Our seasoned judges will assess your business plan based on the following factors:
  • Product/Service – clearly defined business problem and your solution, fulfills a customer need, has resonance and desirability, and changes or significantly improves an existing process.
  • Markets & Competition – clearly identified customer, size of customer base, business model, differentiation, in-depth competitive analysis. And scalability in both geography and solution.
  • Team – relative domain & industry experience, business track record, education, etc.
  • Distribution – clearly defined vision and objectives, roadmap for implementation, feasibility of implementation, and perceived strategic advantage.
  • The Need and Impact of Award Funding – what effect the award funding will have, and how it will be used. You need to provide a narrative assessing your business will grow.
  • Social Impact Assessment (if applicable) – define the venture’s social value proposition, identify measurable social impact indicators that will strongly correlate with the desired social outcomes, and explain the social value in monetary terms.

The first round of judging takes place online. Judges review your business plan and then give comments and a numerical score. The three contestants in each category with the highest score will go on to the second round of judging, which is in person pitch to a group of judges. Finalists are announced in either late March or early April.

The second round, in-person pitching, will take place in late April and may be open to the public. Finalists will each be given 30 minute slots. In this time, they may spend 5 minutes for setup, 11 minutes to present, and then 7 minutes to answer judges’ questions. Presentations must be on PowerPoint Pitch Deck, and details on equipment available will be given to finalists.

If you are a finalist, you will be given a specific slot according to your category. Please note that if you miss or are late to your presentation we will attempt to make time for you to present later in the day, however, if we are unable to do so you will be disqualified without being able to present. Disqualification decisions are solely the purview of QEDC and there will be absolutely no exceptions or special considerations made for any reason whatsoever.

Note that the judges’ decisions at every stage of the competition are final. Participants are not allowed to appeal who the judges determine to be finalists or winners.

A Project of:

Supported By:
The New York City Department of Small Business Services and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson

Sponsored By: