliverables or additional materials and/or in connection with participation in the Challenge.

Breach and Disqualification: Should the Participant breach any of these Rules, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, disqualify the Participant from the Challenge. The Sponsor’s decision to disqualify a Participant is not subject to review.

Dates and Times: All dates and times referred to in these Rules refer to Hong Kong Time ("HKT").
Both the Challenge and these Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. The parties hereto hereby submit to the jurisdiction of the Courts of Hong Kong.