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