NEW ALBANY, Ind. – As the signature event of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023, The Next BIG Thing Pitch Contest is accepting entries that showcase innovative business ideas! Along with community partners including the Indiana Small Business Development Center, NovaParke Innovation & Technology Campus, Maker 13, The Main Street organizations, and Floyd County Library, Indiana University Southeast and IU Southeast School of Business are excited to celebrate entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit in Southern Indiana.
Entrepreneurs entering the competition will have the chance to present their ideas to a panel of experts, entrepreneurs, and mentors, who will provide valuable feedback and guidance on projects. Registrants will also compete with other talented individuals/teams from around southern Indiana and the best pitches will receive cash awards, mentorship, and exposure.
There are four categories for entry including the High School Fast Pitch, Community Fast Pitch, High School Pitch Tank, and Community Pitch Tank.
The High School Fast Pitch is for students/teams who have identified a problem to solve or a customer need, have executed market research, and have a rough business plan; however, they have not identified or finalized a minimum viable product or service to offer. Participants must be a student in any Indiana high school system.
The Community Fast Pitch is for individuals/teams who have identified a problem to solve/customer need, have executed market research, and have a rough business plan; however, they have not identified or finalized a minimum viable product or service to offer. Participants must be an Indiana resident or have an existing business organized within the state of Indiana. If the business is not yet organized, winning submissions must pledge to start the submitted business idea within the state of Indiana to receive financial prizes.
The High School Pitch Tank is for students/teams who have a completed business plan and have identified a specific minimum viable product or service to offer. Participants must be a student in any Indiana high school system.
The Community Pitch Tank is for individuals/teams who have a completed business plan and have identified a specific minimum viable product or service to offer. Participants must be an Indiana resident and have an existing established business in Indiana or pledge to start the submitted business plan/idea in Indiana.
Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023. The application must include a completed application, a three-minute elevator pitch video, and an executive summary, not to exceed 1,000 words. Finalists will be selected, and all applicants will be sent a notification email by Friday, November 10.
The Live Event will take place on Saturday, November 18, 2023, 1 p.m. – 5 P.M. in the IU Southeast Hoosier Room. An optional pitch workshop will be conducted before the Live Event.
Prizes include up to $11,000 in cash, office space at NovaParke Innovation & Technology Campus, memberships to Maker 13, and scholarships from IU Southeast and the Make Your Move Program.
“The Next BIG Thing Pitch Contest is more than just a competition,” said Dr. Aycan Kara, associate professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship. “This experience serves as a platform for nurturing entrepreneurial spirit and innovative business ideas. It aims to connect our community partners with established entrepreneurs and those who are just starting their journey.”
For more information or to submit a registration, visit the Next BIG Thing event page.