Big Ideas is a yearlong innovation contest that provides up to $10K in seed funding, resources, mentorship and recognition to student-led, social ventures.

The Big Ideas Contest supports innovative and high-impact student initiatives aimed at solving the world’s most pressing problems. Open to all 10 University of California campuses, Big Ideas attracts an exceptionally diverse pool of undergraduate and graduate students across more than 85 academic disciplines. Big Ideas seeks out novel ideas then offers targeted training and support to social entrepreneurs as they navigate the earliest stages of the ideation process. In doing so, the Contest not only fosters a diverse pipeline of thousands of young innovators committed to social impact, but also ensures promising teams develop the capacity necessary to build successful start-ups.

Through workshops, advising, networks and mentorship, each year Big Ideas helps students develop sound proposals, implementation plans, and pitches for their ventures. The Contest provides the necessary connections, validation and seed funding to help kickstart winners’ ideas and prepare them to become viable candidates for additional funding and competitive opportunities. To date, Big Ideas alumni have gone on to raise $660+ million in additional funds, and secure places in top incubators and accelerators around the world.

Want to see if your idea is a good fit? Contact the UC Irvine Innovation Ambassador Yolanda La at lay@uci.edu to get involved!

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