Topic Description Points
Problem/Need Students clearly describe the problem/need they are going after. This should include the background or insight that lead them to their decision to build a product addressing this problem. They use supporting data (including market research, focus groups, interviews, surveys) to underscore the significance of the problem. 10
Innovative Solution Students have proposed an innovative solution to the problem. They are able to distinguish their solution from the other solutions that exist in the marketplace and have a strong customer/client base who is in need of the solution. In the case of a for-profit, they have demonstrated a need that customers will be willing to pay for the solution; in a non-profit, they have demonstrated both a need in the community and, if no fee-for-service model, a set of funders who will potentially fund this enterprise. In the description of the market and target customers, students have clearly articulated the market size, a competitive landscape, and why their solution is better. Students have an understanding of the specific customer/client they will target (both for the early stage launch and then once it is mainstream) and how they will market to and build a business around that target market. 10
Prototype We are looking for prototypes that are “realistic” in respect to a real world situation in which they would have to pitch to real investors. That is, the technology is strong enough to make a solution promising and the team is strong enough and has a plan that inspires confidence in the team’s ability to achieve their goals. An MVP consists of the simplest version of a solution that is sufficient to demonstrate the intended use cases and test a solution’s ability to solve real users’ pain points. 10
Make the case The students present a compelling case for their idea. The presentation is organized, concise, and students are prepared. The students are fluent in potential risks, opportunities, and have confidence in their ability to execute their solution moving forward. 10