Deadline is October 16, 11:59pm
Winning cash for thinking big
Submit a product or business idea that solves a problem or makes a difference for a chance to win the first-place, thousand-dollar prize! And even better, get feedback on your idea from our panel of experienced business people.
this year's grand prize
with up to $7,000 in other prizes
How to compete
do your research. Explore problems, use the BIG IDEA CANVAS, and check out PREVIOUS TOP PITCHES for your best chance at winning.
make your pitch. Three slides, a 90-second video, and a short-answer form is all it takes to enter. LEARN MORE about what makes a good pitch.
show up to the finale. We're throwing a huge Big Idea Jam where our Top 20 selections will present their big ideas to a panel of judges and an audience of Creators. Network with experienced business people, get valuable feedback, and meet other Creators who can help bring your idea to life. Get MORE DETAILS on the competition timeline.
Deadline is October 16, 11:59pm
What you need to know
your pitch. It’s three slides. Winning pitches usually tell a story, using each slide for each of the judges’ criterias, and connect with the judges by making the pain real to them. For your submission, 1) Record a 90-second video selling your idea, 2) upload it to Youtube, and 3) mark it as unlisted, NOT private.
judge’s criteria. Judges will evaluate your ideas with the following criteria. Keep in mind that the criteria are also a great way to measure if your idea is viable.
1) Problem/opportunity: Do you provide evidence and validation of a significant, painful problem or opportunity for innovation?
2) Market/scalability: Do you identify a significant market, with a clearly defined customer affected by the problem or interested in the opportunity? Is the market big enough that the solution can scale?
3) Solution/feasibility: Do you provide a creative, unique solution to the problem or for the opportunity? Is your solution feasible?
cash prizes. The top 20 teams will receive the following cash prizes to validate further:
First: $1000

Second: $800

Third: $600

Fourth: $500
Fifth: $400

Remaining Top 10: $300 each

Next 10 Honorable Mentions: $200 each
the dates. Mark your calendars! These are the dates you need to know.
Monday, Aug 30 Submissions open
Thursday, September 23, 6pm How To Win Workshop
Saturday, October 16, 11:59pm Submission Deadline
Monday, October 25 Top 20 announced & invited to pitch at the Big Idea Jam final event.
Thursday, October 28, 3:30pm The Big Idea Jam finale, W408/410 TNRB
Deadline is October 16, 11:59pm
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I submit a big idea to the Competition?
Students are vying for a $1,000 1st place cash prize and almost $7,000 in total cash prizes to continue working on and validating their big idea. More importantly, this competition provides a unique opportunity to get feedback from judges and successful entrepreneurs who want you to succeed. This feedback is designed to help you become more informed and increase your chances of success.
If I share my idea in the Competition, can someone steal it?
Judges and mentors are wholly committed to helping you succeed. Over our history, we can not identify a single instance where a student’s idea was stolen as a result of participating in this competition. However, if you have an idea that you hope to sell internationally, we recommend you file for a provisional patent. Please schedule an appointment with one of the Rollins Center’s legal (rollinscenterlegal.youcanbook.me) or IP (rollinscenterip.youcanbook.me) mentors if you feel like this applies to you.
I don’t have a “change the world” idea. Should I still submit it?
Absolutely! The uniqueness of your idea is not as important as your ability to successfully understand and solve a customer problem. Solving problems may be as simple as offering an easier way to find parking, buy contact lenses, or get great pizza in Provo.
How do I get mentoring?
You can schedule a meeting with one of our mentors by going to getmentoring.com.
Can I submit more than one idea?
Yes you can! However, only one of your ideas can be selected into the Top 20. This means that if you are on two separate teams, and both teams’ ideas end up in the Top 20 after the preliminary judging round, then only the higher scoring idea will be allowed to participate at the Final Event.
How do I know if I have a good idea?
We strongly encourage you to use the Big Idea Canvas as a tool to evaluate your idea. You can also ask yourself the following questions:
* Do I see evidence of a “pain” people are trying to solve?
* After 30-60 minutes of searching online, did I find any products or services that address the customer pain?
* Could I do a better job addressing the customer pain than what is already offered? How? Why?
* How big is the potential market for this product?
* How can I take my idea to market?
* Another great way to evaluate your idea is to watch and compare yourself to past winners. You can watch videos of all the Top 20 from the 2020 competition here.
If I don't win, does that mean the idea was bad?
No. The judging criteria rewards those who clearly articulate the problem, market, and solution, not necessarily those with the BEST ideas.
What if someone tells me I have a bad idea?
No idea is perfect. And great entrepreneurs learn to fail early and often. The Big Idea Pitch offers a unique opportunity to get feedback from successful entrepreneurs about your idea. This feedback can help you make necessary changes to improve your idea and ensure you’re making the most of your limited time.
Am I eligible to enter the competition?
Eligibility guidelines that govern all of the Rollins Center competitions can be found here.
How do I add narration to my slides in PowerPoint?
Here's a tutorial from Microsoft.