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Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation and Judging Criteria for Innovative Ventures
The University of Idaho Business Plan Competition makes every attempt to simulate the process of entrepreneurship, whereby student entrepreneurs solicit start-up funding from angel investors and venture capital firms. The competition judges, representing these groups of potential investors, evaluate and assess the business plans, and then decide on the business venture that they would most likely fund. Various factors that influence the judges’ assessment and decisions include but are not limited to: 

  • Clarity, completeness, and persuasiveness of the written business plan and oral presentation
  • The feasibility and quality of the business plan concept (e.g., product, technology, service)
  • The feasibility and quality of the business model
  • The marketability of the proposed venture (does demand of concept exist)
  • The financial and/or social return of the proposed venture
  • Benchmarking performance milestones expressed in the business plan
  • Contingency planning and risk assessment – include plan for mitigating risk factors
  • The capacity and strength of the management team (experience and expertise)
  • The quality of the team members’ responses to questions from the judges

The decisions of the judging panel are final. Judges may alter prize amounts. If no submissions are deemed worthy, no financial awards will be made.

Format for the Social Entrepreneurship Track
(This model is borrowed by the Global Social Venture Competition and the below format is from the Warrington College of Business, University of Florida)
Social Entrepreneurship Business Plan Format
The body of the plan must not exceed 25 pages. This does not include financials or other appendices.
  1. Executive Summary (1 to 2 pages)
    1. Your business idea or concept
    2. Your social mission
    3. The target market and size
    4. The target clients or customers
    5. Your competitive advantages
    6. Barriers to entry
    7. Estimated year of breakeven profitability
    8. Estimated quantitative social impact (also known SROI-Social Return on Investment)
    9. Three years of estimated revenues and net income
    10. Your funding requirements
  2. Business Overview
    1. Company description and business model
    2. Value proposition-financial
    3. Value proposition—social or environmental
    4. Vision
    5. Current Status
    6. Current or committed funding and all funding sources
  3. The Market Opportunity (the problem)
    1. Why is this such a great idea? Describe and define the problem
    2. Competitive Analysis (analysis of the current competition and assessment of why the problem is not being solved by competitors)
  4. Market Solution
    1. Product(s), Program(s), Service(s)
    2. How will you solve the problem
    3. Competitive Advantages
    4. Ability to create barriers to entry
  5. The Market
    1. Identification of the Customer(s)
    2. Industry analysis and forecast (Comparative Analysis—for example see EDGAR on the SEC web site. Find a company in a similar space or with similar mode; and compare their growth rated, etc. to your model)
    3. Market size, analysis and forecast
  6. Management Team
    1. Founders and key management
    2. Industry experience; Educational backgrounds
    3. Board of advisors (critical to the assessment of the overall viability; can augment the team's experience if needed)
    4. Optional: Board of directors (3 required by law, usually not until first round of institutional funding is in place)
  7. Financial Analysis
    1. Outline overall financial model with detail projections through Year 3 including pro forma cash flow and budget analysis. (The RISE tool is helpful here: Click Here for PDF
    2. Other analysis, as appropriate (e.g., break even analysis)
    3. Discuss assumptions and capital requirements
  8. Social/Environmental Quantitative Impact Analysis (For examples see Global Social Venture Competition)
    You must specially discuss, where applicable, how you are addressing most of the following areas, but your plan does not need to excel in all of the areas to be considered.
    1. Community economic development
    2. Community involvement
    3. Environmental practices
    4. Governance
    5. Hiring and workplace practices
    6. Sourcing/Supply Chain
  9. Funding Request
    Explain how you will use the funding to support/start this business venture and sustain it beyond the initial funding.

Additional Resources:
Global Social Entrepreneurship Competiton at the Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington
Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Business Plan Contest Resources at the Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Business Planning (for nonprofits and for-profits), Free Management Library