The second annual Indellient Prize in software entrepreneurship has been announced for McMaster University students who wish to participate. The inaugural competition was held earlier this year and was won by Dillon Dixon for his timetable generator app.
Indellient Prize in Software Entrepreneurship
Time: Tuesday February 4th, 7:00-10:00PM.
Place: ETB 126
We are pleased to announce a Prize for Software Entrepreneurship for all
McMaster degree students, including co-op students currently on work term.
This contest is made possible by a generous donation from Indellient Inc., a
rapidly growing Software business in Mississauga co-founded by multiple
Entrepreneur and McMaster graduate, Adam Caromicoli, who will also donate his
time to sit on the panel of judges.
We also thank the McMaster Industrial Liaison Office from supporting the
Software Entrepreneurship program, and for the load of Glen Crossley, who will
be the second judge.
This prize supports the effort of Computing and Software at McMaster to foster
entrepreneurship, and Christopher Anand, instructor of CS 4EN3 Software
Entrepreneurship will be the third judge.
To enter, you must send a proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before Feb 1st,
2014. The proposal must be a pdf, and follow the structure of a business plan.
The teams with the strongest proposals will be invited to present their
proposals on the 4th. Non-contestants are welcome to attend subject to room
Presentations may use a data projector (provided) or other aids,
and will normally include a software demonstration incorporated into the
presentation. Presentation time will depend on the number of finalists, but
plan for 15 minutes.
- Non-student participants:
Teams may include non-students, but in this case you
must include a breakdown of the contributions of each member.
- Multiple Entries:
Teams may contain overlapping members, but each student may
appear as a presenter for only one project.
Tips for preparing your presentation:
Have you identified a real problem effecting many people or of high
value to some people.
Are you really solving the problem.
- Innovative use of Software:
Did you make use of software in an innovative way.
(You don’t have to excel in all areas, but should aim to excel in several
- Quality of the Presentation:
Is your presentation easy to follow and
convincing. Does it lend confidence in your team. Can you handle questions
from the judges and/or audience.
If this is a for-profit enterprise, do you have a strategy for
making money. (Note that you don’t have to make money right away, but whoever
is investing in your business will need to see a likely profit.)
Are you creating an organization which can sustain itself,
including financially (will you turn a profit, or will your social enterprise
have a long-term supporter), in staffing (do you depend on superhuman effort or
extraterrestrial intelligence), legally (are you at risk of being found to be on
the wrong side of the law, including copyright and patent law).
Does your problem definition and solution consider all relevant
aspects of your problem (e.g., security, privacy, societal, marketing,
environmental,…) effectively harnessing the skills of your team, and citing
committed outside support where necessary.
- Can I use previous coursework?
Yes, this is not for course credit, so you can
reuse any project work. (McMaster students own work they submit for course
- Should I have a separate demo?
No, integrate the demo into your presentation.
Use it to illustrate how your solution really is a solution, and not a bit of
- Do I need to follow a design template, or talk about design?
No, you don’t need to follow a template, or use the waterfall method or
any particular development methodology. Your presentation is short, so
don’t mention routine things everyone should know.
For example, we assume you can make tables in a database.
We only want to know about the database if you think your design has some
advantages (for scalability, security, etc.) But even then, don’t get bogged
down in details. Other examples: the UI kit you use is cross-platform, or the
graphical design tools helped you stick to consistent UI metaphors which you
observed to accelerate learning by your beta testers, or the animations you
feature would be impossible on any platform except hand-optimized OpenGL and
this will be a big barrier to anyone trying to copy your UI.)
- Does the whole team need to be there?
No, we know sometimes people have midterms.
The only rules we will follow is that everyone will have 15 minutes for their
presentation. If you allow questions during the presentation, you have to
budget for this. (You should allow for some questions, but keep them under
control.) The judges may ask some additional questions after the end of the
presentation, if they choose.
How will your entry be evaluated?
We will give each team a numerical score
broken down as follows:
* Definition – clarity, vision (20)
+ What problem is it trying to solve?
+ What will the technology do?
+ What is the core value proposition?
+ What are differentiating factors?
* Build Plan – realism, quality of approach, staging strategy (10)
+ Effort to build versus Time to Market
+ Product Versions (as part of a Go To Market strategy)
+ Technology Choices
* Sustained Value (5)
+ Intellectual Property Strategy
+ Staging (How will you add future value?)
Customer Perspective (20)
* Market – logical mapping of value to market, realistic ability to approach,
+ Who is the target market?
+ Short, medium and long term plan for roll-out/differentiation.
* Problem Identification â€“ definition of business / human problem and clear
mapping to solution (10)
+ What problem do they have and why?
* Competition – Research depth, clear comparison and differentiation (15)
+ Who / what are the competitors?
+ Product Comparison Table.
+ How can you maintain competitive advantage?
* Marketplace Sizing – Research depth, realism, understanding of the market (5)
+ What are the sizes of specific target markets?
+ Who are your potential partners, channels?
+ How much of the market do you plan to capture?
* Capital Investment – specific requirements with supporting details, specific
timing and sources (5)
+ Specific Requirements.
+ What is the risk in sizing your requirements?
+ When do you need financing, and for how long?
* Sources – specificity and creativity (5)
+ Who will be targeted for investment?
+ Creative forms of financing, e.g. from customers and suppliers?
* Management – detail and realism (5)
+ Return of investment.
+ Cash flow projects – quality and reliability.
+ Break even point from a cash perspective.
* Technology – crisp definition of requirements, challenges, risks (5)
* Human – rationale for selection, clarity of sourcing (5)
+ What existing resources can you draw on for development and advising?