Judging Criteria


One great idea. The winning business will be a concept that will “fit” in downtown Janesville – not just in the downtown area, but specifically in the business location. What would be the perfect complement to the neighboring businesses, competition, and clientele? What is needed in the marketplace, and how will you meet that need in a way that makes customers choose you?

A realistic, thoughtful plan. Our judges will be looking to see who has taken the time to research and analyze the facts, as well as develop a clear strategy for the business concept’s success and profitability.

The right attitude. At its core, the Janesville Business Challenge is a partnership between the organization and the winning business. We want an honest, passionate and motivated entrepreneur with the experience and dedication to be successful, as well as a great neighbor to the rest of downtown.


Each business plan submitted will be evaluated by a panel of business and entrepreneurial experts from the Janesville area and faculty from UW-Whitewater, based on the criteria below. Judges, as well as every member of the Challenge Team, will sign confidentiality agreements to protect your business ideas, business plan scores and comments, and intellectual property.

Following the scoring phase, business plans will be ranked, and the top finalists will proceed to an interview round. Your business plan will be evaluated on the following criteria:

40 points – Judge’s view of candidate’s ability to execute the plan.

35 points – Judge’s view of the viability of the business concept. You have to have a good business model.

15 points – Quality of the plan itself – Thoroughness of research, presentation, realism of projections.

10 points – Financial backing of 6 months of working capital to demonstrate commitment and support of project.

Regardless of how your plan scores, or whether you proceed to the interview round, we also want you to be successful and improve your entrepreneurial and business skills. So we will, upon request, make the judges scores available to contestants who request them, to help you prepare for your next successful business venture!