Design Valuation & Risk Assessment

Quick and convenient assessment of startups’ risk and design quality.

With the advent of its Design Valuation Dashboard, Applied Design Science now provides a reliable, evidence-based tool for assessing a startup’s probability of success. This online crowdsourced design valuation platform provides assessments of a startup’s market, technology and execution risk, as well as their design quality performance.

Contact us for assessments needing an NDA.



Funding Viability

Use our assessment to quickly learn how an investor perceives your company. After over a decade of research, we’ve found distinct patterns between companies that receive funding and those that don’t.  With one assessment we can identify whether you are ready to ask for funding and can also provide an understanding of what to do before asking for funding.


Technology & Market Assessment

By cross-referencing your market and technology risk, we can easily show the size of the hill that remains to reach success. If your company is trying to fulfill a known need with existing technology, the risk is relatively small, while trying to fill an unrealized need by building a new patentable technology would be very risky. While both businesses may succeed, defining this risk helps stakeholders to ensure that their partners or investors are aligned towards the same goals.


Competitor Analysis

Using nine separate parameters, our assessment can show you a holistic view of your companies design quality. The nine parameters take traditional business and engineering evaluation into account and then augments this by adding design values such as user journeys and aesthetic style to provide a more robust 360° view of your organization. Your Design Quality Profile is then compared to the optimal Design Profile, giving a deeper insight into the specific organizational capabilities needed to succeed.


Success  Probability

The success of startups is notoriously difficult to assess and, until now, there were no assessments addressing Market, Technology and Design Quality. Partnering with the INDEX: Award, we analyzed two hundred and fifty applicants, finding three key performance indicators. Our analysis shows that investors’ assessment of design quality co-varied positively with combined risk. Applying this and other insights and assessments from entrepreneurs, experts and investors can provide a predictor for investment worthiness.

Design is Evolving:

The Design Valuation & Risk Assessment is the first quantitative, scalable assessment for design quality.


The Design Valuation Dashboard:


1. Funding Viability


  • Immediately see how fundable the crowd thinks you are.
  • The funding horizon line was established after applying our formula to multiple funding events.
  • Using The Design Valuation methodology, we have been able to accurately predict which companies and projects received funding from both VC’s and Kickstarter.

2. Market and Technology Risk Matrix


  • The first step of the Market & Technology Risk determines the startup’s market risk position on a success probability scale from Recognized Needs and Clarified Needs to Realizing Needs.
  • The second step of the Matrix determines the technology risk position on a success probability scale from Current Technology and New Technology to Developing

3. Design Quality Score


  • The Design Quality Score determines the execution risk position and balances market, technology and execution risk.
  • The score is a result of a multi-variable linear prediction model.
  • If the risk amount is disproportional to the other two, will unnecessarily increase the total risk, so rebalancing the risk factors can considerably improve the overall performance of the venture.

4. Design Quality Criteria Profile


Design Quality Criteria Profile displays the variation in the nine Design Quality Criteria.

  • Strategy
    1. Company Philosophy
    2. Infrastructure
    3. Innovation Capability
  • Context
    4. Social or Human Needs
    5. Environmental Requirements
    6. Viability
  • Execution
    7. Development Process
    8. Functionality
    9. Expresssion or Style

Take the 5 Min Free Assessment

  • Analyze a single product or project
  • Get early feedback before spending too much money
  • Analyze your own start-up or business
  • Insight into what your top areas for development are
  • Contact us for assessments requiring discretion
  • Use our assessment without endangering your I.P. or company confidentiality

Quotes About the ADS Design Valuation

“The Design Valuation Dashboard might prove itself as revolutionary to innovation as the Business Model Canvas was to business modeling.”

– Finn Birger Lie | President of Northern Analytics

“When I first met Dr. Soren Petersen and began reading his innovative and groundbreaking work on the subject of ‘design science’ , it was truly an ‘aha’ moment. His work and subsequent publications, are not only innovative in the approach, but more importantly I believe… that it will play a significant role in the entrepreneurship and investment process.”

– Errol Gerson, Adjunct Professor | Art Center College of Design

“The Design Valuation [& Risk Assessment] is a unique tool that brings together design and science to help investors and startup founders reduce risk and improve performance.”

– Dr Gjoko Muratovski PhD, MDes, BA(Des), GradDip(Des) | FDINZ Senior Manager: School of Art & Design | Senior Manager: School of Art & Design | Head of Department: Communication Design, Director: DESIS Lab

“With Design Quality Criteria, Design will not be in the eye of the beholders”

– Dr. Jaewoo Joo, professor in Marketing | Kookmin University, Seoul, South Korea

How the Design Valuation Works in 3 Steps

Step 1


Anyone can receive a Design Valuation Assessment without charge by providing a pitch deck of their product or business idea.

  • Free 5 minute assesment
  • Evaluate your own businesses market technology feasability.
  • Use our multiple choice survey provide understanding of the:
    • Company’s maturity around: Strategic Intent
    • Your knowledge of your customer and market
    • How you plan to execute on your business plan

Step 2


We contact the most appropriate members of our crowd-sourced panel of industry experts and investors to review your pitch material and then take the same survey.

  • Use the wisdom of the crowd to validate your assumptions.
  • Using in-field testing. Just like your customers, our panel will review your material on their own to explain what they are seeing.
  • Design Assessments are typicaly conducted and returned within seven days.

Step 3


Using our proprietary algorithm we combine the crowd sourced feedback into a single score. That score is compared to the score you gave on the initial assesment.

  • Comparing assesments by entrerprenuers, design experts, and investors provide deeper insights into the fundability of your company.
  • Entreprenuers over-estimate their design quality by over twenty percent on regular basis. Seeing the differences between your answers and the panels answer will provide immediate insight into what parts of your organization that need to mature to reach and surpass your goals.

Why Design Matters Today

Companies that value and win design awards, outperforms their peer’s stock price by up to 400%.


*Stanford studies show that the trend continues. (Petersen 2010)

Design Maturity is Needed Today

To Improve Economic Growth


In 2015, for the first time in US history, the number of business closures was higher than the number of new businesses started.

To align stakeholder expectations of  risk & reward


Only 2 out of 10 new companies survive the first five years.

To help investors choose businesses than can grow and be sustainable.


Only 1 company out 10,000 will become worth $1 billion dollars or more.




Chuck Chugumlung

BFA Art Center College of Design

Chuck Chugumlung is a Creative Director with over 20 years of interactive/digital media experience specializing in design, branding, strategy, and creative management.



Dr. Søren Ingomar Petersen

Art Center College of Design | Stanford PhD

Dr. Søren Petersen is an international business consultant and design researcher, author and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post – The Creative Economy.



Agustin Grube

USC Entrepreneur Program | Cal Lutheran MBA

Agustin Grube is a graduate of USC’s Entrepreneur Program. His career has led him to be a Fortune 500 Marketing Consultant, former Marine and a one time Turnaround CEO of a health care company.