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The Big Idea: A $50,000 Proposal

CC is launching the Colorado College Entrepreneurship Competition, in which students present their entrepreneurial proposals, or “The Big Idea,” to a judging panel in hopes of winning $50,000 for the development of their idea or business.

To be eligible, a business proposal must be the original idea of the student applicant, and must be a new, student-generated business that demonstrates innovative thinking or approaches in any subject area or industry. “The program was started to gauge student interest in entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Coordinator of Innovation and Incubation Stephen Kaczmarek ’89, who is working with President Jill Tiefenthaler and Dean of Students Mike Edmonds on the trial program. “The focus is on the teaching/learning/experience vs. the prize money.”

The goal is to allow any student with an idea, regardless of the student’s major, the opportunity to develop a business plan and compete. To level the playing field for those who are not economics and business majors, Kaczmarek is offering weekly workshops that are open to all students. Upcoming sessions include developing a pitch and marketing plan; equity, raising money, angel investors and venture capitalists; business formation and exit strategy; and trademarks and patents. He also is scheduling guest speakers to come and address interested students.

Students may work in teams, and all projects must be registered by Feb. 28. The first elimination round will be held on March 28, with five finalists making their pitch for “The Big Idea” and the opportunity to win $50,000 on April 4. The prize money may be awarded to a single project, or split between multiple teams, as the judging panel sees fit. For more information, go to: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/offices/studentlife/big-idea.dot