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?
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. ”