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The Big Idea Kicks Off

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Colorado College

The Big Idea is revving up this year with more resources, mentors, and a new director to continue to build on last year's success. The kickoff meeting, to be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 in Tutt Science Lecture Hall, will set the stage for innovation and entrepreneurship at Colorado College, one of the elements of CC's new strategic plan.

Patrick Bultema, the new executive director of The Big Idea, will provide an overview and introduction to the program, and will announce the initial slate of guest speakers. The Big Idea program will host regularly scheduled meetings, generally from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each block.

The program currently is under the auspices of the Dean of Students/Student Life, as opposed to an individual academic department, and is open to all CC students, regardless of their major. "The intent is that this is a theme and program that cuts across the entire college," Bultema said. "The program is designed to educate, inspire, provide experience and examples, and generally give Colorado College students what they need to not only participate in The Big Idea startup pitch competition, but beyond that, to be equipped and motivated to pursue innovation, entrepreneurship, and startups into their careers and lives beyond CC."

As with last year's program, there will be $50,000 in prize money for the pitch competition, to be held in the spring. Additionally, the program will feature guest speakers and presentations throughout the year. Presentations will draw from business and startup communities in Colorado Springs and beyond, and will focus predominately on areas such as "Startup Essentials," "Startup Leaders," and "From the Trenches."

Bultema, who has a liberal arts background, has worked as a venture capitalist, six time startup CEO, been involved with both social entrepreneurship deals as well as venture capital-backed companies, and served as a mentor to more than 50 startups during his career.

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