Competition Criteria

Winning Innovations: Scoring Rubric for Judging

The categories and criteria are listed below. Each team will receive a score in all categories, and the winners will be those with the highest overall scores. While scoring is defined here as 1, 3, or 5, judges will also be permitted to assign scores of 2 or 4 on the overall 1-5 scale.

  1. Problem Definition: Does the team have a clear and deep understanding of the problem? Is there a clear pain-point their idea is addressing? Is the societal or market need clearly articulated? Do they understand the ecosystem that surrounds the problem?
    • 5 = Team has clearly defined the problem and demonstrates a deep understanding of how the idea fills the need
    • 3 = Team is clear on the problem, but not articulate on how the idea meets the need (or vice versa)
    • 1 = Team is unclear or demonstrates a limited understanding of the problem
  2. User and Customer Definition: Did the team talk to users and customers to validate assumptions? Is their user and customer well-defined? Does the team understand their user's need? 
    • 5 = Team has conducted excellent customer discovery, reaching out and listening to a range of potential stakeholders in effective ways, learning from their experiences, and making significant adjustments when necessary.
    • 3 = Team has conducted some customer discovery and has made some adjustments based on what they have learned.
    • 1 = Team has not conducted significant (or effective) customer discovery.
  3. Product Definition: Has the team clearly defined a product or solution? Is the value proposition clear? Does the product address a clear pain point and the needs of their defined user and customer?
    • 5 = Team has a clearly-defined solution that is well matched to customer needs.
    • 3 = Team has a clear solution, but is not clear on how it meets the need.
    • 1 = Team has unclear product definition.
  4. Innovation: Is their solution distinctive or fundamentally different from existing approaches? Could their solution viably be implemented and sustained in the real world? Would their solution inspire people to support it - and you?
    • 5 = Breakthrough innovation that potentially changes how impact is achieved; generates enthusiasm and support.
    • 3 = Moderately innovative; different but not game-changing.
    • 1 = Interesting idea, but not fundamentally or distinctively innovative.
  5. Sustainability: Has the team developed a plan for the sustainability of their innovation? (For this competition, sustainability means the ability to continually generate revenue to sustain the operations of the team's innovation/venture.)
    • 5 = Team displays a solid plan to make the project’s operations sustainable.
    • 3 = Team has thought about how to make the project’s operations sustainable, but still has significant gaps in its plan.
    • 1 = Team does not have a viable plan for how to sustain the project’s operations.
  6. Potential for social impact: Does the team clearly define a societal problem? Does their solution demonstrate the potential to change how impact is achieved? Does their solution make life better for their target population? How much potential exists for scaling their product’s social impact?
    • 5 = Team has clearly defined the potential for exceptional impact.
    • 3 = Team demonstrates believable impact on a modest scale.
    • 1 = Team demonstrates unclear or limited impact.
  7. The Team: Does the team include the diversity of expertise necessary to accomplish their goals? Has the team engaged a strong group of advisors and/or partners? Is the team passionate? Does the team comprise the right people to do the job?
    • 5 = Team has excellent experience, a solid base of partners and advisors, and is clearly passionate.
    • 3 = Team has some experience, has begun to reach out to partners, and displays passion for its innovation.
    • 1 = Team is inexperienced, has not connected with potential partners, and/or does not display much passion.
  8. Presentation and Other Strengths: Was the presentation professional and well-practiced? Is there anything else that the team has done exceptionally well?
    • 5 = Team demonstrates exceptional, participatory presentation skills that integrate all team members' strengths and abilities. Team is professional in appearance, and is strong in its overall cohesion and related skills.
    • 3 = Team demonstrates moderate presentation and team cohesion/related skills, but would benefit from further guidance and practice.
    • 1 = Team is not comfortable or is ineffective in presentation skills and/or team cohesion and related skills.