Peter Farrell Cup

Judging Creteria

In the 2016 round of the Peter Farrell Cup, we will more strongly emphasize traction. Traction concerns the quality of the journey, insights gained, and the way you have used the journey to inform your final ideas. When assessing traction, judges will focus on the insights from the customer interviews you should have had (to test your ideas).

A really good source of information regarding traction is: “Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything” (Steve Blank, Harvard Business Review).


The pitches at the Pitchfests and Finals will be judge on the following criteria:

Traction (40%): Problem (What is the pain someone is experiencing?), Solution (How is the pain solved?), Customers (Who has this pain? How many of them?), Marketing (How is this idea different?), How did the team extract insight from the journey along the way and make use of these insights? Did you pivot when necessary? What is the quality of the experiments you have run? Is it clear that the team has really learned from their journey and is this visible in the output?

Viability (15%): Revenue (How does the business make money?), Financials (Do the numbers make sense? Is it scalable?), Operations (What do they need [to do]? Which metrics matter?)

Realism (25%): Team (Skills and experience [required]?), Competition (What [competitive] risks are the team facing?)

Presentation style (20%): Compelling and convincing logic (Did the team tell their story well?)

Business Plans

The business plan must be submitted as a single document in printable PDF format, must not be longer than 3 pages of text (letter type 11, 1200 words, in addition a summary of 200 words), must be formatted in 1-½ line spacing with 2.5 cm top, bottom, left and right margins. This line spacing and font requirement applies to the textual content of the document and not to titles and descriptions accompanying pictures, graphs, tables, worksheets or graphical figures, all pages must be numbered excluding cover page, cover page must include venture name and University affiliation. No appendices. Diagrams must be within the 3 page limit.

The 45 business plans will be judged by a panel of experts with seven teams selected for the finals. The finalists will be announced on the Peter Farrell Cup website.

Finals Night Competition

Criteria for the finals are similar to that for the Pitchfests, however both the written business plan and the verbal pitch, including traction (journey), will be considered in the final grade. This means that all the judges in the finals will have had the opportunity to assess both the business plan and the pitch.

The consensus of opinion by the Judges will decide the first, second, and third-place winners, with extra prizes also awarded for the best technology, greatest social impact and people’s choice awards at the finals event.

Each pitch will follow the following format: 5 minutes of pitch time, 2 minutes of audience Q&A, and 3 minutes of Q&A from the judging panel. Time limits will be strictly observed. Each team is allowed a maximum of twenty PowerPoint slides for their presentation and slides must be in Microsoft Power Point 3x4 format.

Dispute Resolution

At all stages though the selection process, the Judges’ decisions are final with no possibility of appeal.

In any case of dispute, such as debate about a team following the rules, then the management team of the Peter Farrell Cup will make a final decision on the issue. The management team for 2016 is Professor Chris Jackson (, Professor Karin Sanders ( and Professor Nick Wailes (