Overview – Startup Competition

Evaluation Criteria

How we evaluate applications

Judges are asked to evaluate companies (seed and concept) on a 5 point scale across multiple dimensions:

  • 1 point – Did not meet the criteria at all
  • 2 points – Significantly below expectations
  • 3 points – Average/ at expectation
  • 4 points – Above average, but not distinctive
  • 5 points – Truly distinctive

Applications are compared against an absolute standard of a good company based on stage. We would expect that a seed stage company would be further developed compared to a concept stage company. Please note that expectations are high. For instance, for a company to score a 5 across all dimensions, the judges should expect the company to quickly reach a valuation of $100M+ without significant changes. This will be rare.

Dimensions for evaluation

  1. The application is clear and articulate
  2. The business plan is logical and understandable by a lay person
  3. The core customer is clear and understood
  4. The problem/ opportunity is clear and valid
  5. The solution presented solves the problem/ captures the opportunity
  6. The market is clear, logical and big
  7. The competition is well-understood
  8. The company has clear competitive advantage
  9. The business model is clear and will create value
  10. The go-to-market plan is clear and logical
  11. The team is high quality for the business described
  12. The application presents a clear understanding of what it takes to run this business
  13. The application presents a clear understanding of the risks in running the business
  14. The company is achieving success according to expectations
  15. The application demonstrates a good understanding of the capital needs for the business
  16. The business has the potential to create jobs in Alabama
  17. The business has the potential to generate capital investment in Alabama