What is it?
The Big Idea Pitch is the first of three competitions in the Miller Competition Series. It is a chance for BYU students to get mentoring and feedback on their big idea and win part of $2,000 in cash prizes.
The Big Idea Pitch only requires you to have an idea – you do not need to have executed it and no additional points will be rewarded if you are further along the business process.
Submit your big idea before September 27 at 11:59 pm. After submissions are reviewed, 25 teams will advance to the finale where they will give a 90-second pitch to a panel of judges. Prizes will be awarded as follows:
- 1st place: $500
- 2nd place:$350
- 3rd place: $300
- 4th place: $250
- 5th place: $200
- 6th-10th: $100
The Big Idea Pitch finale will take place on October 5, 2017 at 3pm in the Varsity Theatre, Wilkinson Student Center.
SUBMIT your Big Idea with a few short descriptions and a Google slide here. The slide will be used in the Big Idea Pitch finale, displayed on a projector during your pitch if you make it into the top 25. Submit your idea here before September 27, 2017 by 11:59 PM.
Applicants must follow the Eligibility Requirements.
Submissions are NOW OPEN.
Ideas will be judged multiple times before the top 25 are chosen. The judges will use a 1-10 scale using the following criteria:
- PROBLEM/OPPORTUNITY: Do you provide evidence/validation of a significant, painful problem or opportunity for innovation?
- MARKET/SCALABILITY: Do you identify a significant market affected by the problem? Is your market scope adequate to allow scaling?
- SOLUTION/PLAN: Do you propose a creative solution to the problem, or an innovative plan?* Is your idea feasible?
* PLEASE NOTE: The Big Idea Pitch only requires you to have an idea. You do not need to have executed it. Additional points will not be awarded for being further along the business process.
How do you know if your idea is a good one? We strongly advise using the Big Idea Canvas to develop your idea. However, the Big Idea Canvas will not be used during judging.
The top 25 will be notified no later than noon on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.
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. What happens if I win?
A. You will receive a piece of $2,000 in cash prizes, which can you use to validate and develop your big idea, if you choose to pursue it.
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 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. 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/opportunity, 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 one of the Miller Competition Series directors.
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.