How to Apply

Judging Criteria

As we consider your application, we’ll look for commitments from you: you will fully participate in development programs, be obsessed with growing your product, your customer base, and your team over the course of your membership. 


At least one team member must be a current student, faculty, staff or an alumnus/a of any University of Texas System school.

Entrant teams must have a novel product or service that is scalable, addresses a clear market opportunity, and gives the company a sustainable competitive advantage.

Teams must have identified and validated a number of customers. They must demonstrate a strong need for their solution (e.g. actual sales and/or users) and a significant number of interviews across customers and experts.

Teams must have a prototype or Minimum Viable Product they will develop over the course of the Membership.

Basic Requirements

Intellectual Property Rights

The proposed business should not be in violation of any intellectual property rights; including, but not limited to, patent infringement.

Conflicts of Interest and How to Avoid Them

View the PDF attachment for more information.

Funding Limitations

The amount and source of secured capital arrangements and/or generated revenue should be clearly identified in the team’s Executive Summary.

The amount and source of generated revenue should be clearly identified in the team’s Executive Summary.

Selection Criteria

Teams are judged at all stages on the following five criteria:

Attractiveness of the business model

How the business creates, delivers and captures value. Is the business model financially feasible, fundable, and scalable?

Quality of product, service and/or solution

Quality and clarity of business idea. Is the value proposition well aligned with customer needs? Is the value proposition differentiated? Does the solution offer substantial and lasting appeal? Is there evidence of validation?

Market opportunity and competitive positioning

Market size/structure, accessibility, potential barriers to entry, growth rate, capacity, etc. Is there a product-market fit? Is market share attainable? Does the business have a competitive advantage relative to existing players addressing the same need?

Team qualifications and experience

Relevant education/experience, business track record, access to resources, passion, professionalism, overall strength/balance of team.

Overall attractiveness of venture

Clear vision for long-term success. Is it a killer idea? Can the team adapt? How likely is the business to succeed? Is it an attractive prospect for an investor?