John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship

Innovation Evaluation

John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

Welcome to the Innovation Evaluation Program in Baylor University's John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship.

In 1981, the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship established the first non-government funded innovation evaluation program in the United States. Since then, several universities have established programs based on Baylor's and a number of corporations have modified the program for internal use. Newspapers and magazines such as The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Money, Success, Parade, Cosmopolitan, and US News & World Report have reported on Baylor's leadership in this area.

For a nominal fee, which covers administrative costs, an unbiased team analyzes the commercial potential of an inventor's new product or idea through the expertise of in-house experts in marketing, manufacturing, finance and other fields. The invention or idea is evaluated according to 33 different criteria.

The data is analyzed by a specially designed computer program and processed to give three different scores. These scores are compared to the scores received by earlier innovations that were successfully introduced into the marketplace.

The program gives the inventor objective data on the product's strengths and weaknesses, which may be used to determine the likelihood of commercial success before committing capital to fully develop and market the product. A good score could help secure a development loan by increasing credibility with banks, as well as encouraging an inventor to pursue the invention with a business plan and patent. A low score could warn an inventor to reconsider any further investment.

A 1988 survey found that the program's users find the evaluations very helpful. Over eighty percent of respondents considered the evaluation most beneficial as they decided how to proceed with their products or ideas. Whether an inventor's product or idea was judged to be commercially viable did not affect his appraisal of the program. The program's purpose is to stimulate and encourage creativity and innovation. This survey confirmed that the program has a positive effect on further innovative activity, as sixty-four percent of respondents said that evaluations encouraged them to continue in their pursuit of new product development.

Since its inception, the program has evaluated over 1,500 ideas.

To see more information on the Innovation Evaluation Program, visit our Inventor's Page. Download the Innovation Evaluation Form, by right-clicking on the link, choosing Save Target As, and then choosing a place on your computer at which to save the file.

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