What is it?
The Big Idea Pitch is the first of three competitions in the Miller Competition Series for BYU students to get mentoring and feedback on their big startup ideas and businesses. After submissions are reviewed, 25 teams will have 90 seconds to pitch their idea to a panel of judges for a chance to win part of $2,000 in cash prizes. The Big Idea Pitch finale will take place on September 29, 2016 in room W408/410 at 3pm in the Tanner Bldg.
Submissions should be 250 words or less and 1 ppt slide (see below for submission details). Submission deadline is September 24, 2016 by 10:00 PM.
Must follow Eligibility Requirements.
Ideas will be judged by the following criteria:
- Clearly communicates a pain or problem to be solved.
- Identifies a market affected by the problem and market scope is adequate to allow scaling.
- Proposes a creative solution to the problem that is feasible.
The top 25 will be notified no later than noon on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.
Watch this Youtube series for helpful advice and direction for a powerful pitch. Video
Watch the pitches from previous years’ winners here.
Submit your Big Idea (1 google slide and a 250 words or less description) here. The slide will be for the Big Idea Pitch and will be displayed on a projector during your pitch if you make it into the top 25.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why should I submit an idea to the Big Idea Pitch?
A. Students are competing for $2,000 cash prizes. More importantly, this competition provides a unique opportunity to get mentoring and feedback from successful entrepreneurs who want you to succeed. This feedback is designed to maximize your chances of success.
Q. If I share my idea in the Big Idea Pitch, will someone steal it?
A. Judges and entrepreneurs are wholly committed to helping you succeed. Over our ten year history, we could not identify a single instance where a student stole an idea as a result of participating in this competition.
Q. How does the Big Idea Pitch work?
A. Students must submit ideas to the contest here by 10:00 PM MDT September 24, 2016. Every idea will be judged multiple times and the top 25 ideas will advance to the final round. During the final round, students will have the opportunity to pitch live to judges and an audience and win cash.
Q. What are the judges looking for in an idea?
A. Judges will use a scale of 1-10 against the following four criteria when evaluating ideas:
- Clearly communicates a pain or problem to be solved.
- Identifies a market affected by the problem.
- Proposes a creative solution to the problem.
Q. What prizes are available?
A. Prizes will be awarded as follows:
1st place: $500
3rd place: $300
4th place: $250
5th place: $200
Q. How do I get mentoring?
A. BYU has a number of successful entrepreneurs who have offered to mentor students! Go to getmentoring.com to sign-up.
Q. Can I submit more than 1 idea?
A. Yes, you can! However, if more than one of your ideas gets selected into the Top 25, you will be asked to only present for one of them. This means that if you are on two separate teams, and both teams’ ideas get selected, then both teams can pitch their ideas, but you can only help present for one of them.
Q. What resources are available?
A. BYU offers everything you need to maximize your chances of success including clubs, competitions, money, and mentoring! You can visit the Rollin’s Center for Entrepreneurship in room 470 Tanner or go to the Center for Entrepreneurship webpage listed on the Marriott School’s website.
Q. I don’t have a “change the world” idea. Should I still submit my idea?
A. Absolutely! The uniqueness of your idea is not as important as your ability to successfully understand and address a customer pain. Solving pains may be as simple as offering an easier way to find parking, buy contact lenses, or get great pizza in Provo.
Q. How do I know whether I have a good idea?
A. You can learn by submitting your idea! However, there are questions you can ask including:
- 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?
You can also view our slides from our Innovation Workshop as guidance to evaluating your idea:
BYU also offers great mentoring advice! Sign-up at getmentoring.com.
Q. What do I do if I’m told I have a bad idea?
A. 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.
Q. If I don’t win, does that mean my idea is bad?
A. No. The judging criteria rewards those who clearly articulate the pain, market, solution, and next steps, not necessarily those with the BEST ideas.
Q. Can anyone enter? What are the eligibility requirements?
A. Any current BYU student can enter the Big Idea Pitch. For the New Venture Challenge, at the end of the year, there are two main requirements: (1) BYU students own at least 20% of the company and hold key management roles in the venture, and (2) the company must not have generated revenue before September 1, 2016. If you feel an exception should be made for the final event, please speak with someone in the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship.
Q. I have an idea, but I need a partner…I’m looking for a [developer]…
A. One of the purposes of the MCS events and workshops is to help you network. The Big Idea Pitch is no exception. Take the opportunity to pitch your idea to students, clubs, and potential investors and engage in networking along the way.