SWO5 – Judging Criteria


JudgesIconWhy are judges important? 

Having 3-5 Judges evaluate the final presentations on Sunday is a great way to provide additional, valuable feedback to teams. It’s also a great learning experience for those that pitch on Sunday – many of whom are pitching before a panel of professionals/investors for the first time.


Event Judging Criteria

Universal Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into four sections. Teams are judged according to the following 4 criteria (weighed equally):


Business Model Validation Can this idea make money? Is there positive customer growth or revenue? Is there a customer acquisition / rollout strategy? Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic? Is the idea/team ready for capital and execution? Would you invest in this company at this point?

Customer Validation Did the team identify customers (demographic, location etc)? Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers? What channels of communication are used? Product/Market fit?

Design – Execution Does it have a professional look and feel? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Is it memorable? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in this creative direction?

Technical – Execution Is there a functional product (e.g.in the case of an app, did they build one)? Were architecture diagrams and API signatures included? Which services did they integrate with? How much of the product is running on a real server with non-sample data?

The key to a great judges panel is variety!

This means having experienced entrepreneurs, investors, designers and programmers on the panel to ensure we consider all areas of the judging criteria fairly. Check out our list of judges to learn all about them and their backgrounds.