Rules, format, and judging criteria

  1. All contestants must be present at the virtual final event to pitch and to win.
  2. All presentations must be PowerPoint.
  3. Contestants must submit Business Model Canvas to be eligible to compete in the finals.
  4. Five finalists will be selected by a Southern Maryland Innovates.
  5. Finalists have five minutes to present their presentation during the Final Round.
  6. Finalists have 4 minutes to answer questions from the judges, after presentations.
  7. The Southern Maryland Innovates team reserve the right to eliminate an applicant from the competition based on submissions that are deemed improper in any way.
* The competition is open to anyone with a cutting edge, disruptive and innovative technology. Pitches can be for new business ventures, ideas, products, or processes.
The Competition will be a little different this year. Due to COVID-19, we have gone completely virtual! This year there will not be a Speed Round, instead we ask that participants submit a business model.
Part 1: Business Model Submissions
  • All contestants must use the business model outline. Download example here. Submissions will be reviewed by a Southern Maryland Innovates review panel. Review will be based on judging criteria. See Contest Rules.
Part 2: Crab Pot Finals
  • Finalists will each have 5 minutes to present their pitches to a panel of judges.
  • Finalists have 4 minutes to answer questions from the judges, after presentations.
  • Winners will be announced.
Judging Criteria
The judges evaluate pitches using criteria in four categories.
Viability of Business Concept
How mature is the plan?
  • Has the market been validated?
  • Is the technology feasible?
  • Does the basic financial model work?
  • Do the value propositions discriminate the model from the competition?
Degree of Innovation
How novel is the idea?
  • How “revolutionary” is the underlying technology?
  • How “revolutionary” is the underlying business concept?
  • How mature is the technology?
  • To what extent does this solve a real problem?
Quality of the Pitch
How well is the plan presented?
  • Is the idea presented clearly?
  • Are the value propositions presented clearly?
  • Does the presentation address the judging criteria?
  • Is there an “ask”?
Potential for regional business growth
How does the business affect the local economy?
  • Does successful implementation create jobs in the region?
  • What kinds of jobs will be created?
  • Will the business be located in the region?
  • Does this create other opportunities for local economic growth?