12th Annual “Big Idea Competition” Calls for UTD Student Creations

Budding entrepreneurs of the UTD community have from now until October 1 to apply for the contest.

UT Dallas’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is accepting applications for its 12th annual “Big Idea Competition” – North Texas’s largest university startup contest – through Oct. 1, 2018. 

The competition is available exclusively to undergraduate and graduate students at UTD, with both entrepreneurship and student pitch competition awards. 

All selected winners of the entrepreneurship awards are granted a $5,000 prize to help fund their ideas. But, if chosen for the grand prize (dubbed the UTD Startup Challenge), a student could take home $20,000. Categories for the entrepreneurship portion of the contest include:

  • Innovate(her)
  • Best Undergraduate Pitch
  • Biggest Social Impact
  • Biggest Idea


Student Pitch Competition Awards, the second category in the BIC contest, will be offering a grand prize of $25,000, second prize of $10,000, and third prize of $5,000 to student groups that make it to the finals. 

The goal of BIC is to motivate students to think and create, and according to the contest’s homepage, the final competition is “one of the most celebrated nights of entrepreneurship in North Texas and recognizes the entrepreneurial progress of UT Dallas students, staff, faculty, and alumni.”

Ideas are filtered through a panel of judges, and then celebrity guest judges are brought in for the final round. Last year’s celebrity guest judge was Garage Ventures Founder Guy Kawasaki, and in 2015 BIC welcomed Mark Cuban, notorious “Shark Tank” entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. This year’s celebrity guest judge has not yet been announced.  

Each of the seven competition categories has only one winner. Last year’s winners included: 

  • Neuro RehabVR
  • CThrough
  • OnPoynt Aerial Solutions
  • Simple Biomedical
  • Brain Performance Institute
  • Skyven Technologies 
  • AltaAir


Contest finals will be held at the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building on UT Dallas’s campus in Richardson. If you are a current undergraduate or graduate student at UTD, you can apply here.

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