A Proof of Concept (PoC) is a demonstration or type of evidence deriving from an experiment, design idea, assumption or pilot project, which main purpose is to verify that certain concepts, business proposals or theories have the potential to turn into a reality application. A proof of concept is meant to determine the feasibility of the idea or to verify that the idea will function as envisioned.
PoC is sometimes also known as proof of principle.
A proof of concept is not intended to explore market demand for the idea, nor is it intended to determine the best production process. Instead, its focus is to test whether the idea is viable.
In software development, for example, a proof of concept would show whether an idea is feasible from a technology standpoint. For startups, a proof of concept would demonstrate financial viability.