Judging Criteria

Decisions will be made by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, the Small Business Development Centers, the Iowa Accelerators/Incubators, Iowa Business Council, and private equity firms (the "Judges").

Judges will review all information submitted in connection with each application to the John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. Judges will consider the following factors in judging the competition: The best business "plan" is one that contains the needed components to represent and execute on a viable end business model.

A clear understanding of how they will execute marketing/sales, operations, and financial plans.

A clear understanding of their fit in the market.

A valid need – a problem that someone truly wants solved

A valid market – identifiable market that has the need

A clear understanding of the competition and why the target market might select their offering over that of the competition

A valid product – a product that actually delivers the value needed to satisfy the need identified

A valid pricing model – one that will allow customer purchasing to occur, satisfy any needed third-party distribution expense, and also allow the business to make money

A balanced team of individuals that collectively provide skills in development, marketing, sales, finance, IT and operations, as needed.

Judges may disqualify any application they believe violates the letter or spirit of the competition guidelines.

Judges will not sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in connection with serving as judges or performing any other services for the competition. Participants are responsible for protecting their intellectual property.

For the duration of the competition, Judges agree not to initiate a professional relationship with individuals or businesses participating in the competition. If a judge has an existing personal or business relationship with a participant, that judge will excuse him or herself from discussing, reviewing or voting on that participant and any submissions from that participant. Individuals and businesses are deemed to be participating until they have been eliminated or have withdrawn from the competition, or until the final prizes have been awarded.

All decisions of the judges are final, including any interpretations of the rules or guidelines of the competition.


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