The idea is clear, innovative and presents a compelling answer to the question “What pain point/need/problem does it solve and for whom?” The following are true of the strongest ideas:
- Product technology is a demonstratable working prototype format
- Product technology is well-defined, and the buyer/user is compelled by this offering
- The team has identified a very significant need, want or should
- The value proposition is clearly articulated and differentiated – What are the product’s benefits and how are they offered (features, functions, etc.)?
The idea has a strong chance for success and uptake in the marketplace within three years. The following are true of the ideas with the strongest chance for success:
- Solves a problem in a new way – The idea is interesting, innovative and creative with a clear value proposition
- Has addressed key success factors – The idea clearly meets a need, identifies a target market, recognizes and addresses important challenges
- Is viable – Sounds like it could work - technically, financially and conceptually
- Has leveraged external resources for partnerships to enable development and/or product deployment
The idea and who will be served are clear. The following are true of the strongest ideas:
- There is a significant market of potential buyers/users/clients and/or this market is likely to grow
- There is evidence that market needs are unmet or underserved, and market research findings are appropriate
- You articulate how your idea is different from competing offerings and you demonstrate knowledge of the competitive marketplace
- Your solution provides economic impact, job creation, and/or creates a new industry or changes an existing industry with the utilization of Edge technology or Edge compute
Rationale for financial sustainability is sound. The following are true of the strongest teams and ideas:
- The business model is clearly described and viable. Explain and justify how you will generate revenues that exceed costs and demonstrate route to market.
- Evidence that economic logic was used, and estimates are based on reasonable assumptions. You have considered startup and ongoing costs, and made reasonable assumptions about price, sales needed to break even, sales forecast, gross margin, etc.
- Go to Market strategy is clear and well-defined
There is a good match between the team and the idea that can support significant value creation. The following are true of the strongest teams:
- The team inspires confidence in potential investors
- Members have relevant experience (career, industry, education, professional) and skills that apply to the product’s development
- The organizational plan for managing the venture is clear and credible
- Equity arrangements have been discussed