Big Idea Competition

UCF’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars Entrepreneurship Program is encouraging ALL UCF students across ALL disciplines to engage their creative and critical thinking skills to propose BIG IDEAS that could ignite change and make things better.

Big Idea Competition Logo

Event Details

This inclusive competition challenges students to describe a problem, present a solution, and provide credible evidence that allows others to judge your idea’s potential value. BIG IDEAS are clear, compelling, and credible. They tell a memorable and believable story that engages others interests and imagination. This is how entrepreneurial leaders ignite change with the power of their ideas!

Important Dates

Information Sessions
To be determined

Application Deadline
To be determined

The Big Idea Competition will award up to $2,500

This inclusive competition challenges students to describe a problem, present a solution, and provide credible evidence that allows others to judge your idea’s potential value.
Why Bother?

The BIG IDEA competition will award $2,500 to the top four finalists – $1,000 for 1st, $750 for 2nd, $500 for 3rd, and $250 for fourth place.

  • 1st Place: $1,000
  • 2nd Place: $750
  • 3rd Place: $500
  • 4th Place: $250

The competition offers you an opportunity to share and get feedback on your ideas.

You will join a “tribe” of engaged students who care about other peoples’ problems and want to introduce innovative solutions to society. You’ll be in good company!

You’ll practice the creative and critical thinking skills used by entrepreneurial leaders to make things better. Practice will make YOU better!

How to Prepare
  1. Pick a problem you care about, learn about the problem, develop empathy for people who are frustrated by current alternatives, and use your creativity to develop a BIG IDEA that could make things better.
  2. Create a BIG IDEA video that…
    1. Is less than 3 minutes long, posted to a popular video streaming site (e.g., YouTube or Vimeo), and set to “public” viewing so judges can view your submission. You can set this to private after the competition if you’d like. It is your responsibility to test your video before submitting. In order to be fair to all competitors, the 3-minute time limit will be strictly enforced.
    2. Includes you for at least one minute of the video – YOU are the star attraction so it’s important for you to introduce yourself and let people see you.
    3. Offers at least one visual aid (picture, chart, object, bullet list, video clip, etc.) to help people understand your problem, target audience/customer, solution, supporting evidence, etc… Your video may use any combination of elements you choose including explanations, demonstrations, screen captures, voice over’s of PowerPoint slides, etc…
    4. Submissions that do not meet these guidelines will not be eligible for the final round of the competition.
How to Win
  1. Produce a good quality video that showcases your expertise and enthusiasm AND provides a clear and credible description of your BIG IDEA. Some easy approaches to this include:
    1. Show and tell: Tell your story as you present a demo of your solution.
    2. Reporter: Stand next to a big screen monitor and present your idea (be careful about lighting – avoid reflections).
    3. PowerPoint: Use the “Record Slide Show” feature to record a video of a presentation with you on screen (be sure to leave room on the slides for you to appear – you can adjust the size of your video frame like a picture).
    4. Loom: This platform allows you to record a video up to 5 minutes with a free account and is great to capture what’s on your screen with you in the corner to explain things.
    5. Video editors: Obviously, you can use other, more advanced video editing software. However, this competition is won more on substance than style, so be careful not to over-invest in production value.
  2. Get Coached! How can you win without a coach? The Blackstone LaunchPad has coaches available both face-to-face and virtually (via Zoom) every weekday. Visit the LaunchPad’s coaching page to pick and schedule a free, confidential, one-on-one meeting with an expert startup coach. You’ll be amazed at how much you can improve with the help of a mentor!
  3. Follow the script and meet the competition criteria:
    1. Begin by introducing yourself.
    2. Support assertions/characterizations with credible evidence.
    3. Offer a clear description of the people you seek to help.
    4. Demonstrate empathy by providing clear descriptions and evidence related to the frustrations they experience with the problem and current solutions.
    5. Offer a clear description of your solution (visualizations can help here)
    6. Explain ways in which your solution is better than existing alternatives.
    7. Describe the impact you hope you will have–how will you make things better for others (what does does success look like?)