Direct Assistance - Evaluation Criteria

How will the proposals be evaluated?

Once an applicant has been determined to have the proper residency and the technology has been deemed “technology appropriate,” (see Eligibility) proposals will be evaluated on the criteria found below. A committee of technical and business people will be asked to make their recommendations. In special cases, the opinions of outside reviewers will be sought.

Proposal Criteria:

  • Is the project “large enough to matter” while being “small (targeted) enough to realistically be accomplished?”
  • Is it clear that the subject technology, product or service works or performs as claimed? Is there ample testing data, testimonials, customers, or other supporting evidence? Is this a “disruptive technology?”
  • Can a successful business opportunity be reasonably built around the underlying technology, product or service? Does the business model describe an opportunity for the company to make a profit selling a product that someone will buy?
  • Will a modest investment significantly advance this applicant’s business opportunity?
  • Will subsequent financing likely be required to reach the market? If so, is it reasonable that the investment community will look favorably on this opportunity? Will the proposed project make the difference in convincing them? Is there any demonstrated interest (support letters) in this proposal from investors? What is the timing and magnitude of the additional investment?
  • Is there underlying intellectual property (such as patents) in existence or pending? Who has the rights to, or ownership of, the IP?
  • Who are the known competitors? Does the applicant have other competitive advantages that predict market success?
  • How strong and experienced is the technical/management team/strategic partners? Will the company be crippled by the loss of any individual? Is there an exit strategy?
  • What is the potential market size? Has the applicant demonstrated a thorough understanding of it? What is the applicant’s anticipated market share – are these projections reasonable?
  • Is there a clear path to the applicant’s first customers? Are there any POs or letters of intent? Will there be a profit in these first sales? If not, when?
  • What is the potential of this project to result in significant regional/state employment?
  • Are the technical & business risks sufficiently offset by the size of the opportunity?
  • Is this company operating in a regulated industry? Is this understand and planned for?
  • What is the earliest “time to market” for this opportunity? Is it clear what the product/service is and what it will look like?
  • Does the applicant have current products or a history of bringing products to market? How similar are those products to those proposed?
  • What is the company’s most critical need(s)? Does Directed Energy have staff or associates who can help this company?
  • What is the overall quality of the submitted Business Plan? Is this company ready to receive this investment or is additional business planning required?
  • Are the “needs” identified by the company reasonable steps in advancing the business opportunity?

Will this project’s success leverage regional assets strengthening the energy cluster in WNY?