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The Big Idea Competition

Present your big idea and win $50,000 to make it a reality

Until the 2018 Big Idea Competition

The Big Idea Main Event will be held February 8, 2018

Important dates:

  • DEC. 17 | Team Registration Deadline
  • JAN. 8-18 | Half-Block Course (optional)
  • JAN. 23 | Teams’ Rough Draft Review Feedback
  • JAN. 24 | Teams’ Rough Drafts Due
  • JAN. 29-30 | Semi-Finalists Team Feedback Sessions
  • FEB. 2 | Big Idea Team Final Packets Due
  • FEB. 8 | Big Idea Main Event

The Big Idea

Now in its sixth year, the Big Idea is a student competition to imagine and develop innovative ideas, culminating in a presentation competition with a monetary prize to serve as seed money for launching students’ startups.

The Big Idea is about three different kinds of startups:
  1. Startups that focus on dramatic innovations, often disruptive in character, and typically backed by venture capital investment.
  2. Small business style startups. These 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.
  3. Social Entrepreneurship startups. These are innovative new ventures that are measured typically less in terms of profit, and more by social impact and value.

For 2018 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 a resource to students.

Whether you’re a Comparative Lit, Computer Science, Economics, Political Science, or Art major, if you’re interested in innovation and the startup phenomenon there’s a place for you and your idea!

Thinking about entering?
Download the full list of eligibility rules and important dates

Download Now

2017 Winners

Fly Phone

1st Place: FlyPhone

Awarded $30,000

FlyPhone’s drone turns your phone into a personal cameraman. By leveraging the power of your smartphone, our purpose-built software and drone body capture HD video from a more natural distance than a ‘selfie stick’, while affording a more intimate shot than any other drone on the market.

Chica Chocolate

2nd Place: Chica Chocolate

Awarded $10,000

Made for those with menstrual cycles, Chica truffles are more than just a delicious, high quality chocolate. Infused with a Chinese herbal formula that is designed to ease monthly hormone cycles, they are delivered to customers on a subscription basis.


3rd Place: Ogugu

Awarded $10,000

Inventory happens, manage it well. Ogugu is a business analytics platform empowering owners of Micro Enterprises with Inventory Management, Bookkeeping, and Operations Reporting & Forecasting. Subscribe to the affordable mobile solution that will improve the performance, efficiency, and growth of Tanzanian commerce.

2016 Winners

  • Lion of the Sea (formerly King of the Sea): Lion of the Sea seeks to grow a regular market for consumption of a tasty, exotic seafood: Lionfish.   Lion 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.
  • Neonic: 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.
  • Spindle: Using neuro-technology, Spindle is creating a ‘smart mask’ to improve memory retention during sleep and enhance the function of the brain.

Learn More About The Big Idea

View Our Video Library
The Big Idea Competition 2016
The Big Idea Competition 2015
The Big Idea Competition 2014
The Big Idea Overview 2013
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