2017 Better with Pets Hackathon (“Contest”) – Official Rules

This document serves as the official rules for the 2017 Better with Pets Hackathon (“Hackathon”). Please see below for eligibility rules, event rules, judging rules, and prize rules.


BINDING AGREEMENT: In order to enter the Contest, you must agree to these Official Rules (“Rules”). Therefore, please read these Rules prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that submission of an entry in the Contest constitutes agreement to these Rules. You may not submit an entry to the Contest and are not eligible to receive the prizes described in these Rules unless you agree to these Rules. These Rules form a binding legal agreement between you and GlobalHack with respect to the Contest. 


The Hackathon is open to individuals who, when their application is received:

  1. Are eighteen years or older; 

Employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents of Nestle Purina Petcare Company (“Sponsor”), GlobalHack, Inc. (“Administrator”), (Sponsor and Administrator referred to as the “Contest Entities”), and each of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, governors, owners, distributors, retailers, advertising/promotion agencies, and the immediate family members (parent, spouse, sibling or child and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in the same household of each, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate or win a prize (EXCEPTION: Employees of Sponsor (Nestle Purina Petcare Company) may participate (but cannot not win prizes) provided their team is composed of no more than 50% of Sponsor employees).

Contest is void where prohibited by law. Applicants who do not fulfill these requirements, will not be eligible to participate in the Hackathon. Please note, at the event there will be personnel verifying the age of participants. Participation in the Hackathon constitutes each individual’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of the Rules of the Hackathon.

Application Period and Details

The Registration Period begins at 12 A.M. Central Time (CT) on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 and ends at 06:30:00 PM CT on Friday, October 13, 2017 (“Registration Period”). Applicants must complete the online registration form available at betterwithpets.splashthat.com in accordance with the instructions provided.

Individual and Team Participation 

Applicants have the option of applying either as an individual or in groups of up to six (6) people (collectively “Teams”). Participants must compete in the team that was named on their registration form and originally accepted. Individuals cannot switch teams during the event. The organizers of the Hackathon are not responsible for resolving any disputes between team members. In order to participate, you must be present at the start of the Hackathon, located at Nestlé Purina Petcare Company at 1 Checkerboard Square, Saint Louis, MO, 63164, starting on October 13, 2017. 

Participants are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements and for covering all associated costs and expenses, including travel to/from the venue and meals not provided by Administrator at the Hackathon. Teams should arrive no later than 06:30:00 PM CT on Friday, October 13.  The entire duration of the event will occur at the venue.  Dinner will be served on October 13; Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served on October 14; and breakfast and lunch will be served on October 15. All meal times and meal choices will be determined by the Administrator in its sole discretion.


Hackathon Event Rules
  1. Each participant must supply his/her own personal laptop and any other technology.
  2. All work must be original. Code used during the Hackathon must be written during the designated Contest Period. Each submission (“Submission”) must be original, of the respective team and team members, and must be their own creation and newly written during the Hackathon and must not have been entered in any other competition or program similar to the Hackathon.
    1. “Newly written” means that team members cannot in any way copy software code that already previously exists, and submit it as part of a submission. Submissions may be subject to a due diligence review at any time for eligibility and compliance with these Rules. Determination of eligibility and compliance is at the sole discretion of the judges and Hackathon organizers. Teams will be disqualified if they do not comply with these Rules.
    2. To the extent that your project utilizes external resources (code-based, IP, or otherwise), all references must be included in the final submission write-up.
  3. Entrants may not use any pre-written proprietary programs or code. All software used by participants must be publicly and widely available (e.g. R, Python). Please reach out to the Hackathon organizing team with any questions.
  4. All entries, limited to one (1) entry per Team will be judged based on the Judging criteria outlined below to determine Six (6) Team finalists. After the (6) Team finalists have been determined, they will deliver their solutions to the judges in the format of a three minute presentation, with time for questions and answers.
  5. Teams retain any and all intellectual property (“IP”) created during the hackathon, including patents, including without limitation all systems and processes, including belief propagation systems, copyrights, including without limitation all application program interfaces, and all other forms of intellectual property, right, title, source code, and methodologies.
  6. By participating in the Hackathon, you acknowledge that event period is from 6:30 PM on October 13, 2017, until 11:00 AM on October 15, 2017. You acknowledge that you will cover the cost of any and all transportation and lodging necessary for the event. You acknowledge that, in the event of being selected as a finalist, absence for the presentation portion of the event may result in immediate disqualification at the sole discretion of the Hackathon organizers.
  7. By participating in the Hackathon, you agree not to publicly disclose, post, or otherwise publish any Submission, or any of the data provided by the Sponsor, in part or in full – whether literally and/or its equivalent, in any media, including, but not limited to any periodical, newspaper, magazine, journal, website and/or social media platform, without the prior written consent of the Sponsor, which reserves the exclusive right to make such decision.
  8. Have fun and network with your fellow hackers!
Judging Criteria

Teams will be evaluated based on the following criteria. Criteria are subject to change on the discretion of the judges:

  1. Execution and code analysis - 20%
  2. Design and aesthetics – 20%
  3. Originality and creativity – 20%
  4. Strategic and practical implementation of solution - 20%
  5. Effective demo and presentation – 20%



The three finalists, as decided on by our panel of judges, will receive prizes dependent on each finalist’s ranking by the judges. The prizes, listed below, are final and non-transferable by the winner. If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes (if any) related to such prize. Odds of winning any prize depend on the number of eligible entries received and the skill of the entrants. No transfer or substitution of prizes, except at the sole discretion of Sponsor.




  • $5,000 in cash for the entire team
  • Ability to direct a $5,000 matched donation to a pet-friendly nonprofit organization of their choice.
  • A (3-day, 2-night) trip for up to 6 people (depending on team size) to the Better with Pets Summit on Thursday, March 15 in Brooklyn, New York consisting of round-trip coach air transportation from Lambert International Airport, standard hotel accommodations (up to 6 rooms), ground transfers to/from airport to hotel, and up to 6 tickets to the event.
  • Purina product (swag) for each team member.
  • 3-month membership to TechShopSTL with two training classes for each member.

Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of each First Place Prize: $12,000

  • $2,500 in cash for the entire team
  • Purina product (swag) for each team member.
  • 1-month membership to TechShopSTL with one training class for each member.


ARV of each Second Place Prize: $1,000




  • $1,500 in cash for the entire team
  • Purina product (swag) for each team member. 

ARV of each Third Place Prize: $400

  • $1,000 in cash for the entire team
  • Purina product (swag) for each team member. 

ARV of each People’s Choice Prize: $300

First Place Trip disclosures: Actual prize value will vary depending on the respective team’s city of departure.  Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to provide ground transportation in place of air transportation if winner lives within a reasonable driving distance of Brooklyn, NY as determined by Sponsor, and to award no additional compensation or substitution for the difference in prize value. Travel and hotel arrangements are determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion and must be made through Sponsor’s agent, on a carrier of Sponsor’s choice. Trip must be taken on dates and times designated by Sponsor or prize will be forfeited in its entirety. Sponsor reserves right to change dates. Teams’ are responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents, including passports and visas (if applicable) prior to travel. In the event that any team member is unable to obtain a passport or visa prior to trip departure date outlined above the team in question will forfeit the trip prize in its entirety. If the 2017 Better with Pets Submit is canceled or postponed for any reason, travel prize will be awarded less applicable prize-related activity(s) and Sponsor will substitute that activity(s) with an item(s)/activity(s) of comparable or greater value as determined solely by Sponsor and no additional compensation prize will be awarded to winner in such event.  Each team must comply with event rules and regulations.  Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of applicable prize element. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Certain travel restrictions may apply. 

Total approximate retail value of all prizes equal $61,500.

Code of Conduct

We are committed to providing a safe and welcoming space, without regard to age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, mental or physical disability, physical appearance, neuro(a)typicality, religion, level of knowledge, level of experience, parental status, marital status, socioeconomic status or background, political affiliation, or any other attribute. The participants of this event are expected to act with the utmost respect for their teammates and competitors, hosts, and organizers should not show any unwelcome or hostile behavior towards another person for any reason.  This includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal comments related to personal characteristics or choices, sexual images or comments, deliberate intimidation, bullying, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of discussion or events, nonconsensual publication of private comments, inappropriate physical contact, or unwelcome sexual attention. Conduct need not be intentional to be harassment. Conduct such as this will not be tolerated at this event and will serve as grounds for removal from the event. 

Intellectual Property Rights

The entrant(s) warrants and represents that any ideas, materials and/or programming used in the Application and/or Submission solution are original and/or, if open source, not subject to any restrictions to be included in the Submission and/or participation in this Hackathon per the relevant open source license and not subject to the proprietary rights of any person or entity.


General Conditions

All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. Administrator reserves the right to disqualify any entrant from the Contest if, in Administrator’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that the entrant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices or annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other entrants, Sponsor, Administrator, or the Judges. 

Right of Publicity

Entrants agree that Administrator and Contest Entities may use of his or her name and/or likeness and any materials the he/she/they have submitted for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation and/or permission in perpetuity throughout the world, unless prohibited by law.

Warranty and Indemnity

Participants warrant that any materials submitted in this Contest/Application process are their own original work and, as such, they are the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted materials and that they have the right to submit the materials in the Contest and grant all required licenses. Each entrant agrees not to submit any materials that (1) infringes any third party proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, industrial property rights, personal or moral rights or any other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, privacy, publicity or confidentiality obligations; or (2) otherwise violates the applicable state, federal, local or provincial law. To the maximum extent permitted by law, each entrant indemnifies and agrees to keep indemnified Contest Entities at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses resulting from any act, default or omission of the entrant and/or a breach of any warranty set forth herein. To the maximum extent permitted by law, each entrant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Contest Entities from and against any and all claims, actions, suits or proceedings, as well as any and all losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) arising out of or accruing from (a) any Submission or solution or other material uploaded or otherwise provided by the entrant that infringes any copyright, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, patent or other intellectual property right of any person or defames any person or violates their rights of publicity or privacy, (b) any misrepresentation made by the entrant in connection with the Contest; (c) any non-compliance by the entrant with these Rules; (d) claims brought by persons or entities other than the parties to these Rules arising from or related to the entrant’s involvement with the Contest; (e) acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in any Contest-related activity or participation in this Contest; (f) any malfunction or other problem with the venue (“Contest Site”); (g) any error in the collection, processing, or retention of entry information; or (h) any typographical or other error in the printing, offering or announcement of any prize or winners. 


Any false information provided within the context of the Contest by any entrant concerning identity, mailing address, telephone number, email address, ownership of right or non-compliance with these Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the entrant from the Contest.


Contest Entities are not responsible for any malfunction of the entire Contest Site or any late, lost, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, undeliverable, or destroyed submissions or entry materials due to system errors, failed, incomplete or garbled computer or other telecommunication transmission malfunctions, hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, typographical or system/human errors and failures, technical malfunction(s) of any telephone network or lines, cable connections, satellite transmissions, servers or providers, or computer equipment, traffic congestion on the Internet or at the Contest Site, or any combination thereof, including other telecommunication, cable, digital or satellite malfunctions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate.


Right to Cancel, Modify, or Disqualify

If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest, Administrator reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. Sponsor further reserves the right to disqualify any entrant who tampers with the submission process or any other part of the Contest or Contest Site. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site, including the Contest Site, or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Administrator/Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such entrant to the fullest extent of the applicable law. 

Not an Offer or Contract of Employment

Under no circumstances shall the submission of an Application or solution into the Contest, the awarding of a prize, or anything in these Rules be construed as an offer or contract of employment and/or an independent contractor relationship with either Sponsor, or the Contest Entities. You acknowledge that you have submitted your Application or solution voluntarily and not in confidence or in trust. You acknowledge that no confidential, fiduciary, agency or other relationship or implied-in-fact contract now exists between you and Sponsor or the Contest Entities and that no such relationship is established by your submission of an Application or solution under these Rules.


Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this Contest, participant agrees that at the sole and exclusive discretion of Sponsor/Administrator that (1) any and all disputes and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and held in St. Louis; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction.


Under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and, to the fullest extent permitted by law, participant hereby waives all rights to  punitive, special, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this Contest), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. 

Choice of Law

All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of participant and Administrator in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the substantive laws of the State of Missouri, USA, without regard to its conflicts of laws principles.