Workshops & Events

Information on this page will be frequently updated, so keep checking back for additional details on these events and more.  Recordings will be made available following each livestream event (see “Past Events & Recordings” section below).

: Live Stream Available

: Online Appointments Available

: In-Person Participation Opportunity

: Remote Participation Opportunity

2020-2021 Big Ideas Final Round Kickoff & Social Innovation Speaker Series #1: Edvisorly (2020 Big Ideas Winner)

Tuesday, February 16th, 5:30pm-7:00pm

The kickoff event will introduce final round teams and their mentors to the full-proposal application requirements and judging criteria. We will also cover best practices for maximizing your mentor-mentee relationship. Edvisorly, joined by their Big Ideas mentor, will share their inspiring startup story and strategies and tips for the final round! (Open to all 2020-2021 Big Ideas Finalists and Mentors) RSVP HERE

2020-2021 Big Ideas Full Proposal Writing Workshop

February 24th (5:00pm – 6:30pm)

Finalists will receive guidance and feedback about how to effectively craft their full-proposal application and application video. The Big Ideas Team will share proposal examples, discuss best practices, and answer any questions you may have about the final round. Then attendees will have the opportunity to speed-network, share information on their innovation and learn about the other projects in the final round. (Open to all 2020-2021 Big Ideas Finalists and Mentors) RSVP HERE

Big Ideas Social Innovator Speaker Series #2: Respira Labs (2019 Grand Prize Finalist)

March 4th (12:00pm- 12:45pm)

How do you build a network? How does an early stage start up gain visibility? Hear from Maria Artunduaga, the Founder and CEO of Respira Labs, about her startup journey and how she leveraged social media, entrepreneurship programs, and outreach channels to expand her networks and expand the visibility of her company. (Open to the public) RSVP HERE

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch Workshop

March 8th (5:00pm – 6:30pm)

Join us to learn how you can create the most impactful and effective elevator pitch. In this workshop we will discuss expectations for the pitch video requirement and how you can create the best pitch possible. In the second half of the workshop, we will dive into a working session so you have an opportunity to begin crafting your perfect pitch. (Open to all 2020-2021 Big Ideas Applicants) RSVP HERE

Practice Your Pitch & Feedback

March 11th (5:00pm – 6:00pm)

Now that you have had a chance to work on your pitch, it’s time to put it to the test. Pitch your Big Idea to our network of judges and mentors and gain valuable feedback before the application deadline, April 7th, 1pm. (Open to all 2020-2021 Big Ideas Applicants)

Build a Budget Workshop

March 16th (5:00pm – 7:00pm)

Now that you have your Big Idea, how do you finance it? How do you figure out how much you need? For early stage innovators, this can be a challenge. In the first part of the workshop we will go over the required elements for the budget and discuss examples. In the second half,  we will dive into a working session where you begin outlining your budget and can ask questions along the way.  (Open to all Big Ideas Finalists and Mentors) RSVP HERE

Big Ideas Social Innovator Speaker Series #3: Takachar (2016 Big Ideas Winner)

March 18th (12:00pm- 12:45pm)

If you wanted to transform a research discovery into a social venture, how would you do it? Learn from Dr. Kevin Kung how his social venture, Takachar, combats climate change by transforming massive amounts of waste biomass into marketable products around the world.  (Open to the public) RSVP HERE

Industry Advising Clinic

March 31st (4:00pm – 7:00pm)

Meet one-on-one with expert advisors from the Big Ideas network to discuss your innovative ideas. The experts bring robust technical expertise and will share constructive feedback based on their years of experience advising and coaching startups. The list of experts will be shared in advance and students can sign up for 45 minute advising appointments. This session fills up fast, so look out for an announcement in the Big Ideas Newsletter in mid-March.

Final Proposal Editing Blitz

April 1st & 2nd, 5 & 6th (all day)

With only a few days left before the final round deadline (April 7th), come and receive last minute advice and help with your pre-proposal. Take advantage of this final opportunity to meet with the Big Ideas staff to fine-tune your full proposal and/or application video. (Open to all Big Ideas Finalists)

Big Ideas Innovator Speaker Series & Information Session #3

Featuring: Thibault Duchemin, Founder & CEO, Ava

October 26, 5:30pm PT  | 120 Blum Hall, UC Berkeley & Livestream

Thibault Duchemin will discuss about the origins of his startup, Ava, a live-captioning platform that is breaking down communication barriers between the deaf & hearing worlds. He’ll talk about his experiences, and share lessons he’s learned over the past five year as he transformed his Big Idea into a venture-backed startup. Then, find out how you can get involved with the Big Ideas Contest and be on your way towards building your own successful social ventures — rules, requirements, eligibility and tips for participating in the 2021-2022 Big Ideas Contest. RSVP Here (Required For In-Person and Virtual Attendees)

Upcoming Events

Pre-proposal Writing Workshop: Landscape Analysis & Proposed Innovation

October 28, 6:00pm PT  | 120 Blum Hall UC Berkeley & Livestream

Receive guidance and feedback on how to effectively craft your Big Ideas pre-proposal. Big Ideas advisors will walk you through every element that is required in your 3-page pre-proposal submission and any answer questions you have. Then, this workshop will include a “deep-dive” on the Landscape Analysis section of the pre-proposal, which is routinely cited by Big Ideas judges as a common weakness in applications. Attendees will learn strategies and tips for conducting their market assessments and landscape analyses, as well as guidance on framing their innovation in a clear and compelling manner. The Big Ideas advisors will offer a lot of advice and best practices based upon their analysis of judging feedback about what works and common pitfalls to avoid. RSVP Here (Required For In-Person and Virtual Attendees)

Big Ideas Spotlight: Blackbook University

The Power of Community:
Unpacking Entrepreneurship in Underrepresented Communities

Nov 2, 6pm PT  | 120 Blum Hall, UC Berkeley & Livestream

Join us for a panel discussion and hear from the Blackbook University team about how they navigated the entrepreneurship space to become this year’s Big Ideas Grand Prize winner! RSVP Here  

Big Ideas Innovator Speaker Series & Information Session #4 Featuring: Amelia Phillips, Founder & CEO, Somo

November 9, 12:00pm PT | 120 Blum Hall, UC Berkeley & Livestream

Learn how Amelia Phillips turned her Big Idea into a high-impact business accelerator that enables entrepreneurs to launch and grow businesses in marginalized communities — graduating over 600 entrepreneurs, funding 138 businesses, and creating jobs for over 2,500 people in Kenya. RSVP Here (Required For In-Person and Virtual Attendees)

Industry Advising Clinic

November 10 | 4 pm PT| Zoom Advising Appointments 

Come meet one on one with expert advisors from the Big Ideas network to discuss your innovative ideas and critical guidance and constructive feedback. The experts bring years of experience advising and coaching startups along with robust technical expertise. The list of experts will be shared in advance and students can sign up for 30 minute advising appointments. This session fills up fast, so look out for an announcement in the Big Ideas Newsletter in October. Register here.

Pre-Proposal Editing Blitz

November 15 & 17 | All Day | 120 Blum Hall, UC Berkeley & Zoom Appointments 

With only a few days left before the pre-proposal deadline (Nov. 18th), come and receive last-minute advice on your pre-proposal application. Take advantage of this final opportunity to fine-tune your pre-proposal and receive feedback by signing up for an advising appointment with a member of the Big Ideas advising staff.

Pre-proposal Deadline

November 18 | Due 1pm PT | Online submission 

Deadline to submit your pre-proposal! Please carefully read all of the instructions on the Big Ideas application page and allow at least 30-45 minutes to complete the entire application/upload process. Late submissions will not be accepted, so make sure to contact us if you have any questions. 

Past Events & Recording

Pre-proposal Writing Workshop: Landscape Analysis & Proposed Innovation

Pre-proposal Writing Workshop: Framing and Communicating the Problem

Inspiration & Information Session: With Sumita Jonak, CEO & Founder, NurLabs

Inspiration & Information Session: With Paige Balcom, CEO & Founder, Takataka Plastics

2021 Big Ideas Grand Prize Pitch Competition

2021 Big Ideas People's Choice Pitch Competition

Big Ideas Social Innovator Speaker Series #3: Takachar

Big Ideas Social Innovator Speaker Series #2: Respira Labs

Big Ideas Final Round Kickoff & Social Innovation Speaker Series #1: Edvisorly

Inspiration & Information Session: With Ryan Barr, COO, RePurpose Energy

2020 Big Ideas Grand Prize Pitch Day

Inspiration & Information Session: With Christelle Rohaut, Cofounder & CEO, Codi