The focus of The Big Idea Competition is to pitch real startup ventures, not simply a pitch competition. The competition is intended for early stage startup ventures as opposed to already established operations. Competing teams can be a new startup or a significant new component or venture of an existing organization.
The Big Idea Competition will award cash prizes to the to the top pitches (as determined by the judges and audience) and provide them with an opportunity to have Co-working Space in the Madison Business Accelerator, and to participate in the Startup Academy Accelerator program.
The Big Idea Competition Rules and Requirements
The focus of The Big Idea competition should be on creating actual startup ventures, and not simply a pitch competition.
Pitches are to be no less than 2 minutes and no more than five minutes in length.
Teams shall be made up of at least two (2) members. More members are recommended. However, team size is capped at 8 members.
The presentation team shall include at least 2 members (if there are 2 or more team members).
Teams are encouraged to recruit members to cover the areas of expertise required for the particular startup.
No staff members of The Big Idea program, judges, or other individuals who have a conflict-of-interest may participate on teams.
The competition is intended for startup ventures as opposed to already existing operations. Competing teams can be a new startup, or a significant new component or venture of an existing organization. In short, the competition is intended to provide startup seed financing to advance an early stage startup.
The specific venture entering the competition must have been started within the last 2 years or less.
The startup doesn’t necessarily need to only exist ‘on paper’ -- in fact, having actual progress on the startup is a plus. This progress might include a prototype product, early customer validation, or early market traction. However, for those who have measurable progress, the startup must be in an early emerging (early validation) stage.
Teams must fulfill all of the requirements and deadlines of the published competitive process.
Teams must abide by all intellectual property laws, business laws, and the codes of conduct of their respective organizations.
What can you win?
1st Place $500
2nd Place: $300
3rd Place: $200
Audience Choice $300
*All winners we receive: six months of access to the Innovation Connector (Secure co-working space, and open space)