Guidelines and Judging Criteria

New Business Concepts Pitch Guidelines | Social Ventures Pitch Guidelines | Ten Questions That You Should Try To Answer

New Business Concepts Pitch Guidelines

New Business Concepts will be evaluated on the following judging criteria.

  • 1. Business Description: Details of the venture and what it does.
    • How well was the concept explained?
    • How reasonable, sustainable, and scalable is the new concept?
  • 2. Market Analysis: Characteristics of the market and description of its customers.
    • Is there a genuine need for the product or service?
    • How well was the target market defined?
    • What is the size and growth of the market?
    • What is the consumers' willingness to pay for the product/service?
  • 3. Product or Service Analysis: The specifics of the product or service.
    • Is the description clear?
    • Is the product feasible?
    • How easily it can be duplicated?
    • Is there a presence of potential substitutes for the product?
  • 4. Competition: Identify current and potential competitors.
    • Have the current and potential competitors, competitive response, and analysis of strengths and weaknesses been adequately defined?
  • 5. Marketing Strategy: How sales will be achieved.
    • How realistically defined is the marketing plan?
    • Does the plan adequately address price, product, place, and promotion?
    • Are resources sufficiently allocated for marketing?
  • 6. Operations: How the product or service will be produced and delivered.
    • What is the likelihood of securing resources required for production?
    • Is there an ability to operate competitively and grow?
  • 7. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
    • Does the team exhibit the experience and skills required for operation?
    • What is the depth and breadth of the team's capabilities?
    • Does the team demonstrate the ability to grow with the organization and attract new talent?
  • 8. Finances: An overview of the required resources and economics of the venture.
    • How compelling is the business model?
    • Have the resources required for the venture been addressed?
    • Has the team clearly and adequately presented a breakeven analysis?
    • How reasonable are the financial projections?
    • Are there prospects for long-term profitability?
  • 9. Investment Proposal: The terms and conditions offered to investors.
    • Did the entrepreneurial team explain funding?
    • Were offerings to investors and anticipated returns clearly explained?
    • Did the team calculate a realistic valuation?
    • How feasible is the exit strategy?
  • 10. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.
    • Did the presenter(s) engage the audience and hold their attention?
    • Did the presenter(s) appear to speak with confidence authority?
    • Were visual aids (i.e. PowerPoint® slides) clear and valuable?
    • Was the pitch exciting and compelling?
    • How efficiently did the team allot their time?

Social Venture Pitch Guidelines

Social Ventures will be evaluated on the following judging criteria.

  • 1. Assessing the Need: An analysis of the social issue and its affected population.
    • Does the proposed venture address a significant and critical social problem?
  • 2. Well-defined Target: Characteristics of the market and targeted population.
    • Does the proposed venture adequately describe the problem it hopes to address and have defined parameters within which it plans to operate?
  • 3. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
    • Does the entrepreneurial team possess the skills and experience required to translate the plan into action?
    • Can they demonstrated the passion, commitment, and perseverance required to overcome inevitable obstacles?
    • Is the team comprised of individuals committed to ethical standards?
  • 4. Creativity: A demonstration that the proposed solution displays a unique approach.
    • Does the proposal approach the social problem in an innovative, exciting, and dynamic way?
  • 5. Feasibility: A demonstration that the venture can be successfully implemented.
    • Does the initiative aspire towards clear, realistic and achievable goals, while thinking big?
    • Can it be implemented effectively?
  • 6. Planning: A clear and well-defined strategy to achieve objectives and goals.
    • Are there clear and coherent schedules, milestones, objectives, and financial plans?
  • 7. Operations: How the product or service will be physically produced and distributed.
    • Has adequate attention been given to the way in which the product or service is to be produced and/or delivered?
    • Do they have, or can likely secure, the resources required for production?
    • Will they be able to operate competitively and grow?
  • 8. Sustainability: Long-term prospects for viability and success.
    • Does the proposed venture include adequate strategies for fundraising and income generation?
    • Does it consider the different dimensions of financial and social sustainability in a conscientious manner?
  • 9. Social Impact: The value that the new venture will bring to society.
    • How will the implementation of this social venture benefit the community and the multiple stakeholders involved?
    • Is there the potential for significant social impact and engagement of the broader community?
  • 10. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.
    • Did the presenter(s) engage the audience and hold their attention?
    • Did the presenter(s) appear to speak with confidence authority?
    • Were visual aids (i.e. PowerPoint® slides) clear and valuable?
    • Was the pitch exciting and compelling?
    • How efficiently did the team allot their time?
* While there is some debate regarding the precise definition of a social venture, and what exactly differentiates it from a traditional for profit business, the Selection Committee and Judging Panel will use the following criteria:
  • PRIMARY MISSION - is the organization's primary purpose to serve its owners (New Business Concept) or society (Social Venture)
  • PRIMARY MEASURE OF SUCCESS - does the organization measure its success primarily by profitability (New Business Concept) or positive social change (Social Venture)

Ten Questions That You Should Try To Answer

Whether pitching a New Business Concept or a Social Venture, try to address the following ten big questions as completely as possible. Remember, you should not simply talk about a general idea (those are "a dime a dozen"), rather, try to present a concise concept with a cleareconomic model, convincing everyone that you can actually make it happen.
  • 1. What's the PROBLEM?
  • 2. What's your SOLUTION?
  • 3. How large is the MARKET?
  • 4. Who is the COMPETITION?
  • 5. What makes you so SPECIAL?
  • 6. What's your ECONOMIC MODEL?
  • 7. How exactly will you achieve SALES?
  • 8. Have you assembled a qualified TEAM?
  • 9. How will you secure required RESOURCES?
  • 10. What are you proposing for an INVESTMENT?
Suggested reading: The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki (Penguin 2004), especially Chapter 3, "The Art of Pitching"