The Process, Explained



The Process, Explained

Our process for selecting our 10 finalists, and 5 winners, is a little complicated (but effective, we think), so here it is explained:

Round 1, the voting round

  • entrants upload their videos and try and get as many votes as possible
  • contest closes 11:59 pm, May 25
  • The Top 20 videos (in voting) move on to the jury round, and receive points based on their ranking (#1 gets 10 points, #2 gets 9.5 points…, #3 gets 9 points, etc… #20 gets .5 points)
  • We pick 5 wildcards – videos that didn’t make it into the Top 20 in voting but we feel represent promising ideas and entrepreneurs – they get no points for voting but can get points from the jury

Round 2, the jury round

  • Our jury will assign points to each of the 25 videos (Top 20 + 5 wildcards) based on ranking criteria that can be found┬áhere. The jury’s score counts for 40 out of a possible 50 points, with the other 10 coming from the public voting
  • Results will be announced Thursday June 02
  • The top 10 scores move on to the finals

Round 3, the finals

  • Starting June 13, our 10 finalists will attend weekly workshops and work with their mentor teams over 7 weeks to develop a rock-solid business plan based on their business idea
  • On August 4, they will present their business plans to the jury at a public Dragon’s-Den style event, with 10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for questions, per presenter
  • The jury will pick our 5 winners that night, based on their business plans
  • One grand prize winner will receive $25,000 in startup funding and 4 runners-up will receive $2,500 in funding. All 5 will receive a full year of mentorship and free workspace at the┬áCentre for Social Innovation.

The Method Behind the Madness

Why such a complicated process?

In order to spread the word about the contest and get as many entrants as possible, and as much engagement as possible, we decided to do a video contest. This engages the public much more than a simple business plan competition, and also lets our jury ‘meet’ the entrepreneurs behind the ideas. It also forces the entrepreneur contestants reach out to their friends and family and start building a network that will help him/her out once they launch their business.

To limit the ‘popularity contest’ effect, whereby a bad idea can get lots of votes, we brought in the jury process. Because the jury’s score counts for much more (80% vs 20%) of the overall score than voting, this ensures that only the best ideas make it to the finals while still giving some weight to the public voting process (good ideas will get more random votes, and having a big network of friends to vote on your video also means you may have more help once you launch your business).

Finally, we wanted our contestants to work hard to get their chance at $25,000, so we introduced the business plan phase. The life of an entrepreneur is a difficult one and requires lots of blood, sweat and tears. The effort our finalists put into their business plans will be directly reflected in their chances at winning the contest!

And, if nothing else comes of it, our 5 non-winning finalists will still have a great business plan that they can use to help guide their business and reach out to other means of support.

So that’s it in a very big nutshell, and why the process seems kinda complicated…