Feedback that entrants have found useful
The reading judges for the William James Foundation's Sustainable Business Plan Competition are asked to both rate the plans and provide constructive comments.
While the entrants are competing for a share of $100,000 worth of cash and in-kind prizes, our surveys tell us that this feedback is the most useful "prize" to come from the competition. The most important thing for the judges to remember is that you are writing directly to the entrants. So do not summarize the plan. Rather, provide the teams with constructive commentary or questions they should address before moving forward. Reading judges provide an average of two pages of commentary per summary, and three pages of commentary per full plan. Examples of full scorecards can be made available to new readers upon request.
The examples below are comments that past entrants have highlighted as having been particularly useful to them, organized by category. Note: The categories are based on terms we have used in the past, and will not map exactly to the categories we are using for this cycle. They should still be instructive, however.
Comments about the product or service: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_product
Comments about marketing, customer acquisition, & market testing: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_market
Comments about risk assessment & competitive advantage: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_risk
Comments about timeline & growth strategy: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_timeline
Comments about financial projections: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_finance
Comments about management team & staffing plans: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_team
Comments about social and/or environmental impact: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_social
Comments about overall viability: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/com_overall