- All judges will receive and review all information submitted in connection with each application to the Competition.
- The judges will rely on the following criteria in judging the Competition:
- The commercial potential of the business, with high-potential, growth oriented businesses likely to be viewed more favorably.
- The innovative nature and technical feasibility of the idea.
- The likelihood that the business described in the plan can achieve a sustainable, competitive advantage.
- The credibility of the individuals behind the proposal.
- All plans, regardless of track, will be treated the same way and judging criteria will be applied equally to all plans.
- The judges may re-assign an applicant to a different track if they feel that best serves the goals of the Competition.
- The judges may disqualify any application they believe violates the letter or spirit of the Competition guidelines.
- The judges will not sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in connection with performing their duties for the Competition. It is the applicants’ responsibility to protect their intellectual property. See Protection of Intellectual Property.
- Conflict of Interest Policy: Judges agree not to initiate a professional relationship with individuals who have an active application before the Competition. Judges will recuse themselves from discussion about and voting on an applicant to the Competition if the judge has an existing personal or business relationship with the applicant. An application is considered active until the judges have made a decision about it or until it has been withdrawn by the applicant.
- The decision of the judges is final, including interpretation of the rules.
See what judges will look for in a business plan.
Learn about previous Rhode Island Business Plan Competition winners.
What Judges Look for in a Business Plan
All good business plans convey a sound business idea. The actual written plan can do a lot to help you secure financing, because, when well done, it demonstrates that you have considered the relevant key variables that are important to the success of the idea.
Judges in the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition will be looking for the following:
|| Is the opportunity reasonable and supported by a sound execution strategy?
||Have the assumptions behind the plan been tested in the market to determine the need for the solution being proposed? Does the plan allow for contingencies?
||Have you identified competitors and enumerated your competitive advantages? Can the business successfully resist competitive pressures?
||Do the plan authors understand the nature of the business they are proposing, and are their assumptions, projections, and solutions realistic?
||Does the applicant have a management team, or can it assemble one, that has the breadth and depth of experience required to make the plan a success?
||How has the team evidenced the tenacity required to launch and grow a business?
In addition to the above, attention to the following nuts and bolts will help:
||Write for the educated, intelligent layman and avoid jargon. Include a glossary, if needed, for easy reference.
||Graphics should help tell a story. Use them where they make sense.
|Edit and re-edit
||Before submitting your plan, run it by people who will give you an honest assessment — about your idea and how it is presented. Typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors should be avoided at all costs.