CFL Incubator Pitch and Learn Competitions

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Explanation and Scoring Outline for Hope College’s Idea and Investor Pitch and Learn Competitions*

The Hope College Center for Faithful Leadership sponsors two competitions each semester. This brief is intended to give those judging the competition an increased understanding of how each fits into Hope’s curricula at large and what the objectives are for each competition thereby assisting in evaluating and coaching our students.

Both of the competitions are open to all students but are required by those taking either Leadership 231 or Management 395 (an elective in the Management major). While there is prize money for the winners of each competition in part as incentive, it is the process and experience that is most valuable to the students. The judges play a critical role in optimizing the value.

The Idea Pitch is intended to be near the beginning of a student’s journey into thinking about entrepreneurship as a calling as well as a new for-profit or not-for-profit business (association, enterprise). At this point, think of the student as presenting his/her idea to a small group of friends, family or mentors to see what their take on it might be. They only have 90 seconds to tell you what they are thinking. Following their pitch the judges will have 4 minutes of Q&A with each student. This is an opportunity for the judges to see how the students critical listening and thinking skills will manifest. It is also an opportunity for the students to tell you more about the idea (something like a prepared politician or sales person).

As a judge for Idea Pitch you should not expect the student to have exhaustively thought out the entire business; nor should you expect the student to “tell you everything” in their 90 second pitch.

We seek to enable students to be able to present their new business idea clearly, succinctly and with appropriate passion. Some students will be passionate, others will not be. Passion comes from both the excitement of the idea and the excitement of being an entrepreneur. We are looking for this passion – not only to reward it, but also to nurture it. No matter how the student performs in the pitch competition, we want to encourage them to keep exploring ideas and their strengths and calling.

Components for evaluating an idea pitch for scoring and feedback include:

  1. Was the idea presented clearly (but without props which are not allowed)?
  2. Did the student manifest a personal passion for the idea?
  3. Was the idea presented clearly such that you know what it is and how the business will operate at least on a high level?
  4. Does the idea seem viable at this early stage (in terms of potential market demand, business feasibility, technical feasibility, and scalability)?

At the end of the evening, all of the student presenters will meet with the judges to hear what was good or what could be improved about their idea and their pitch. You will also announce and present the winner. It is important to remember that this is a “teachable moment” wherein you can influence a future entrepreneur. Use his/her idea pitch presentation to help the students think more broadly or deeply, to consider alternative ways to look at the business, competition, positioning, costs, value and presentation techniques remembering they were only presenting their “idea” not the entire business plan.

Fall 2014 Raechel

The Investor Pitch is intended to be more comprehensive and conversational than the Idea Pitch. The presenter is allowed 4 minutes to tell about his/her idea and business model and show a prototype. Like the Idea Pitch, the presentation followed by a 4 minute Q&A with the judges and the evening is similarly concluded with a group meeting of all presenters. The Investor Pitch should convey presence of evidence of the feasibility of the new business idea.

As you evaluate the Investor Pitch you should consider the following:

  1. Did you understand the new product or business idea?
  2. Was the idea supported with market-backed information (why it was needed or desired)?
  3. Were competitors named and addressed and how the idea will be positioned against them?
  4. Did you understand how the student proposed to move forward with developing the business and did it make sense from a technical and financial standpoint? Is the idea scalable?
  5. Did the proposed Marketing & Sales plan for reaching the market make sense? (Note that most new businesses fail due to naive marketing and sales assumptions and plans.)
  6. Were the financial projections appropriately clear and logical? Were the assumptions clearly stated and explained?
  7. Was the student’s presentation convincing and passionate?
  8. Would you recommend investing in this new business idea? Why or why not?

At the end of the evening, all of the student presenters will meet with the judges to hear what was good or what could be improved about their business model and their pitch. You will also announce and present the winner. Again, it is important to remember that this is a “teachable moment” wherein you can influence a future entrepreneur. Use his/her investor pitch presentation to help the student think more broadly or deeply, to consider alternative ways to look at the business, competition, positioning, costs, value and presentation techniques. Obviously, the Investor Pitch will not be a comprehensive business plan review but it should have the major components of one. The Q&A should give further evidence of the depth of the student’s idea and progressive work towards developing the concept.

Thank you for your involvement and engagement in this important work!

 Fall 2014 Cara and Margo

 

Idea Pitch Notes for Evaluation (copy for each student):

 

Student’s Name:

Business Idea:

Student’s Year:

Student’s Major:

 

1) Was the idea presented clearly (but without props which are not allowed)?

 

2) Did the student manifest a personal passion for the idea?

 

3) Was the idea presented clearly such that you know what it is and how the business will operate at least on a high level?

 

4) Does the idea seem viable at this early stage (in terms of potential market demand, business feasibility, technical feasibility, and scalability)?

 

5) What will you compliment the student on for what he/she did well?

 

6) What advice will you give the student regarding her/his idea or pitch?

Investor Pitch Notes for Evaluation (copy for each student):

 

Student’s Name:

Business Idea:

Student Year:

Student’s Major:

 

1) Did you understand the new product or business idea?

 

2) Was the idea supported with market-backed information (why it was needed or desired)?

 

3) Were competitors named and addressed and how the idea will be positioned against them?

 

4) Did you understand how the student proposed to move forward with developing the business and did it make sense from a technical and financial standpoint? Is the idea scalable?

 

5) Did the proposed Marketing & Sales plan for reaching the market make sense? (Note that most new businesses fail due to naive marketing and sales assumptions and plans.)

 

6) Were the financial projections appropriately clear and logical? Were the assumptions clearly stated and explained?

 

7) Was the students presentation convincing and passionate?

 

8) Would you recommend investing in this new business idea? Why or why not?

 

9) What will you compliment the student on for what he/she did well?

 

10) What advice will you give the student regarding her/his business model or pitch?

 

Thank you for helping us co-create experiences that matter!

_______________________________

*Special thanks to Ken Van Der Wende for drafting this document.

 

CRITERIA\Student
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
Validity:
Market Desirability Score
Technical Score
Financial Feasibility Score
Scalability Score
Total
Presentation
Verbal Score
Visual Score
Passion Score
Total
Business Plan
Marketing and Sales Score
Competition Score
Financial Projections Score
Total
TOTAL
Strengths:
Presentation
Idea
Weaknesses:
Presentation
Idea

 

 

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