For the final presentation each team created a …presentation to tell us where they started, what they learned, how they learned it, and where they’re going. This “Lessons Learned” presentation is much different than a traditional demo day. It gives us a sense of the learning, velocity and trajectory of the teams, rather than a demo day showing us how smart they are at a single point in time. – S. Blank (12/17/14)
BIOTECHNOLOGY PRODUCT / PROCESS / SERVICE CONCEPT & TEAM EVALUATION
CSU I-Corps™ teams get out of their labs, innovation centers and classrooms and off campus to interview customers and consult with life science advisors, experts, mentors, and potential customers or partners. As a result, teams get feedback continuously so that they hone product concepts, improve their understanding of biotechnology markets, and formulate commercialization pathways. Teams typically conduct ~30 learning interviews during CSU I-Corps short courses and summer sprints.
Using the key principles of the Lean LaunchPad approach to entrepreneurship, teams learn about evidence-based business model design. Teams use the customer discovery process to test hypotheses and assumptions underlying their initial business models. During a CSU I-Corps course, teams synthesize key learnings to evolve their problem-solution fit. They present their concepts and their learning stories through final, lessons learned presentations.
Teams are evaluated by the teaching team and, importantly, by panels drawn from the CSU I-Corps’ network of alumni, life science industry professionals, and experienced entrepreneurs. The evaluation panel reviews the teams’ presentations to assess the problem-solution fit, product maturity, and teamwork. The final evaluation panels may give special recognition to teams who demonstrate significant learning during the course and/or who identify a compelling entrepreneurial opportunity. Important evaluation criteria will include, but are not limited to:
- The Problem-Solution Fit
- Value Proposition (What competitive advantages does your biotechnology have over current solutions?)
- The Problem (What customer job/pain/gain are you trying to address?)
- The team’s understanding of the initial customer segment served (early adopters/partners)
- The team’s understanding of key partners needed (Which partners are important when?)
- The team’s plan for developing the product (Is it feasible? What might be the capital investment required? What IP protection is needed? What technical or commercialization milestones do they need to hit in the next 3-6 months to move forward?)
- The team’s understanding of market size and aspects of a multi-sided market (regulatory issues?), if applicable
- The team’s tenacity, enthusiasm and story-telling skills
- The team’s arc of learning, demonstrated by evidence-based evolution of their product/solution concept (based on customer, partner and/or expert interviews)