Evaluation Criteria

[UPDATED: 9-27-17]

Below is the evaluation criteria we use to review ideas submitted and determine who gets seeded. Judges rank each criteria on a scale from 1 to 5. The teams with the most points move on to the Pitch Screening and Selection round.

Question 1

Has the student completed the previously funded milestone? (Complete if applicant received funding in the past)

  • 1 Point (the student has nothing to report about their previously funded milestone)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student has partially completed their previously funded milestone)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student has fully completed their previously funded milestone)

Question 2

Provide feedback (if any) on the student’s previously funded milestone

Question 3

*Required*

Does the student describe the idea and the problem that it solves clearly?

  • 1 Point (the student does not clearly describe the business problem or the business idea)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student partially describes the business problem or the business idea)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student clearly and succinctly describes the business problem and the business idea)

Question 4

*Required*

Is the idea the appropriate solution for the problem it is solving?

  • 1 Point (the student fails to describe how the idea is a solution to the problem they are solving)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student describes the connection between the business problem and the solution)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student has clear understanding of how the idea is a direct solution to the problem they are solving)

Question 5

Provide feedback (if any) on the student’s idea, solution, and problem it is solving.

Question 6

*Required*

Is this the appropriate milestone for developing the idea into a viable business?

  • 1 Point (the milestone is not appropriate at this time for developing the idea into a viable business)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the milestone is somewhat relevant at this time for developing the idea into a viable business)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the milestone is the most relevant next step to developing the idea into a viable business)

Question 7

Provide feedback (if any) on the student’s milestone.

Question 8

*Required*

Is this the appropriate amount of funding for the student to complete the milestone?

  • 1 Point (the student gives no explanation for funding and/or asks for funding beyond our maximum)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student asks for more than market value of milestone)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student gives a detailed itemized funding request at current market value)

Question 9

Provide feedback (if any) on the student’s requested funding amount.

Question 10

Required

Has the student identified customers for his or her idea?

  • 1 Point (the student does not know his or her target market)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student has identified target markets but does not know their initial market entry point)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student has a precise understanding of the archetype customer, the first adopters, and has a clear target market)

Question 11

Provide feedback (if any) on the student’s customer description.

Question 12

*Required*

Has the student performed the proper amount of validation to ensure that there is interest in the idea?

  • 1 Point (the student has performed no validation to ensure there is interested in this idea)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student has conducted several online surveys or asked friends/relatives if they are interested in their idea)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student has conducted several targeted customer interviews to ensure there is interest in the idea)

Question 13

Provide feedback (if any) on the student’s customer validation.

Question 14

Required

Has the student conducted a sufficient amount of research?

  • 1 Point (the student has not conducted any research into their idea)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student has conducted a broad stroke internet search into their idea)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student has conducted in depth research including interviews with industry professionals, competitive analysis, and has a vast knowledge of the industry they are entering)

Question 15

Provide feedback (if any) on the student’s research.

Question 16

Required

Is the student’s idea sufficiently differentiated from similar ideas?

  • 1 Point (the students idea lacks any significant differentiation from similar ideas)
  • 2 Points
  • 3 Points (the student idea shows some differentiating factors from similar ideas)
  • 4 Points
  • 5 Points (the student idea has a clearly unique differentiator from similar ideas)

Question 17

Provide feedback (if any) on the differentiation of the student’s idea.