Evaluation Guidelines

Community and business leaders from across the state will judge the plans.

Judging is based both subjectively and objectively on the following evaluation guidelines and the impressions formed by the business experiences of the judges:

Business Plan Format (5 points)
The business plan will include the cover page and the business plan. The business plan is limited to 15 pages of typed text, with a 12 point font. The cover page is not counted in the total number of pages. The cover page must include the: (1) teacher advisor’s name, (2) student names, (3) contact information (including e-mail, telephone, address, school name and the name of the company).
Pictures of products are encouraged.
Executive Summary (10 Points)
Clear, exciting, and effective as a stand-alone overview of the plan; includes brief description of each succeeding section of the plan; can be read in five minutes.
Company Overview (10 Points)
Presents a vision, history, current status, strategy, goals, mission and objectives for the business.
Product or Service Description (10 Points)
Describes the product, its features and benefits, and explains why the product is better than that of the competitors. Identify current stage of development.
Management Team (5 Points)
Backgrounds and roles of key individuals; history and ability to work as an effective team; personnel needs; organizational structure.
Innovation/Creativity (5 points)
Presents an opportunity to turn ideas into new products or services for a business.
Market and Competitive Analysis (10 Points)
Defines the target market and sales approach; states growth trends and key driving forces of the industry; assesses the competitive environment; shows market acceptance for the product or service.
Critical Risks (5 Points)
Realistically identifies the major internal and external critical risks that could threaten the business and presents contingency plans to address these issues.
Financials (5 Points)
Includes: (1) a statement of what funds are needed and (2) an income statement.

All judges ultimately consider the entire business concept looking at overall feasibility, combined with the potential to generate revenue, and the ability to implement the business.

The judges will award 1st – 4th place awards in the Best Business Plan category and 1st – 4th place awards in the Most Innovative Category. Announcement of the winners will be held via live stream on Thursday, March 20, 2014.