What’s Your Big Idea?

Only 2 Weeks Left to Apply to the UC Big Ideas Contest!


By Emily Denny


Do you have an early-stage, social-impact driven idea? Are you a student looking for the support and resources necessary to solve important issues that matter to your generation?


Apply to the Big Ideas Contest by November 20!


Every year the Big Ideas Contest supports aspiring student innovators across the entire University of California system by providing the resources they need to launch, fund and scale their “big idea.” Since its founding in 2006, over 7,000 students have participated, from 100 different majors, collaborating on over 2,400 proposals. Big Ideas has awarded $2.4 million in prizes across over 400 winning teams. These teams have used this modest seed funding — and the targeted mentorship provided by a network of over 1,500+ judges, mentors and sponsors — to collectively secure over $650 million in additional investment.


Students receive extensive feedback from judges, access to skill development workshops and networking opportunities, and are connected with experts for a 6-week mentorship period during the final round. They also have the chance to win up to $20,000 in awards! 


So, why should you apply? Our Big Ideas alumni explain it best.

“The Big Ideas process turned our idea into a plan. Big Ideas challenges participants to develop innovative yet feasible solutions to society’s gnarliest issues. Big Ideas has opened doors to additional funding and growth opportunities. ”
Ryan Barr
Ryan BarrRepurpose Energy
“The Big Ideas Contest was an amazing adventure, which really helped me transform a somehow crazy idea into a promising social enterprise.“
Christelle Rohaut
Christelle RohautCodi
“Big Ideas ends up being much more than an award, because it gives you that confidence to go forward. As soon as we got the news we had won, that was the first time we said, ‘Hey, let’s give up what we we’re doing and follow our passion.’”
Alejandro Veléz
Alejandro VelézBack to the Roots
“Big Ideas has pushed our business forward in ways we could have never imagined. In just a few months, we went from a couple guys selling fish to a formal company ready for launch.”
Mike Mitchell
Mike MitchellAcarí
“The entire Big Ideas process, from start to finish, led us to ask tough questions early on and hold ourselves accountable beyond the world of academia.”
Ann Wooten
Ann WootenPop-Up Radio Archive

Take a risk, and use your skills and passion to solve important social issues! 

Apply by November 20th, 12:00 Noon! 

Looking for more information? Check out our website for more information on this year’s application requirement and details on how to apply!