Judging the competitors in the mini-competition involves a fairly complex set of business factors. With 18 presenters, it is extremely challenging to narrow down the pool to the top 8. On this point, our judges all agree.
Ultimately, competitors must convince our judges that the investment of cash being made by the donors – through 1Team 1Dream – is worth the risk. Because, as we all know, making it in business is about as hard as anything most of us will ever do.
Sometimes we are asked by competitors what they could have done to make it to the finals, a tough question to answer because the selection process involves a number of weighted factors, and there are some very close calls in the scoring.
We do our best to offer individual feedback, but part of the answer is in self-examination. By going back to the training, most competitors can answer their own questions. This is why the 1-day workshop for all competitors is mandatory. In this way, we try to level the playing field. We also make a point to note that each year the competition can change as new competitors apply. Our competitors understand there are no guarantees, and we hope the learning and notoriety all business competitors receive throughout the process is worthwhile.
All things being equal, if I had to pinpoint that proverbial edge our competitors seek, I’d say – making a compelling case for long-term viability – will the business be here 3 – 5 years out.
– Olga Martin Steele, 1Team 1Dream Co-Founder