STARTUP CHALLENGE

Written Business Plan Evaluation Criteria

Concept Statement (10%)
Explain the concept for the business venture you are proposing (be clear, concise and compelling). 
Briefly address the value proposition including the target market, unique benefits, sustainable competitive analysis and how benefits will be delivered to the customer.

Opportunity/Need (20%)
Describe the market opportunity.
What trends are favorable for the business?
Describe the compelling need for the product or service.
Explain the problem to be solved.

Product/Service (10%)
Describes the key features and benefits, current stage of development, proprietary position and competitive advantages of the product or service.
How is this product/service the solution to the problem/need?

Intellectual Property (5%)
Awarded only if the venture has secured license to or ownership of intellectual property to protect the product or service, or intends to secure such.

Industry Analysis (10%)
Provides the size, demographics, trends, life cycle stage and typical profit margins of the industry.
Describes the existence of barriers to entry and how to overcome these barriers.
Details the status of technology and R&D expenditures.
Who are your competitors and what are your key points of differentiation between your product and your competitor’s product/service?
What have you learned from talking to distributors, competitors, retailers, etc.?

Customer (10%)
Articulates the demographics of the target market.
Describes the customer profile.
What is the potential to target different customer segments?
Explain knowledge acquired by talking to potential customers.

Operating Strategies (10%)
Addresses the marketing, production, research and development, personnel, administrative, financial strategies, and distribution channel alternatives for the proposed firm.

Founding (Management) Team (15%)
Who is your founding team, including mentor(s), advisor(s), board members(s)?
Who will be your management team?
What role will each of you play?
What experience does your team have?
What are the gaps and what will you do to fill them in?
What role will strategic partnerships play in the venture (accountant, bankers, suppliers, etc.)?

Financing/Profit Potential (10%)
Explain how you will finance the venture.
Present a realistic assessment of cash requirementsinflows and outflowsover a project period (up to five years).
How will the business become profitable? And, how long will it take?
Discuss the scalability of the product/service. How will it spread rapidly to other customers?

Oral Business Plan Presentation Evaluation Criteria

Team Presentation Style (20%)
• Materials presented in clear, concise and logical and/or sequential form
• Presentation stayed within time frame

• Conveyed confidence and professionalism
• Demonstrated knowledge of industry
• Responsiveness to judges/Effectively fielded questions
• Stimulated investor interest and/or ability to maintain judge’s interest

Visual Aids (10%)
• Clear and readable
• Relevant to plan
• Attractive and professional

Business Plan (35%)
• Describe product/services clearly
• Substantiate marketability of product/service
• Demonstrate strength of management team
• Describe venture operations clearly
• Identify major challenges/risks
• Present sales analysis and forecasts clearly
• State capital requirements clearly
• Relate need for the venture (meaningful examples, practical applications, etc.)

Viability (35%)
• Market Opportunity: Present clear market need and way to take advantage of that need
• Distinctive Competence: Show the venture’s uniqueness that offers a competitive advantage
• Management Capability: Show the team can effectively develop the venture and handle risks
• Financial Understanding: Show the team has a solid understanding of the financial requirements
• Investment Potential: Show the business is something people would consider investing in

List of business plan criteria adapted with permission from the Moot Corp. Business Plan Evaluation Form, Property of the Moot Corp Program, The University of Texas at Austin. 


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