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How do we evaluate whether a project can proceed to the Proof of Concept stage?

To qualify to the Proof of Concept stage in the Startup Programme, your business case will be evaluated on 8 different criteria; Potential, Customers and Market, Value proposition, Scalability, Team, Technology, Engagement and Progress. A panel will be put together to discuss the overall assessment of the business case.

Furthermore, to proceed from the Proof of Idea stage to the Proof of Concept stage, at least 50% of the founder(s) must be of known to the members of ITU Innovators and ITU Business Development A/S.

Finally, an applicant or applicants can only apply for the Proof of Concept stage, if they on track with their studies. For alumni students, there is no such requirements

 

Typical questions, that the evaluation panel will address:

Potential

Is the applicant(s) able to demonstrate:

  • A plan on how to grow the company.
  • Critical milestones that must be achieved and that these milestones are realistic and can supported by data.
  • A financial forecast that show the time and investment needed to achieve break-even.

Customers and Market

Is the applicant(s) able to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of customer interest. This can be demonstrated through e.g. signed LOIs, online surveys, interviews, Facebook groups, pre-orders, crowdfunding backers, development agreements, etc.
  • Data showing that the identified customers will buy from a future company at the proposed price.
  • A business model: How will the applicant(s) make enough money on this idea?
  • A plan on how to reach customers and through which channels? This can be through e.g. partnership agreements, LOI’s, previous campaigns.
  • Estimations on getting 1 new customer.
  • The overall competitive landscape and at the closest competitors
  • Describe it’s competitive advantage/unique edge.

 

Value proposition

Is the applicant(s) able to demonstrate:

  • A clearly defined value proposition.
  • A clearly defined customer segment.
  • A clear idea of what problem the business will solve for this segment, and documentation that the problem is real and significant.
  • A clear description of the solution, and data showing that it works better than any other known solution.
  • A clear description of what value the business are offering to the customer.

Scalability

Is the applicant(s) able to demonstrate:

  • Costs associated with delivering the product/service and how this relates to revenue.
  • Are the channels from which you intend to sell sufficient and accessible?
  • A vision for the kind of organization that the applicant(s) intends to build. R&D, Service organization, counselling firm, SaaS, etc.

Team

Does the applicant(s):

  • Possess the necessary competences
  • If key competencies are not on board, can the applicant(s) demonstrate a plan for attracting the missing links.
  • Ambition, drive and commitment
  • Special domain knowledge of the business area

Technology

Is the applicant(s) able to demonstrate:

  • The uniqueness about their product/service.
  • Describe the overall IPR situation.
  • Technical maturity of the product/service.
  • A product development- and validation plan (technology road map)
  • Do you have some sort of an MVP?

Engagement

Is the applicant(s) able to demonstrate:

  • Attendance at seminars & social events through the Startup Programmes Proof of Idea stage
  • Use of advisors and facilities
  • Deliverables such as goal plans, presentations etc.
  • Interaction with other participants

Progress

Is the applicant(s) able after the Proof of Idea stage:

  • Data and concrete achievements
  • New team members
  • New customer contacts
  • New prototypes

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