How do we evaluate whether the idea can proceed to the Proof of Concept programme?
To qualify to the Proof of Concept stage in the Startup Programme, your business case will be evaluated on the startup pitch (pitch deck model to be provided) and questions regarding the business in 8 different criterias:
- Customers and Market
- Value proposition
The programme management consider that you have fulfilled the criteria for participating in PoI, they will make a proposal to the chairman of the board who finally decides if ITU BD will offer a investment in the company.
Before deciding to apply for PoC, you also have to specify the desired track of the incubation contract, either in collaboration with ITU Business Development or in a joint investment together with SDTI.
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, students who apply for the Proof of Concept stage, if they are currently studying at The IT University, must be on track with their studies.
Typical questions, that the evaluation panel will address
- How will the company grow?
- Where do you plan to position the company in the market? Production, Distribution, Sales, License holder, R&D, etc..
- What are the next critical milestones do you need to achieve and how do you plan to achieve them?
- What is the biggest risk (or the riskiest assumption) that can be a threat for your company?
Customers and Market
- Do you have any evidence of customer interest? (Signed LOI, online surveys, interviews, Facebook groups, pre-orders, crowdfunding backers, agreements, etc.)
- Is your business model financially feasible at this point? What improvements can be made to the business model to lower costs in case of emergency? (Contingency plan?)
- How will you reach your customers? Through which channels and partners?
- paid promotion: What is the cost of acquiring a client? CAC, CLTV
- organic reach: What resources do you have for growth? Influencers, Page, Audiences?
- What is an unfair advantage that you have against the competition: Why do you have an edge?
- Name your three closest competitors in prioritized order.
- A clear description of what value you are offering to the customer.
- A clear idea of what problem you are solving for this segment, and documentation that the problem is real and significant.
- A clear description of the solution, and proof showing that it works better than any other existing solution
- Are the costs associated with delivering the product/service disproportional with the revenue generated?
- Are the channels from which you intend to sell sufficient and accessible?
Technology (for tech oriented teams)
- Can you protect what is unique about product? E.g.- by a patent?
- Overall IPR situation.
- Technical maturity.
- How far are you actually in having a finished tested and validated product?
- Can you show a product development plan?
- What competences do you need to have inside the company?
- Map of needed competencies and how the team is covering all needed areas.
- Do you have all of these competencies on board?
- If key competencies are not on board, show us your plan for attracting the missing links.
- Is the team ambitious to reach these goals?
Engagement & Involvement
- What events and seminars/workshops have you participated in lately?
- How did you collaborate with advisors, mentors and other partners?
- What deliverables (such as goal plans, presentations etc.) have you created?
- How do you interact with the danish startup ecosystem in general?