Commercialization plan review criteria

Please examine the following six areas upon which a reviewer is required to rate the commercial potential during the evaluation of a proposal. These areas cover the information requested by the funding agency for the commercialization plan and need to be included in a Phase II proposal. These are extremely important to the reviewing agency and to the potential success of your proposal.

  1. The company: Does the company have focused objectives and the appropriate core competencies? Does the company have the appropriate resources to perform the tasks being proposed? If the company has several years of experience, has it experienced growth? Does the company have a good record of commercializing prior SBIR/STTR projects or other research? Does it appear that the company can grow/maintain itself as a sustainable business entity? Please comment on each point.
  2. The market (customer and competition): Does the PI (principal investigator)/company understand the market in which the product will be introduced? Is the customer adequately and correctly described? Are the benefits to the customer and the hurdles to acceptance of the innovation adequately described? Does the PI/company know and understand the competitive environment? What is the ability to execute marketing and sales programs to bring the technology successfully to market in view of this competition (or the competitive environment)? Please comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s marketing and sales strategy.
  3. Intellectual property (IP): Is the intellectual property addressed and are there plans for sufficient protection to get the product to market and attain at least a temporary competitive advantage? What is the company’s prior record in this area? Please comment on the company’s strategy to build a sustainable business through protection of intellectual property.
  4. Revenue stream: Are the plans for generating a revenue stream adequately described? Are the assumptions that form the basis for revenue projections realistic? Will the revenue stream as described be profitable to the company or at least sustain the product through its life cycle? Please comment on each point.
  5. The financing: Does the company have a high probability of securing necessary funding in Phase III? Has the PI/company identified specific companies for financial commitments, prototype purchase and/or will they fund themselves? (Does the company have a chance to secure an infusion of investment in Phase II?) If there are no “hard” commitments for funding (i.e. letters of interest or intent), does the company have a solid road map for pursuing the funding needed to commercialize? Please comment on each point.
  6. Additional considerations: Are there potential societal, educational and scientific benefits of this project? How do these non-commercial impacts relate to the overall significance of the work being proposed?