Evaluation Criteria

General Qualifications

MTI offers grants, loans, equity investments, and services to businesses, organizations, and individuals to support Maine’s innovation economy. While there are exceptions, these are our general guidelines for innovators seeking MTI funding.

Investment Ranges

Your MTI advisor can help you determine what types of work are likely to be approved and the amount of funding to request. These recommendations are based on your VIRAL assessment, how likely you are to meet the criteria of higher investment ranges, and your needs. Our goal is to help our clients identify their most urgent needs and maximize their chances of an accelerated, successful launch of their innovative product, service or process into the marketplace.

The level of review or due diligence—including financial review, business model review and/or technology review—will increase for larger funding requests. Note that MTI considers your total cumulative funds to determine the level of review.

Areas of Review

The MTI team reviews all proposals in five categories:

  • Team Ability—Who is the team, what are their qualifications, will they be able to produce the work? What experiences do they have with the market?
  • Innovation and Value Proposition—Are the problem and solution clear? How is this solution different? Will it scale?
  • Customer and Market—Is there evidence that there is a market for this innovation? Is there the ability to capture that market?
  • Business/Organization Model—What does success look like? How will this make money? How does this connect to MTI’s stated goals? What is the management structure?
  • Scope of Work/Budget—What do you plan to do? Is the timeline realistic? Will the planned activities accelerate the achievement of goals? Are there measurable and realistic outcomes?

Grading System

MTI will assigns each category a rating of Green, Yellow, Orange, or Red. Once each category is graded, the entire proposal will be receive an overall grade.

There are four grades:

  • Green—Recommend funding. There is an obvious path to success with no determined obstacles and this project is fully aligned with MTI’s mission and goals. Category scores would be majority Greens, potentially a few Yellows.
  • Yellow—Recommend funding, potentially with contingencies. There is a clear path with more opportunities than obstacles, and the project is aligned with MTI’s mission and goals. Scores are all Yellows and Greens.
  • Orange—Recommend Decline, with potential to resubmit. There are more obstacles than opportunities, and/or it’s not clear how MTI’s mission and goals are incorporated. Category scores may include some Yellow and Green but are mostly Oranges and Reds.
  • Red—Recommend Decline. This project is not aligned with MTI’s mission and impact goals or there is no visible path to success as currently designed. Individual scores are majority Reds with some Oranges and few Yellows.

Increasing Expectations

As funding requests grow, there are additional expectations in each category. For example, for a funding request of less than $25,000, MTI’s would expect your ‘Team Ability’ to include key skills and the ability to produce a low fidelity prototype or pilot program. For larger funding requests, MTI would expect your team’s size and knowledge to have grown to include an understanding of how the market operates, the value chain and corporate governance.

There are investment ranges, each has unique application and scrutiny. Your MTI advisor will help you guide you and help you determine.