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Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Colorado College
Annual pitch competition for $50,000 of seed money with more resources and input for your idea

The Big Idea Competition will be held February 22, 2017 at the Richard Celeste Theatre in the Edith Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center on CC's campus.

 Colorado College is committed to weaving the themes of Innovation and Entrepreneurship throughout the fabric of students' liberal arts education and experience. At the end of the day, our goal is to see students from all academic backgrounds educated, relevant, equipped and motivated to pursue creative, innovative, and impactful careers. 

One way in which we do this is the annual Big Idea.  It is a pitch competition in which student teams come up with and develop startup ideas, culminating in a presentation to a panel of distinguished judges. The judges award a monetary prize to the winning team(s) to serve as seed money for launching ventures.  The Big Idea is about three different kinds of startups: (1) it’s about startups that focus on dramatic innovations, often disruptive in character, and typically backed by venture capital investment; (2) about small business style startups which often result in local, very cool, and potentially highly profitable ventures, but without the kind of swing-for-the-fences qualities of venture backed startups.  and (3) finally, about social startups. These are innovative new ventures that are measured typically less in terms of profit, and more by social impact and value. 

For 2017, the fifth year for the competition, there will once again be $50,000 – yes, $50,000! – in prize money for the pitch competition to kick start YOUR great idea.  But there is much more to the program: we are engaging with the local community of innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as CC alumni, to help mentor and be resources to students. 

Congratulations to the 2016 Big Idea winners!:

1st Place: King of the Sea, awarded $25,000

                               Presenters: Nick Kramer ('16), Peter Wailes ('16)

King of the Sea seeks to grow a regular market for consumption of a tasty, exotic seafood: Lionfish.   King of the Sea will connect with fishing operations in the Caribbean and West Atlantic to harvest Lionfish, process and distribute the fish to restaurants, and thereby reduce the negative impact Lionfish have on oceanic ecosystems.

Tied for 1st Place: Neonic, awarded $20,000

                               Presenters: Cormac Siegried ('19), Nick Ravich ('19)

By creating an interactive way in which concert-goers can become part of the performance, Neonic uses people’s smartphones to create a unique crowd-sized canvas of art.

3rd Place: Spindle, awarded $5,000

                               Presenters: Ben Hicks ('18), Alec Sheffield ('18)

Using neuro-technology, Spindle is creating a ‘smart mask’ to improve memory retention during sleep and enhance the function of the brain.