The competition is
intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs
soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors, successful
entrepreneurs, and community leaders. The judges function as venture
capital investors deciding on which business venture they would most
likely fund. The quality of the idea, the strength of the management
team, and the clarity and persuasiveness of the written plan and
oral presentations, all influence the judges’ decisions. Ultimately
the winning team should be the team in which the judges would most
likely invest their money.
The ranking of the teams is guided by the scorecard (described
below), which should be consistent with the approach that would be
used by a venture capital or early-stage investor.
Final written business plans must be turned into to the County
Representative by the due date listed on your county of
participation. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from
the Challenge. Written plans will be reviewed and ranked. Top teams
will then be chosen to give oral business plan presentations which
will be scheduled by the individual county representatives.
Once all counties have chosen a winner(s), their plans will be
submitted to Enterprise Columbus for the regional competition.
Winning students will be asked to present their plans to a panel of
Judges in the Maverick Challenge will be looking for the
Viability - Is the
opportunity reasonable and supported by a sound execution
Realism - 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
Have you identified competitors and enumerated your competitive
advantages? Can the business successfully resist competitive
Maturity - Do the
plan authors understand the nature of the business they are
proposing, and are their assumptions, projections, and solutions
Experience - Does
the applicant have a management team, or can he/she assemble one,
that has the breadth and depth of experience required to make the
plan a success?
Dedication - How
has the team evidenced the tenacity required to launch and grow a
In addition to the
above, attention to the following nuts and bolts will help:
Format - Follow
the structure given to you by the Pitch Then Plan system. This
will help put your plan in a neat and easy to follow format.
Writing style -
Write for the educated, intelligent layman. Avoid jargon.
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.
misspellings, and grammatical errors should be avoided at all
Judges will rely on the following criteria in judging the
potential of the business, with high-potential, growth oriented
businesses likely to be viewed more favorably.
that the business described in the plan can achieve a sustainable
The decision of
the judges is final, including interpretation of the rules.
Judges will not
sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in connection with
performing their duties for this competition. It will be the
responsibility of the students to protect their intellectual
Judges agree not
to initiate a professional relationship with individuals who have
an active business plan in the Maverick Challenge. Judges will
excuse themselves from discussion about and voting on students in
the Challenge if the judge has an existing personal or business
relationship with the student.
The winners of the competition will be determined by the judges’
ranking of the teams. The ranking will be based on the judges’
willingness to invest in the company as noted above. The ranking
will be completed by the judges for both the written and the oral
parts of the business planning competition. Judges will rank the
teams from 1 (team least likely to receive funding) to 6 (team most
likely to receive funding).
To assist the judges in this decision process and to provide
additional feedback to the teams, the judges will fill-out two
scorecards for each team. The two scorecards will cover: Written
Business Plan and Verbal Presentation.
Please note: The scorecards are designed to assist the judges in
evaluating the individual components of each team in order to
develop their overall rankings. While there are criteria and scoring
guides for the judging of the business plans, all decisions made by
the judging panel are final.
Scoring for Written Business Plan
Judges will review the written business plans for each of the teams
involved in the Maverick Challenge. They will assess the written
business plan, focusing on key elements and the effectiveness of the
Scoring for Oral Presentation
Judges will listen to and evaluate the oral presentations of the
teams involved in the Maverick Challenge. They will assess the poise
and professionalism of the presentation as well as evaluate the
perceived viability of the venture.
The quantitative assessment provided by the Scorecards is only meant
to serve as a guide to the judges for ranking the teams/individuals.
The rankings plus which business ideas the judges would invest their
money will both be used to determine a winner.