Judging Criteria


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UMD Shark Tank

Each contestant will be given 3 minutes to pitch their business idea or product followed by 8 minutes of questioning from judges and audience. The judges have been selected from various local businesses and will be judging on a numeric scale from the following criteria.

Innovativeness of the Idea 

This year’s competition is focused on innovation. The judges will be scoring on various items such as how new of an idea the contestant has, how unique the idea is compared to other potential businesses or products, and whether or not they can present a competitive advantage over their competitors.

Proof of Market

The contestant must be able to prove that there is potential for their business or product to be a success in the marketplace. The judges will be looking for the contestant to have a good understanding of who their ideal customer is and what the market looks like for them and their idea. If the contestant decides that there currently isn’t a market, they must explain what is going to set them apart and how they will become successful.

Quality of the Pitch

Being able to sell yourself is just as important as having a great idea. The judges will be scoring the presenter on how clearly they are able to describe their business, how well they can answer questions regarding their business, the use of proper visual aides (optional), and finally the contestant on the overall quality and impression of the pitch and presentation.

Other factors 

Does the presenter stay within the time limit?

Does the presenter use notes?

Does the presenter explain the startup/forecasting finances?