Big Idea Competition 2017- Let’s Hear Your Big Idea

Center for Business & Economics Big Idea Competition

What’s the Big Idea?

The Center for Business & Economics Big Idea Competition is a funding request presentation contest open to all Allegheny students. Student teams present concepts in one of four areas: For-profit Business, Not-for-profit Social Venture, Research Project, or Community Engagement Initiative. The 10th Annual CBE Big Idea Competition will take place April 28-29, 2017, and a whopping total of $10,000 in prizes and trophies will be awarded. All majors are invited to participate!

Think You Might Have a Big Idea?

Big Idea Competition Winners from Environmental Science
Big Idea Competition Winners from Environmental Science

Successful presentations in past competitions have been about a mobile organic food market, a new music sharing app, an aquaponics research project, and an employment initiative for adults in the autism spectrum. Keep in mind that you need to develop a project that falls into one of the four categories above.

What Do You Need To Do?

Entering is easy. To register, email Sarah Holt at, Quigley Hall Coordinator or Prof. Chris Allison at,  Economics Department Entrepreneur in Residence.  They’ll provide additional information.

Then What?

Working with your team, you’ll develop a presentation using the 10-20-30 Rule; that is, you’ll prepare 10 PowerPoint slides for a pitch that is 20 minutes long, using text no smaller than 30-point type on each slide.

How Can You Prepare?

You can re-purpose your Junior Seminar or Senior Comprehensive Project, or take Econ 380 – Economics of Entrepreneurship II, which meets at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays during Spring semester. Class members will work on their Big Idea presentations for the full semester.  Pre-requisites are waived for this class. Email Professor Allison if you are interested in adding Econ 380.

Can’t fit Econ 380 in your schedule?  We are offering three Lunchtime Workshops in the spring to help you prepare for your Big Idea presentation.  Mark your calendars:
Tuesday, February 21
Tuesday, March 7
Tuesday, April 4

Why Bother?

Participation in the competition will look great on your resume. And there’s the matter of money. The First Prize Team receives $5,000 and a trophy, Second Prize is $2,500 and a trophy, and there are two Honorable Mention awards of $1,000 each, along with a trophy.

Registration:  Sarah Holt,,
Questions:  Prof. Chris Allison,

Let’s Hear Your Big Idea–register here by April 3, 2017