Application Deadline EXTENDED

to Friday July 12th
  1. Application Guidelines
  2. Key Ways to Increase Your Chances
  3. Selection Criteria

Application Guidelines

Stage of Development

Applicants can be at a variety of stage, from development, to startups to second round (and in some cases third round) funded ventures. Priority will be given to applicants that have a functioning prototype or beta version of the product or technology. Ideally, successful applicants possess intellectual property that is a:
  • Platform Technology that could spawn many products;
  • Close to Market, having few barriers remaining to commercial application; and
  • First in Space, having the potential to give rise to a whole new industry.
All applicants should be seeking either commercialization partners. licensing partners or growth capital. Ideal candidates will be able to demonstrate initial success in attracting outside funding, which may be in the form of research grants or seed capital.

Source of Innovation

Applications are open to the general public. If your technology derived from research conducted at a federal lab or university research facility, be sure to indicate so in the application.

Science Team

If the applicant represents a breakthrough technology not yet part of a new enterprise, the presenter should be one of the founding researchers.

Management Team

If the applicant represents an existing business, the presenter should be part of the company's senior management team (Founding Researcher, CEO, CTO, COO, CFO, VP Business Development). Ideally, the founder or CEO is expected to present.

Preferred Industry Sectors

The WBT encourages participation from all industry sectors. However, priority is generally given to companies or institutions seeking capital within industries known to attract venture capital or acquisition and licensing partners. Favored sectors include advanced materials, energy, lifescience, nanotech, software, semiconductor, chemical, and manufacturing innovations.

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Key Ways To Increase Your Chances

The presenter application provides an opportunity to describe (in approximately 3 pages) the investment or market opportunity of your company or technology in an executive summary format.

Priority will be given to applications that:

  • are easy to understand (written in plain English without a lot of technical jargon).
  • convey the specific market need for the technology.
  • clearly articulate the company or technology's sustainable competitive advantage.
  • identify sizable target markets ($1 billion or more) with which the product or technology is applicable.
  • illustrate the financial opportunity to an investor or corporate licensee.
And for those applicants which are operating companies:
  • describe the basic business model (i.e. how the technology ultimately leads to making money) in terms of anticipated gross or net margins.
  • match innovative technology with an experienced management team (if applicable).

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Selection Criteria

Questions to the right are provided to prompt your thinking, and are not part of the formal application.

For all applicants:
Category Elements Prompting Questions for Applicants
Science Team
10 Points
Team are experts in this particular field
  • Collectively possess a deep understanding of this problem or field of study
  • Are knowledgeable about other attempts to solve the same problem
  • Need not be experienced entrepreneurs
  • How or Why is this science team best qualified?
  • What is the length of experience of each of the Science team members?
  • What is the quality of experience (i.e. what other problems has this team tackled?)
  • Do any of the team members have published works?
  • Other related experience
  • Any previous breakthroughs or noteworthy inventions?
Strength of Technology or Product Offering
30 Points
Technology is unique and addresses a specific problem in the marketplace
  • Patents are strong
  • Position is proprietary
  • Ownership is clear
  • Credible third parties have validated claims
  • What are the intellectual property rights held?
  • How are they held?
  • What are the competing technologies?
  • What can the technology do for a user?
  • Can it be easily copied or reverse engineered?
  • What is the potential impact of the technology?
  • Describe the break-through nature of the technology.
  • Why was it originally developed?
  • Is it ready for commercial use?
Potential Position in the Marketplace
10 Points
Technology lends itself easily to products
  • Technology is useful as a platform for many products
  • Product concepts are elegant or particularly innovative
  • Lead product or application is close to market
  • A working prototype exists and/or has been tested
  • Credible third parties have validated claims
  • What are the products that are possible with the technology?
  • What problems are solved?
  • Do other products accomplish the same service?
  • Why would your products be substantially better?

30 Points
Potential is large and/or growing
  • Market is expanding
  • Entrance is not overly difficult for applicant
  • Credible third parties have tested or validated claims
  • Who are the end users or customers?
  • How big is the market?
  • How is it differentiated relative to product concepts?
  • Is it emerging or well established?
  • What is driving fundamental demand?
Value Proposition
10 Points
The investment or licensing opportunity is attractive relative to other opportunities
  • Upside is not artificially or unduly limited
  • Path to a deal is unobstructed
  • Founders are open to a variety of deal structures
Are you seeking capital or a licensing partner?
  • What should be expected by investors (or licensee, or grantee), and why?

If capital:
  • In what form (i.e. debt or equity)?
  • Are you willing to provide a meaningful equity stake in the new enterprise?
  • How will the capital be used?
  • What benefits will be accomplished?

If licensing partner:
  • how does your technology "fit" with existing suppliers/manufacturers or products?
  • Who are your preferred partners? What characteristics are you seeking?
  • Any preferred deal structures? Are you open to offers?

If applicant is an operating company:
Business Model Worthy of consideration
The model is appropriate to fully capture the market potential What is the company's legal status?
  • Who are the shareholders?
  • What is the history of the company?
  • What is the business model?
  • Why is this the optimal business model?
  • How will sales be generated?
  • What is the cost structure?
  • Describe the break-even scenario
Management Worthy of consideration
Managers are up to the task of implementing the business model Who leads the Company?
  • Who are the key managers?
  • What expertise do they hold?
  • What experience do the members have with new ventures?
  • With venture capital, the target markets, the technology?
  • What holes remain on the team?
  • Has the team worked together in the past? With what success?
  • How is equity shared with managers and current investors?
  • Who serves on the board, and why?

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