CEO and Co-Founder Adam Rentschler launched Valid Evaluation
, a.k.a. ValidEval, in 2011 with Todd Reimer, Director of Education, and Kent Hollrah, Director of Design.
ValidEval "was born out of frustration running the judging for the Cleantech Open," says Rentschler, who served as the event's national judging co-chair in 2011. "There was little to no learning going on." Not only was there a lack of education, the judging process often delivered scattershot and unreliable results.
Rentschler approached Reimer, a learning scientist, who had one word: rubrics. "A rubric is nothing more than a matrix with bits of data inside of it," says Rentschler. Commonly used in education, for ValidEval a rubric "is an evidence-based means by which a business can evaluate their strategy," he adds.
With rubrics, ValidEval delivers a more accurate and more actionable judging methodology to business competitions of all kinds, says Rentschler. The company's team has developed and honed rubrics for several broad categories of competitions and events.
ValidEval's first project was developing entry and exit screenings for the State Energy Sector Partnership's Entrepreneurial Pilot Project
in 2011. The program placed 84 entrepreneurs in Colorado incubators and staked them with more than $400,000. The companies subsequently made 134 more hires and raised $2.8 million in additional funding.
"It was an amazing success," says Rentschler. "It created a lot of jobs and generated a lot of capital."
Rentschler says ValidEval's market is "conveners of entrepreneurial communities" like pitch competitions and grant competitions. "That's really our sweet spot," he says. The company's biggest customer is the Arizona Commerce Authority, which annually grants $3 million to 12 startups.
Rentschler says he is currently looking for about $400,000 in angel funding. "It's going to make selling easier and support the scale of the sales," he says. To this end, the Five Points-based ValidEval is currently looking to hire someone in sales and business development.