John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship

Frequently Asked Questions

John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise


Innovation Evaluation Program

1. How do I have the Innovation Evaluation Program assess my invention?
In order for the Innovation Evaluation Program to work for you, download the documents in Microsoft Word format. Fill out the form "Innovation Registration and Disclosure" as completely as possible, and return it to the Center. Send any other information you might have about your innovation, such as drawings and other materials (no prototypes, please), and a check or money order for $200 made payable to Baylor University. The Innovation Evaluation Program does not process ideas for medicine, toys, games, or foods.

2. Where do I get an application for evaluation form?
Download the documents in Microsoft Word format. Or send your request to:
Innovation Evaluation Program
John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship
Baylor University
One Bear Place #98011
Waco, TX 76798
Or via email at:

3. How are products evaluated?
Products are evaluated on thirty-three (33) different criteria. These criteria range from factors related to legality and safety, business risk, and demand analysis, to market acceptance and competition. The statistical analysis is relatively simple and follows three separate evaluations: The Critical Value Score (CVS) is based on five criteria that must be passed in order for the product to be considered for future activities. This score must be very high; in the 80 percent plus range. The Aggregate Value Score (AVS) of the 33 criteria is the overall total. It should be relatively high; in the 60 percent plus range. The Estimate of Success (EOS) should be in the 60 percent plus range in order for the product to receive additional consideration. In order for a product to be considered as a serious candidate for the marketplace, it should score highly on all of the three evaluations.

4. What criteria are used to evaluate my innovation?
The following evaluation criteria are used by the evaluation team: Legality, Safety, Environmental impact, Societal impact, Functional feasibility, Production feasibility, Stage of development, Investment costs, Payback period, Profitability, Marketing research, Research and development, Potential market, Potential sales, Trend of demand, Stability of demand, Product life cycle, Legal protection, Competitiveness in market place, Customer learning requirements, Customer needs satisfied, Dependence on complementary products, Visibility of advantages, Promotional requirements, Distribution requirements, Service needs, Appearance, Function, Durability, Price, Competition (existing), Competition (new).

5. What does the evaluation process consist of once I send my innovation to your Center?
Your innovation is logged in by the coordinator of the program and a file is established. The innovation material is reviewed by the coordinator to be sure all necessary information is included in order to facilitate a complete and thorough evaluation. Once your invention has been evaluated, the results are put into the computer, which scores and averages your invention and prints out your scores result. The material is then reviewed by the coordinator and packaged to return to the innovator.

6. Can you explain how the three scores (Critical Value Score, Aggregate Value Score, and Estimate of Success Score) are derived?
The Critical Value Score pertains to the following criteria: legality, safety, functional feasibility, production feasibility, and investment costs. These are the most crucial of all the criteria and your innovation should score very high which would be in the 80 percent plus range. The Aggregate Value Score is the overall total of all 33 criteria as assessed by the evaluators. It is the second step in the scoring process and should be in the 60 percent plus range. The Estimate of Success score is the degree of success your innovation should achieve on a scale of 1 to 100. This score should fall into the 60 percent plus range. If your scores are not sufficiently high, then serious consideration should be given to any further investment toward the development of your idea.

7. How long does it take to get my evaluation?
Generally, it will take 4-6 weeks before the evaluation is sent back to you because of the number of steps involved.

8. Who are the experts used to do the evaluation?
Our evaluators have extensive business backgrounds and experience. They are well versed in manufacturing, production, finance, marketing, management, accounting, and investments. They are closely associated with Baylor in some way.

9. Do you have staff people who can give me technical assistance? Can someone help me develop my idea?
Our program exists primarily to give an honest and objective evaluation of your innovation's marketability. At the present time, we do not have staff people or evaluators who can assist in developing or marketing your idea.

10. Can you assist me in getting my idea patented?
No. We do not give any legal advice, nor do we assist in doing patent searches or in obtaining patents. We strongly urge you to contact a patent attorney close to your home if you desire to apply for a patent.

11. How do I avail myself of the services of the Baylor Innovation Evaluation program without risking someone stealing the idea?
If you are concerned, you can file a provisional application for patent. Effective February 1, 2007, the Disclosure Document Program has been eliminated. See Changes To Eliminate the Disclosure Document Program, 71 Fed. Reg. 64636 (Nov. 3, 2006), 1312 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 137 (Nov. 28, 2006)(final rule). The Office is no longer accepting disclosure documents. Inventors may file a provisional application for patent rather than a disclosure document. A provisional application for patent provides more benefits and protections to inventors than a disclosure document and can be used for the same purposes as a disclosure document if necessary.

The requirements for filing a provisional application are set forth in 35 U.S.C. 111(b) and 37 CFR 1.53(c). A nonprovisional application must be filed within twelve months of the filing date of a provisional application in order for the inventor to claim the benefit of the provisional application under 35 U.S.C. 119(e)(3).

For more information on how to file a provisional application, please check the USPTO web site at

At the same time, we take precautions to insure the secrecy of your innovation. Our evaluation group is comprised of persons that we know to be of high integrity. If your innovation requires an evaluation by someone other than our regular people, we evaluate them very carefully. If there is any doubt in our mind, we return the evaluation.

Both you and Baylor University are concerned about the security of your invention. Both of us can take precautions, but the truth of the matter is, there is no 100% safe method. History has shown that even securing a patent is not absolute and complete protection.

12. I STILL have more questions.
Then please write to us. Address your letters to:
Innovation Evaluation Program
John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship
Baylor University
One Bear Place #98011
Waco, TX 76798
Or email us at:

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