A competition for Cornell undergraduates who have a great idea for a for-profit or non-profit enterprise. All ideas are welcome; no business plan is required. The BIG Idea Competition Finale takes place as part of Celebration in April. Participants have three minutes to present in front of a live audience of peers, faculty, entrepreneurs, and distinguished guests. The winners will be selected based upon a combination of rankings by judges and audience popular vote.
Students are encouraged to use entrepreneurial skills and the mindset of change-makers to present BIG IDEAS which address the complex challenges expressed by a “World on the Move.” Examples include, but are not limited to ideas which would deliver:
- Affordable, reliable, renewable alternative energy accessible to all
- Clean water & sanitation solutions
- Health care for all – e.g. Immunizations, child care, elder care
- Agriculture best practices
- More efficient food supply chain resulting in good nutrition for all
- Access to social justice & gender equality in employment and sustainable economic development practices
- Poverty alleviation solutions such as education equity, providing better housing and sustainable transportation
- Innovations which build resilient infrastructure, sustainable industrialization
- Solutions addressing the challenges and complexities of human and nonhuman migration.
- Expedited response to climate change disasters including tsumani, hurricanes, extreme fires, etc.
In either track, ALL entries must be early-stage ideas, and not developed businesses. As such, an idea that already has a functioning business associated with it will not be accepted. Specifically, the idea:
- Cannot be currently generating revenues
- Cannot already have received funding or financing of any form
- Must not have previously been accepted into an accelerator or incubator
- Cannot have any legal form of incorporation