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Reserve Your Seat at the 2017 Big Idea Competition Final

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An annual celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation at UT Dallas.

The Final Pitch event of the Big Idea Competition (BIC) has become the annual celebration of entrepreneurship at UT Dallas. This year the Final Pitch will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building’s Auditorium. Students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to support new business innovations and learn from our celebrity judges.

Celebrate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Five semifinalists selected from this year’s applications will be competing for the top three awards. This year, four additional award categories will make their debut: Best Social Enterprise, Best Undergraduate Team, Biggest/Most Innovative and Best Diversity. More than $20,000 in cash and scholarship prizes will be announced and granted to the top finishers.


“Realize that there are people competing with you and you’re going to have to go out there and do the work in order to be successful. So, one simple message: Ideas are easy, doing the work is hard. You have to do the work.” 
— Mark Cuban’s remarks at BIC 2015.

During the Final Pitch, participants also will be able to meet and learn from our judges and speakers, who are business leaders and entrepreneurs from different industries and startups.

This year, we’re excited to welcome Guy Kawasaki as the celebrity guest and a Final Pitch judge. Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, global Mercedes-Benz ambassador, former chief evangelist of Apple, as well as a best-selling author and venture capitalist. Final Pitch’s attendees will have a chance to receive one of Kawasaki’s best-selling books, The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2015).

From the left: At the 2015 competition judges Swapnil Bora, MBA’11, a 2010 competition winner, and Lea Nesbit, CEO and co-founder of Natural Dental Implants, with undergraduate second-place winner Noa Barazani, judge Mark Cuban, Shark Tank star and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Barazani’s teammate Anshul Pandey and judge Eve Mayer, founder and CEO of Social Media Delivered

From the left: At the 2015 competition judges Swapnil Bora, MBA’11, a 2010 competition winner, and Lea Nesbit, CEO and co-founder of Natural Dental Implants, with undergraduate second-place winner Noa Barazani, judge Mark Cuban, Shark Tank star and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Barazani’s teammate Anshul Pandey and judge Eve Mayer, founder and CEO of Social Media Delivered


Cheer for Your Fellow Comets

BIC is not just a student competition. Our past competitors have successfully launched their ventures and are expanding their businesses. Jindal School classmates Corey Egan, MBA’10, and Swapnil Bora, MBA’11, won the competition in 2010 and took their $5,000 prize to establish their smart LED lightbulb company, iLumi Solutions. After successful campaigns on crowdfunding platforms Indiegogo and Kickstarter, Corey and Swapnil took their smart bulb onto NBC’s Shark Tank.

BIC 105 winners Kiran Devaprasad, MS’16 and EMBA’16, and William White, EMBA’16, MS’17, created an innovative tracking platform called TraceIT to make tracking drivers and their loads easy, regardless where they are. TraceIT later earned another $25,000 in seed money and office space at the Venture Development Center and secured $500,000 investment that, as of 2017, gives the company a valuation of $2 million.

“At early stages of a startup, it’s important to really manage your money and funding, because oftentimes that’s the one limitation to getting it off the ground.”
– Corey Egan, MBA’11, a BIC 2015 winner and iLumi co-founder

This year, the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship brings greater funding to student entrepreneurs. The winning team can receive up to $15,000 in cash and scholarship prizes, with additional funding opportunities from on-campus entrepreneurship programs, such as Startup Launch and the UT Dallas Seed Fund.

Early-Bird Registration Is Now Open!

The event is free for staff, faculty and current UT Dallas students (with a valid UT Dallas email address and Comet card) and open to the public starting at $5 per ticket.

Check the 2017 Big Idea Competition Final Pitch page to learn more.

Thao Duong

Thao is an MS in Business Analytics student at the Naveen Jindal School of Management and a student worker at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She previously worked as a marketing manager for a cloud computing startup. Thao is now looking for a new opportunity to combine her marketing experiences and analytics skills in a fast-moving environment. During her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, watching Netflix and planning for her next vacation. Read more articles

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