The IDEA judging panel includes angel investors, bankers, educators, business owners, past winners, engineers, entrepreneurs and economic development leaders in the region. Collectively, they embody a large amount of expertise and connections to virtually all of the business development resources in the region.
There are five criteria used by the IDEA judging panel.
- Business opportunity: A strong business opportunity is one which effectively addresses a real customer need or problem and which has a strong likelihood of becoming profitable.
- Business model: a well-articulated business model clearly explains how the business will generate revenue, i.e., how customer transactions will occur.
- Strength of entrepreneur team:a strong entrepreneur team is one in which key leaders and advisors are available (or identified subject to financing) to fill key positions to execute the operations plan.
- Strength of financials: strong financials are based on solid assumptions, and show a clear path to revenue, and ultimately, profitability.
- Strength of marketing plan: a strong marketing plan includes strategy founded on good market research, shows understanding of the target customer, identifies who will be responsible for what, and is tied to timelines.