Other Communities We're In:

Visit the SVP Network Office
Network News

SVP Fast Pitch Judging Rubric

Calendar  |  Process  |  Guide  |   Awards  |  FAQs  |  What You Will Learn

Here are the criteria our screeners and judges will use to evaluate and score Fast Pitch applications, one-pagers and pitches. In rounds that involve presentations, the presentation will be the primary source for scoring. One-pagers will be used as a reference for judges. These criteria will also be used by mentors and coaches when providing feedback.

All application screeners, mentors, coaches, volunteer consultants, and judges should familiarize themselves with the rubric and work towards helping teams score high on all criteria.

Societal Impact

Societal impact is the first and most important criterion for SVP Fast Pitch. Every organization must have a measurable means of creating change and solutions for clearly-articulated social issues.
Is it clear what the organization accomplishes, and how it makes a difference? Have the leaders described how outcomes have changed (or will) for their target population as a result of their programs?
What scale of impact, with quantifiable measures, does or could this organization produce?

Societal Impact
1
(Low)
Unclear or limited social impact.
3
(Medium)
Believable impact at modest scale.
5
(High)
Potential for exceptional impact to a high-need population.

Innovation

SVP Fast Pitch Seattle is all about shining a light on the most innovative ideas for social impact in the Puget Sound region. Innovation means different things to different people, and comes in all shapes and sizes. For this measure, the perspective of each judge will weigh heavily on the rating.
How innovative and unique is the applicant’s approach? Is it a breakthrough new product, service, delivery or structure? Improvement over current methods? Are they addressing an emerging social issue or an old issue in a creative way? Will the innovation stand the test of time?
Does their innovation distinguish them from other organizations and contribute significantly to their projected impact?

Innovation
1
(Low)
Interesting but not fundamentally or differentially innovative.
3
(Medium)
Unique application of a new technology or process.
5
(High)
Breakthrough innovation that provides powerful, scalable impact.

Sustainability

There are a variety of environmental, economic and societal definitions of sustainability. In the case of Fast Pitch, we are looking to evaluate the ability of the program or venture to carry out its mission and achieve projected impact(s) on a continuous basis over time, without exhausting available resources, financial or otherwise. In the simplest sense, a soup kitchen that purchases food with donor money and distributes to those in need is not sustainable without continuing donor funding. An organization that sources raw ingredients at a low cost, prepares food that can be both sold for a profit and can be distributed to those in need, all on a break-even-or-better basis over time is sustainable.
In addition to the broader definition of sustainability outlined in the above paragraph, sustainability for the for-profit organization would also be demonstrated by a strong business plan that clearly outlines a road to profitability that could reasonably be expected to attract investment independent from or in addition to a prospective investment from the Fast Pitch competition, and ultimately lead to a profitable acquisition, or alternatively to an ability to generate sufficient cash flows to pay back a revenue-based loan.

Sustainability
1
(Low)
Unclear how venture will be sustained after current capital spent.
3
(Medium)
Believable model for sustainability using standard techniques.
5
(High)
Innovative model that provides improved sustainability vs. current.

Leadership & Team

Early stage investors, both for-profit and non-profit, must bet heavily on the leadership and core team of an organization (or program). Many good concepts fail due to poor leadership and many flawed concepts are corrected and led to success by great leaders.
Has the individual demonstrated strong leadership in the past? Does he/she have a leadership presence that others will want to follow? Has s/he assembled a strong team of advisors, contributors, and/or partners? Are they bold and convicted in their presentation of ideas?

Leadership & Team
1
(Low)
Lack of demonstrated leadership or gaps in skills & capabilities on the team.
3
(Medium)
Balanced team that appears able to launch and lead venture, and follows a clear vision.
5
(High)
Exceptional team, with clear experience and passion to succeed.

Presentation and Other Strengths

Note: This is not evaluated during the initial application screening.
Much of the Fast Pitch competition depends on what innovators can present in a short pitch. Strong pitches will tell a story that connects emotionally as well as rationally, and be presented with energy and conviction.
There are any number of additional criteria that could be used to assess an enterprise, and every venture is unique. This item includes scoring for criteria not mentioned above such as market understanding, collaboration and partnerships, appropriate use of technology, competitive analysis, potential for global relevance, etc. Presentations should make good tradeoffs regarding what can be presented in the allotted time.

Clarity of Concept
1
(Low)
Weak presentation with weak content.
3
(Medium)
Good presentation with good coverage of key topics.
5
(High)
Exceptional presentation with coherent story, depth beyond criteria, and that leaves a lasting impression.

Scoring Tips for Application Screeners

Please skim all the applications first so you get a sense of the overall quality of the applications and a basis for calibrating the entire group with your experience and expectations.
While we are asking you to rate organizations on an absolute basis (not relative to one another), the absolute score (1-5) you give is not as important as the consistency of your scores across the group. In other words, a “2” that you might give early on should mean the same to you as a “2” you give later. Some screeners will be easier or tougher (“harder / easier graders”) than others, and that’s OK.

You might be very impressed early on and want to rate the first couple very high – but these are all impressive organizations. Try very hard not to give an advantage or disadvantage to the first or last few applications you score. Remember that a good, solid score is a 3. Save the 4s and 5s for truly impressive organizations or plans.
Once all applications are reviewed, please go back and re-read the first 2-3 that you rated to see if you want to adjust their scores up or down in relation to all the others that you subsequently read.