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Round 2 - Semifinals

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The process extends through the entire academic year 2021, culminating in April 2022. There are 3 rounds and 3 online workshops, each time commitment is required and any changes that could occur will be emailed to you. Each deadline is also noon eastern time. Feedback and instruction are given for each round, so it is not necessary to have any business background to enter. It is helpful to have team members with different areas of expertise.
Guidelines & information

Customer Discovery Summary

Due: January 21, 2022, by Noon (EST)

Submit online via VentureDash 

  • Interview 10 potential customers (minimum) 
  • 5-page maximum PDF
  • Double-spaced, 12 pt. font
  • Pictures are permitted
*Page count does not include Cover Page, TOC, or appendices

Cover page- business name, team members and date (not included in page count)

Executive Summary- Describe your business. Includes a description of the company and why it will be successful. (product service or invention) 

Value Proposition- Includes value to customer; problem to solve; service or product being offered; minimum viable product introduced. (the benefits not the features of your innovation)

Customer Segments- Identifies the segment receiving the value; the most important customer segment; a description of the customer archetype (persona) 
  • Define at least three (3) customer segments your business can serve when successful (long-term)
  • Define your ideal customer (avatar) 

Customer Relationships- Identifies how to get, keep and grow customers; identifies existing customer relationships; have integrated customer relationships with the rest of the business model; addresses cost of acquiring customer relationships.
  • Define your ideal customer (avatar)

Channels- Identifies the channels through which the customers wish to be reached; how other companies currently reach them; which channels work best; which channels are most cost-efficient; integrates the channels with the customer routines.

Key Partners- Identifies key partners; identifies key suppliers; identifies key resources acquired from partners; identifies key activities the partners perform.

Key Activities- Identifies key activities that the Value Proposition requires; identifies distribution channels; ties in customer relationships; identifies revenue streams from activities.

Key Resources- Identifies the resources required for the value proposition; ties into distribution channels; ties into customer relationships; identifies revenue streams from key resources. 

Cost Structure- Identifies the most important costs inherent to the business model; identifies the most expensive key resources; identifies the most expensive key activities.

Revenue Streams- Identifies the value for which customers are willing to pay; identifies for what customers are currently paying; describes the revenue model; describes pricing tactics.

Summary of Interviews 
  • What feedback did you receive? 
  • What changes have you made/are you going to make as a result of the interviews?

Other Thing you May Include
  • Pictures of prototypes 
  • Financials 

*Semifinals Workshop - There will be a free webinar to help teams prepare for the Semifinal competition on December 1, 2021, from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (EST). 
*Suggested reading- Talking to Humans by Frank Rimalovski and Giff Constable, available for free at: 

*Resources- We have resources available to help you prepare for the semifinal competition that can be found on our website: 

*Coach/Mentor- Each team must have a coach for the semifinals. It is recommended that you work with a total of two coaches: one coach from your institution and one coach from the private industry with subject matter expertise around your product or service. 

If you have any issues obtaining a coach, please contact the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for assistance: 

Submission deadline
January 21, 2022 4:00PM EST
Judging deadline
January 31, 2022 11:59PM EST