The objective of GROW is to encourage a cohort of innovative, investable commercial opportunities that can help support the translation of ideas from the laboratory, workshop or laptop to the farm, field or food processing factory.
In time, we hope some of these opportunities will become businesses that will be founded and grow within the East of England.
Business plans should be judged according to the criteria below – anonymised scores and constructive comments may be fed back to the applicants to help Plans and will be scored on sale of 1 (weak) to 10 (strong) against the following criteria:
- Quality of innovation Plans should describe a concept underpinned by a degree of innovation. This could be technology based, or could utilise a novel systems approach, or deployment of a new business model.
- Commercial feasibility and market assessment The judges should have confidence that the plan described a concept that has the potential for commercial feasibility. It is acceptable for the concept or plan to need further work to be commercially viable, however plans that describe a concept that is unlikely to have a place in the market place should be given a low score.
- Potential route-to-market Plans should clearly articulate their route to market for commercialisation of the concept. This must be realistic and achievable. It is acceptable for the target market(s) to be non-UK, as long as the business is headquartered within the UK.
- Protection of IP and know-how Applicants should state clearly that they have freedom to operate around the proposed concept. The ownership of IP relating to the innovation should be clearly described, as well as relevant plans for future protection of IP or know-how; if this is not the case at the time of submission, the plan should be given a low score. Letters of commitment from the owner(s) of any relevant IP to make this available will be accepted, and judges should consider these and score appropriately.
- Quality of the management team The plan should clearly describe the management team, including their background and relevant skills / expertise to bring the concept to market as a viable business. Any non-executive support should also be described, with their background. Scores should be based on the strength of the executive and non-executive management team, and the confidence that they have the skills to build a viable business.
- Financial projections and assumptions The plan must contain realistic projections of the financial resources needed to found and build the company. Any assumptions made in the financial planning must be described. Unrealistic figures and poorly explained assumptions should incur a lower score. 7. Clarity and quality of the plan The plan should not exceed 12 pages (including Appendices) and should contain all the relevant information on which the judges can make an assessment. Embedded links to further information should not be used – the judges should not spend time doing further investigation as directed, as this will disadvantage applicants who have limited their submission to 12 pages.
Plans which are well laid out, which clearly describe the innovation and give confidence they will be delivered by a committed team with the relevant experience should score highly.