Guidelines and Judging Criteria



  1. Nominations: About six weeks prior to the event, members of the Georgetown community will be invited to nominate promising candidates for the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize, based on the above-described criteria. Self-nominations are also welcome. Candidates may be nominated as individuals or as teams.
  2. Applications: Nominated individuals or teams will be given two weeks to complete a detailed application. Nominees will be asked to describe their business and the impact the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize would have on their ability to advance their venture, as well as their own personal qualifications.
  3. Internal Committee Review: An internal committee of faculty and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, including Entrepreneurship Initiative Director Jeff Reid, will review applications and select a group of finalists.
  4. Presentations: Finalists will be given three weeks to prepare presentations for the Bark Tank event. During this time, our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will serve as key mentors and advisors to the young entrepreneurs, helping them design their presentations and consider the challenges and opportunities the prize may present to their ventures. 
  5. Judge Scoring: Following the finalist pitches during the Bark Tank event, a judge panel composed of experienced entrepreneurs shall rate the full group of finalists and use these ratings to rank the finalists.
  6. Final Selections: The judge panel will select the recipients of the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize. The panel will be given discretion to select the total number of recipient(s) each cycle as well as the size of each prize within an annual limit of $100,000. The committee will not be required to award a prize in a given application cycle. After the prize is awarded, Georgetown’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence may continue to provide mentorship to the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize finalists as they advance their entrepreneurial activities. 



The judges will evaluate finalists using the following criteria:

  • Feasibility: Does this business seem likely to succeed?
  • Team: Do you have confidence in this entrepreneur/team?
  • Values:  How well does this business incorporate Georgetown’s core values? 
  • Impact: Is prize money likely to make a difference for the company?