On this page:
Initial Entry: Form a Team, Develop Pitch and Register
Team Registration Opens August 28, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. and is open until September 14, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
Step 1: Form a Team, Create Your Team’s Company Name & Register Online
Students in grades 9-12 will form teams of 2-5 students to develop a product or service within any of the challenge categories. Teams must be from the same school and may consist of students from different grades.
Teams choose one of four categories in which they will compete: Cultural, Digital, Environment, and Social.
After selecting a category, teams must register online on this website. Information submitted during registration includes the company (team) name and member information. One team member must be designated as the primary contact.
Once your team’s registration is confirmed you will receive a welcome email from the JVEC team. Within this email you will be granted access to The Wheaton Way platform and other helpful instructions as your team moves into round one.
All team registration forms must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2019 to be considered for Round Two (Semi-Finals).
Step 2: Develop Pitch
Once the team is formed and the category is selected, teams will research a current challenge facing that sector and begin to develop their innovative solution. Each team must complete and submit a pitch form which answers the following questions about their project:
- Introduction Video – One-and-a-half minute video introducing their team, product/service and highlight its benefits. Video must be included in the final PDF as a YouTube link.
- What is your innovative product/service?
- What challenge(s) is your product/service designed to solve?
- What are the key features of your product/service that make it special?
- How is your product/service innovative and different from other product/services intended to solve the same challenges?
All completed pitch forms must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The completed pitch forms must be received by the JVEC Challenge by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 28, 2019 to be considered for Round Two (Semi- Finals).
Step 3: Pitch Judging Criteria
Each submission will be reviewed for innovation and viability as evident in their Pitch document and video. Teams should focus on:
- Clarity and effectiveness of their concept description
- Clear depiction of the challenge to be solved
- Thorough description of how the product/service is innovative
- Teams with promising Pitches will be invited to advance to the Semi-Finals. These Semi-Final teams will be announced on our website on Diwali!
Semi-Finals: Collaborate & Develop Business Plan
Business Plans Due January 27, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.
In this phase, teams will collaborate to develop their business plans. All teams will be able to access the Wheaton Way short module on Entrepreneurship which includes guiding steps to business plan development and live classes with Wheaton faculty. Each team will be assigned to a Wheaton Innovation Hub mentor who will serve as their primary coach as they move along this phase.
Step 1: Develop Business Plan
A business plan is a written description of your idea and its future. It tells what you are going to do and how you are going to it. It outlines the strategy for how your business will take your innovative idea to a feasible product solution. By writing a business plan, your team will look to the future and set goals for your product and business. You will explain how those goals are attainable and how your business would propose to meet those goals. The business plan tells potential investors what you plan to do and how your business and investors can benefit from the business goals. A business plan represents all aspects of the business planning process including marketing, finance, intellectual property management, human resources management, and operations management.
Each team’s Business Plan must be submitted as a PDF file via email to email@example.com and include the following sections:
- Company Introduction – Introduce your team to the potential investors. How did the team form? What roles did each member play? What barriers or hurdles did the team overcome to develop its idea and complete its business plan? (350 words maximum)
- Business Prospectus – An explanation of the concept’s market, expected development costs and sales strategy. Sections must include:
- Business Description – Describe your product/service and what makes your concept different from existing businesses. Describe the industry in which your concept best fits and demonstrate knowledge of the industry practices for similar businesses. Describe the factors you think will make your business successful. (500 words maximum)
- Market Analysis – Explain the market that your business is attempting to reach using its product/service. Do you plan to sell products commercially, license them to other companies, pursue government contracts, or some combination of these options? If commercial, who are the buyers? (500 words maximum)
- Competitive Analysis – Describe similar product/services already on the market or in development. Why is your concept better than those already in existence? (500 words maximum)
- Cost – Estimate the expenses in creating, operating, and marketing the business and its product/service. You will need to include the proposed team budget for attending the Innovation Summit should your team advance to the Final Round. (750 words maximum)
- Funding Sources – How will you gather funding needed to create your product (i.e., government research and development grants, venture capital, private investors, etc.)? You will need to include your proposed method of raising the funds to attend the Innovation Summit should your team advance to the Final Round. (750 words maximum)
- Product Video – Create a video (no longer than 5 minutes) detailing your team’s innovative concept. This video serves as your team’s final pitch to advance to the Final Round. Why is your concept needed today? How is it unique? Explain how your team is going to bring this concept to reality. For submissions, YouTube and Vimeo links are preferred, but MP4 video files will be accepted if the team would like to keep their video confidential prior to the Final Round.
- Prototype (optional) – Develop a graphic depiction of your product/service that will help the judges understand your concept. This could be a computer graphic program drawing (e.g., Photoshop), a 3-D computer model, or a photograph(s) of an actual prototype or model. If preferred, this component can be submitted separately from the PDF including the Business Prospective and the Technical Concept report. Accepted files include JPEG, GIF, TIFF or PDF.
Step 2: Business Plan Judging
Judging of the submitted and complete Business Plans will be conducted online by a panel of subject matter experts from industry and academia. The top five scoring teams in each category will be selected as Finalists and invited to the JVEC Summit (June 6-7, 2020) to present in the final phase of the competition. Finalist teams will be chosen at the sole discretion of the judging panel.
Judges will score each Business Plan based on the following up to 100 points:
- Innovation (20 Points): How new or unique is the idea? Does the product already exist? We look for innovation in any of 3 forms:
- The technology itself
- A combination of existing technologies into a new system
- Innovative business concepts – The team should show how their product uses one or more of these types of innovation.
- Feasibility (20 Points): Will this product work technically?
- The team must show that its product does not break any physical laws.
- The team does not have to show proof that the product will work, but should show an understanding of what research or experiments are needed to prove that it will work.
- Marketability (25 Points): Understanding of the key markets for their product must be demonstrated.
- Who is the customer? Who is the end-user?
- How clearly defined is the target market?
- How important is the idea to the industry?
- Costs (10 Points): The team will estimate costs including costs for the team to participate at Innovation Summit and taking this product to the ultimate market.
- Costs need include any material estimates, R&D (including grants), market studies, and labor costs.
- Teams need to be as detailed as possible.
- Funding Mechanisms (10 Points):
- Does the team understand the basics of how its product could be funded?
- If it is relatively simple, can the team raise money for prototypes and begin sales through friends and family?
- Does the team need to consider grants, loans, or bringing on investors or partners in their efforts?
- Team Story (15 Points): Introduce your team to the potential investors.
- How did the team form?
- What roles did each member play?
- What barriers or hurdles did the team overcome to develop its idea and complete Its business plan?
Just as entrepreneurs pitch their startups to investors, the finalist teams will present their concepts to a live panel of experts. Teams are evaluated on the innovation of their concept and the viability of their products/services. One winner will be named in each category and recognized as “Jio Vichaar Scholar.”
Finalists are expected to attend the JVEC Summit and present their product to be considered a Finalist. A detailed itinerary and schedule, including hotel and transportation information will be distributed in 2020 to all participants.
Step 1: Prepare Team Presentations
Presentations will include a 8-minute presentation of the team’s concept, followed by an 8-minute question and answer session from the judges. Presentations will summarize and explain both the technical and business aspects of the team’s concept including:
- Need – Why is there a need for your product/service?
- Market Analysis – Discuss the market demand for your concept. Who is the target audience? Who are your potential competitors within the market?
- Product – How does your product/service work?
- Financial Plan –Understand the cost of your product. How will it be funded? Present a budget listing itemized costs for each item, including any labor, materials, facilities or other costs.
- Risks – Discuss any potential external factors that may impact your concept. How is your product/service innovative? Why is it important?
- Prototype (optional) – Present graphical representations of your product/service to further explain your concept. Describe what elements were considered when creating the design and the functions they serve.
- Next Steps – Explain your team’s plans for further developing this product/service. What is your team striving for? A series of experiments, working prototype, a market study or something else. Outline your team’s goals and the immediate next steps you will take to attain those goals.
Step 2: Timeline
Include the estimated deadlines to achieving your next step goals.
All Summit presentations must be emailed to the JVEC team at firstname.lastname@example.org in pdf format/slide deck.
Finalists will be announced Monday, March 23, 2020 on the website and the teams will be notified directly by the JVEC Team via email.