The $100K Competition is judged using the following questions:

  • Did the team use the Business Model Canvas or similar tool to validate their business model, identify and track assumptions?
  • Did the team design low cost, rapid, but reliable tests of these hypotheses?
    • Did the team clearly state their assumptions/hypotheses?
    • Did the team identify the most crucial assumptions to test first (the ones that will kill their  business)?
  • Did the team clearly state what they learned, how it validated an assumption or not, and if that informed any changes/pivots?
  • If changes were made, was the pivot the team made supported by evidence or did they fail to pivot when the evidence clearly stated it?
  • If appropriate, has the team developed a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP)? Does the team understand the assumptions they are testing with a prototype or MVP? Is the prototype or MVP appropriate to answer those assumptions? (We want to reward prototypes over full products unless the product is the result of many prototypes tested with customers—in other words, we want to reward testing assumptions before building and building from prototypes up to products.We do not want to reward just building products too early based on untested assumptions)
  • Is the team solving a significant problem (defined in terms of money or impact)?*
  • Does the team have significant evidence that the solution is validated (includes letters of intent, purchase contracts, sales, and partners)?*
  • Does the venture currently have revenue, evidence for market traction, interest by customers, or a beta test alsready in the market?

* These criteria serve as tie breakers
NOTE: Because web-based businesses are easier to test, these companies can often pivot faster. We tend to treat physical products, services, and web/software as slightly different categories in the judging, then pick the best of these categories to compete.