EVALUATION CRITERIA

Round One​ - 50 Points Total

Significance and Unmet Needs (0-10 Points):​​​

  • Does this technology enable or improve NASA science? If it is successful, what difference will it make? 

  • Can those improvements be measured or established?

  • Are there significant needs across the government or private sector for the proposed product or service?

Innovation (0-10 Points):​​​

  • How is this capability accomplished today and what are the limitations of current practice?

  • Does the proposed idea utilize novel theoretical concepts, approaches, methodologies, instrumentation, or services? (Note that the proposed technology can also enhance an existing approach.)

Approach (0-10 Points):​​​

  • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to test the proposed idea?

  • Why will this new approach succeed?

  • What are the risks and mitigation strategies?

  • How does the approach consider NASA science needs?

  • What are the milestones?

Team/Founder Aptitudes (0-10 Points):​​​

  • Does the individual or team demonstrate high level of ability and dedication?

  • Were the passion, drive, discipline, ability to work collaboratively and willingness to push forward under conditions of extreme business uncertainty successfully demonstrated?

Commercialization (0-10 Points):​​​

  • Is there a clear path for the product/service to achieve NASA's missions and/or reach the market demand?

  • Are the product users and purchasers clearly identified?

  • Is there evidence that market research or analysis of competitors was conducted?

Round Two​ - 80 Points Total

Extended White Paper (40 Points)

  • Does the white paper clearly demonstrate understanding of a NASA problem/need and describe a compelling technical solution? (20 points)

    • Does the white paper adequately describe the NASA science need/problem at hand?​

    • Does the paper provide a detailed description of the proposed technology and demonstrate that the technology will address that specific NASA science need/problem?

    • Does the team show that they understand state-of-the-art technology related to the problem they're choosing to address?

    • Why is the proposed technology superior to the other possible solutions or current NASA approaches?

  • Does the white paper demonstrate a clear plan for developing this technology? (10 points)

    • Does the paper outline an executable approach to advance this technology to meet NASA needs?​

    • Does the approach include a schedule with key milestones (may also include possible deliverables, concept report, prototype, brassboard design, etc.)?

    • Does the solution take into consideration operational constraints, the space flight environment, etc.?

  • Does the overall strategy include a clear approach to test the proposed concept? (5 points)

    • ​Does the paper describe an adequate method for the technology to be simulated, tested, and validated?

  • Does the white paper demonstrate an understanding of the challenges, technical barriers, and risks ahead and a plan for mitigating them? (5 points)

    • ​Does the team understand the challenges they might encounter and explain how they plan to address them?

    • Is this technology sustainable (i.e., NASA is not the only customer)?

 

Oral Presentation (40 Points)

  • Were all the relevant components of the Round Two white paper highlighted in the presentation or did they leave out critical information? (20 points)

    • ​Did the presentation clearly demonstrate understanding of a NASA problem/need and describe a compelling technical solution?

    • Did the presentation demonstrate a clear plan for developing this technology?

    • Did the overall strategy include a clear approach to test the proposed concept?

    • Did the presentation demonstrate an understanding of the challenges, technical barriers, and risks ahead and a plan for mitigating them?

  • Was the presentation coherent and easy to understand? (10 points)

    • ​Did the team present the information such that a varied audience could understand the technical information?

  • Were the team's passion, drive, discipline, ability to work collaboratively, and willingness to push forward successfully demonstrated during the presentation? (5 points)

    • Does it appear that this company could successfully develop a product that NASA could use?

    • Did the presenter strike you as an entrepreneur capable of scaling a company?

  • Was the team able to adequately answer the questions from the judging panel after their presentation? (5 points)

    • ​Can team members think on their feet and discuss details about certain aspects of the presentation?