Welcome! We hope you decide to apply to the 2017 Startup Showcase competition. First, please read all the rules on our web site: http://business.illinoisstate.edu/means/startup/ Below are some additional tips and information to help you understand the application and judging process.
The judges will be looking for good, solid answers to the following five questions. This rubric is consistent with the questions you will answer in your online application.
The highest scores should be awarded to those teams that explain in clear, simple language what they want to do. The less jargon, the better. The product or service should be understandable to the average person. If the idea is highly technical, the team should explain what it does in non-technical language.
The highest scores should be awarded to those teams that can demonstrate that a market exists for what they have to offer. If their product/service is similar to others, they should be able to explain why their offering is better and why people will want it. If this is a “new-to-the-world” idea, they should be able to make a convincing case that people will buy it.
We are looking for two main components here. First, what will the price be for each unit of the product/service? (This does not have to be specified to the cent, but teams should have a good idea of a price range.) Second, how much will it cost to make/deliver it? (Again, we recognize that there will be some looseness in the estimates.) The highest scores should go to those teams that can show that their product/service can command a price that covers production/delivery costs.
Teams should be able to specify how they will use financial support, services, etc. The highest scores should go to teams that can explain the expenditures they will make and how they will use any services provided. Teams do not need to be highly detailed here, but they should have at least a few tangible ideas about how they will benefit from winning.
The highest scoring teams will be those that explain what they will accomplish in the first year in clear, tangible terms. Ideally, we would like to see how that first year in business will set them up for success in future years. Milestones should be challenging but realistic.
If you have further questions, please contact Dr. Terry Noel: firstname.lastname@example.org