Full Proposal Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged according to the criteria below. Please note: There are slightly different judging criteria for finalists in the Hardware for Good category. Finalists in that category should refer to the Hardware for Good section for additional information

Viability (40%): Given the project description and the team members’ expertise, skills, training, the team will likely be able to meet their proposed goals. (Please keep in mind that we asked teams to explain how their project would look and consider implementation in only the 1st year of their project.) For example:

  • The proposal demonstrates consideration of potential obstacles to implementation/ adoption and has proposed convincing solutions to address these challenges.
  • The team has considered all relevant aspects of development, considered/developed viable marketing goals, effective marketing strategies, and realistic training and recruitment procedures for personnel or volunteers, if applicable.
  • The team has identified and developed relationships with potential community partners, where applicable.
  • The project team members and partners possess the necessary skills and experience to be successful in implementing the project.

Community or Market Familiarity (15%): The team demonstrates a great deal of familiarity with the market or community they plan to enter (either through research, professional, or volunteer experience). The proposal discusses similar programs, projects, or products that currently exist (especially with regard to the target population), the issues that have emerged with those other initiatives, and specifically how their project compares. The proposal demonstrates that the applicants have given sufficient consideration to the cultural, ethical, and legal implications of their proposed intervention.

Potential for Impact (15%):The proposed project addresses a pressing and important social problem.  The team provides the reviewer with sufficient statistics and research to understand the problem, and makes a clear and compelling case that their project addresses this need.

Realistic Budget (10%): The proposal includes a thorough and realistic budget that outlines all relevant expected expenses and revenue for the project’s 1st year. The budget demonstrates that the applicants have given sufficient consideration to necessary supplies, equipment, travel expenses, etc.  The funding requested from Big Ideas is no greater than $10,000.  If the projects’ expenses are greater than $10,000 total, the team has a reasonable plan to raise additional funds (e.g., the team has plans to submit additional grant applications, fundraise, etc.)

Measuring Success (10%): The proposal demonstrates a viable plan for measuring success in achieving the project’s goals.  The exact measurement tools (e.g. survey instruments) need not be developed at this stage, but the proposal should explain what will be measured, when/how it will be measured, and justify how those measurements lead to the achievement of the team’s desired impact.

Quality and Creativity (10%): The project is innovative, the overall merit of this idea is high, and this is an idea worth funding.

**For Hardware for Good category applicants only**
Sustainable Design and Circular Economy Criteria (10%)
The extent to which the full-proposal project incorporates sustainable design and circular economy principles. The extent to which the process of assessing the project with the VentureWell Inventing Green Toolkit and/or an approved life-cycle assessment tool impacted the proposed product, design process, and/or materials sourcing.

  • The Sustainable Design and Circular Economy Criteria will replace 10% of “Viability” criteria listed above.
  • The Sustainable Design and Circular Economy Criteria responses will be limited to 500 words and required in the webform section of the application (free response text box.) Applicants therefore do not need to include this section in the main body of their 8-page final proposal (.pdf upload).