Judging Criteria

Judges will consist of Bradley University faculty, staff, and alumni plus invited judges from the business community, including investors.  Decisions of judges are final.

Written plans will be judged on any or all of, but not limited to, the following criteria.  All criteria, including the oral presentation, will contribute to the overall score of the plan.



Value proposition



Product/service demonstrates value to the customer. Venture addresses a current market problem.  Explains benefits of product/service to customer. Is there a working model/prototype?


Analysis of industry




Venture team understands their industry, and appropriately evaluates current and future trends.  Identifies the growth opportunities and barriers to entry.


Competitive advantage



Venture has a uniqueness that clearly differentiates it from its competitors. Demonstrates knowledge of competitors and how they will react to new venture. 

Clear target market




Identifies target market or niche that can be exploited. Target market’s needs and wants are understood    Clear and executable plan to reach the customer base?

Ability to meet financial goals



Likelihood of appropriate return on investment, if a request for funds.  Venture team demonstrates the ability to raise the capital they need.  Financial analysis well done and reasonable. Are there any sales?


Legal issues





Venture’s business entity choice is appropriate.  Appropriate protection of intellectual property?  Clear understanding of legal risks and an appropriate strategy for the business.  Understands equity and how it will be split among owners.

Quality of venture team




Venture team has the appropriate skills, knowledge, abilities to start the venture. Have appropriate advisors, mentors, investors, and other networks for support. Understands skill shortages in team and how to address them.


Business model

Clearly explains rationale for how they create, deliver, and capture value.  Understands how operations of business will create value for the firm.







Materials presented in a clear, concise and logical form; also assumptions are clear and reasonable. Clearly addresses follow-up questions.


Conveys confidence, professionalism, and passion.   Clear understanding of the venture’s plan for success. Appears to take feedback/coaching well.


Overall Viability

Startup Likelihood and Viability


Taking all items together, belief that this entity has shown clear plan for starting a viable venture.