Scoring Criteria

The winners of the competition will be determined by the judges’ ranking of the teams.  This ranking will be based on the judges’ willingness to invest in the company.  The ranking will be completed by the judges on both the written business plan and the verbal presentation.  Judges will rank the teams in their group from first (team most likely to receive funding) to last (team least likely to receive funding).

            Part I          Written Business Plan  
            Part II         Verbal Presentation      

Both evaluations utilize a point-scoring system that will be recorded and totaled to assist the judges in determining the winner. The point scoring system is used ONLY as a GUIDE for the judges. The final decision is not necessarily based on the number of points scored but rather on the judges' qualitative evaluation and consultations with each other during their deliberation session following the presentations. Judges will ultimately consider the entire business concept looking at overall feasibility, alignment with the competition’s goal of positive impact, capital gains potential, attractive investment possibilities, and actual implementation. Judging decisions are final.

Scoring Process 

Teams in the competition will be divided into session groups.  Each judge will assess the written business plans for all applicants before the day of the event.
Please Note: The main purpose of this competition is to assist ALL entrants in developing stronger skills and a more viable business plan.

Scoring for Written Business Plan Evaluation

Judges will review and assess the written business plan of each team focusing on key elements and the effectiveness of the summary financial data.  Judges will evaluate each team’s written business plan based upon:

Evaluation Criteria for the Written Plan

Please be concise and organized.  Quality is preferred over quantity in the written plan.

  • 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 5 minutes.

  • Company Overview (15 points)

Presents a vision, history, current status, strategy, goals, mission, and objectives for the business.

  • Products or Services (10 points)

Describes the key features and benefits, current stage of development, proprietary position, and competitive advantages of the product or service.

  • Market Analysis (15 points)

Presents the growth trends and key driving forces of the industry; identifies the key characteristics and needs of the target market(s); assesses the competitive environment; and demonstrates market acceptance for the product or service.

  • Management Team (10 points)

Identifies backgrounds and roles of key individuals; history and ability to work as an effective team; personnel needs; and organizational structure.

  • Operating Strategies (15 points)

Addresses the marketing, production, R&D, personnel, administrative, and financial strategies for the proposed firm.

  • Critical Risks (5 points)

Realistically identifies the major internal and external critical risks that could threaten the business and presents viable contingency plans to address these issues.

  • Financial Statements (15 points)

Presents Cash Flow Statement, Income Statement, and Balance Sheet.  Presents a realistic financial assessment over a 2 year period and is consistent with operating and marketing strategies outlined in the body of the plan.

  • Funds Required/Used (5 points)

Clear and concise presentation of amount, timing, type, and use of funds required for venture.


Scoring for Oral Presentations 

Each judge will listen to and evaluate the oral presentations of the teams in their group.
Judges will evaluate teams’ oral presentation based upon:

  • Poise and professionalism of the presentation
  • Clarity of business plan
  • Perceived viability of the venture
  • Participation from all team members

Example Format for an Oral Presentation

About 12 minutes for presentation 5 minutes for Q&A with judges.


Business name, briefly describe business, value of product, if have prototype state this up front, size of potential market, overview of what your product/service does, identify team members and what they will be talking about.


  • What problem(s) you solve--market satisfied. How do you know this?
  • Details of your product or service--how it works, how it creates customer satisfaction
  • Stage of technology--prototypes, orders, sales
  • Market support for product--sales so far, market research results


  • Startup Management Team: names, titles, and brief backgrounds
  • CEO details experience & credentials of team

YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN (this may include):

  • Analysis of competitive environment
  • SWOT analysis
  • Strategic options and those chosen
  • Marketing plan – product design choice, price, promotion, distribution, warranty
  • Sales plan – including extensions into new regions
  • Operations plan – including production and transportation logistics
  • R&D plan – including expected dates for product upgrades and new products
  • Human Resource Plan – including growth, training, incentives


  • Summary of financial statements for the first two years
  • Proactive risk mitigation strategies and possible exit scenarios



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 PLU School of Business