Big iDeas

What are Big iDeas contests?


Big iDeas Pitch Contest: Get your idea off the ground. Pitch it for a chance at $1000 seed money and three months to build a prototype or pilot program. Show it to the campus at the Demo Day fair.

Big iDeas Business Plan Competition: Turn your prototype or pilot into a business plan. Pitch it to a panel of business experts for $5000 in start-up funds. After twelve months, show your progress at the Demo Day fair.

Here's how it Works:

Big iDeas supports the incubation of ideas and development of entrepreneurial enterprises by SMU undergraduates.

The Pitch Contest and Business Plan Competition are annual events for undergraduates to pitch creative or innovative ideas that provide value to society. Ideas can be new products as well as ones that solve a problem or improve an existing service. Big iDeas are those ideas that are viable and bring positive impact to others.

The Pitch Contest is held on the Friday of SMU Family Weekend Friday in the fall semester.

The Business Plan Competition is held on the Friday of Engaged Learning Week, typically the first full week of February in the spring semester. That Friday is also known as Big iDeas Demo Day.

The Demo Day fair is when current and past Big iDeas winning students showcase their innovative prototypes or student businesses for the SMU and larger communities. It is a wonderful opportunity, open to all, for students to meet successful entrepreneurs, business owners, alumni, investors and others. And the Big iDeas Business Plan winners are announced at the fair.

SMU encourages undergraduate students to participate. The Pitch Contest deadline is Wednesday, 11:59 pm, before the Pitch Contest; the Business Plan deadline is Sunday, 11:59 pm, before the Business Plan competition.

SMU selects contestants based on the appropriateness of the idea on a first come first serve basis.

There can be as many winning pitches and business plans as there are Big iDeas identified by the judges.

Winning Big iDeas Pitch teams receive up to $1000 in seed money to build a prototype of their idea by the time of the Big iDeas Demo Day fair early in the spring semester.

Winning Big iDeas Business Plan teams receive up to $5000 in start-up funds to kick-start or accelerate their businesses. 

Timetable of Big iDeas Dates and Deadlines

2017 BIG IDEAS PITCH CONTEST

SEP 20

Apply to Big iDeas during annual application cycle - by 11:59pm.

SEP 22

Pitch at the Big iDeas Pitch Contest for $1000 seed money and three months to make it happen.

OCT- JAN

Build prototype or pilot project over next 3 months. 
May also choose to develop big idea as a business plan.

FEB 9

Present results at Demo Day fair. Stop or continue to Big iDeas Business Plan.

2018 BIG IDEAS BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

FEB 4

Apply to Big iDeas Business Plan Competition by 11:59 pm on this date.

FEB 9

Pitch Big iDeas Business Plan for $5000 and one year to launch business.

FEB this year to JAN next year

Launch business with $5000 in start-up funds.

Early Spring Semester 2019

Present results at next year's Demo Day fair. Stop or compete for continued funding in the next Big iDeas Business Plan Competition.

View Calendar

2017 Pitch Contest Winners

Meet
BLVD BICYCLE PROJECT



Meet
SMU ROBOTICS CLUB


Meet
DALLAS COMMUNITY BAIL FUND


BLVD BICYCLE PROJECT
Ryan Bostick '18 will bring a shared bicycle transportation to SMU students after completing a swipe-to-unlock system.
SMU ROBOTICS CLUB
Jaime Diez '19 is developing an approach to teach middle school students engineering and problem-solving skills through robotics.

DALLAS COMMUNITY BAIL FUND
Greg Guggenmos's '19 program will ensure that bail and justice for all exists for even the needy citizens of Dallas. 

Meet
JUST DRIVE



Meet 
FORUST


Meet
SPOT


JUST DRIVE
Neha Husein '19 is designing an app that awards points and incentives to drivers to stop texting.
FORUST
Visakh Madathil '20 is creating a social impact network to improve our community by connecting how social organizations connect, communicate, and effectively use their resources.

SPOT
Alex Martin '21 and his team are going to build an exclusive site for SMU student to safely buy and sell goods and services.

Meet 
THE TOWNHALL PROJECT



Meet
THE HAPPY INSTITUTE


Meet
SIGNO CAPITAL


THE TOWNHALL PROJECT
Geehsikha Pathak '18 is developing a discussion site on an app-based platform to facilitate understanding and interpretation of news and information within an empathetic, inclusive, and non-threatening environment.
THE HAPPY INSTITUTE
Kaya Reingold '20 is scaling her program to increase kindness, compassion, and empathy to improve the world in which we live.


SIGNO CAPITAL
Alex Williams '21, through the crypto market, will help you thoughtfully, intelligently, and safely invest your money and grow your wealth.

Meet
ALTERNATIVE WEBSITE MONETIZATION




ALTERNATIVE WEBSITE MONETIZATION
Luke Wood '18 will help millenials experience less advertisement and a more direct experience with their chosen content online through an in-browser enthereum miner.



2017 Business Plan Competition Winners

Meet
CITY MIXR



Meet
BARHOP


CITY MIXR
John Mullin ’18 creates an app that connects people to local events so you spend less time exploring the internet, and more time exploring your city.
BARHOP
Brandon McFarlane, Jean Brigonnet created an app that combines the approachability of SMS texting with the power of a web application to streamline ordering and payment of drinks at a crowded bar

 

2016 Pitch Contest Winners

Meet
CITY MIXR



Meet
IMAGINE X INSPIRE


Meet
THE BRIGHT SIDE FOUNDATION


CITY MIXR
John Mullin ’18 creates an app that connects people to local events so you spend less time exploring the internet, and more time exploring your city.
IMAGINE X INSPIRE
Brandon Cohanim ’18 employs the homeless to collect unused food from local restaurants to feed the area‘s homeless communities.


THE BRIGHT SIDE FOUNDATION
Francois Reihani ’17 supports efforts to help the homeless transition into the workplace through training, support, and personal care.

Meet
SMART TRACK



Meet
DANCE APPAREL


Meet
SPARK PLUG


SMART TRACK
Drew Evans ’18 creates a motion-activated LED light strip that allows swimmers to track and register their speed in real time, and compare their performance with data from the pros.
DANCE APPAREL
Daniela Aguin ’17 introduces a new level of customization into traditional dancewear – adjustable dance apparel for all body types and affordable for all wallets.


SOCIAL-IMPACT CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM
Angelica Reisch ’18 creates a funding portal for social impact start-ups to find investors who are passionate about improving communities and raise seed funding to support them.

Meet
LAUNCHPAD ACADEMY



Meet
PAT ON BACK


Meet
TUNED GUN SHOT SUPPRESSION


LAUNCHPAD ACADEMY
Lauren Morgan ’18 teaches children how to disassemble, reassemble and repair computers, giving them an early start in the technology field.
PAT ON BACK
Jett Monroe ’19 creates a social media app that lets anonymous users seek support. Comments are filtered to remove hate speech and combat cyberbullying.


TUNED GUN SHOT SUPPRESSION
Flint Mitchell ’17 develops tech that alters the sound of police gunshots enabling officers to recognize whether the shooter is a fellow officer or not.

2016 Business Plan Competition Winners

Meet
HOME RUN DELIVERIES, LLC.



Meet
EMERGENT SERVICES, LLC.


Meet
COLLEGE BOUND



Home Run Deliveries, LLC.
Andrew Elias ‘19, Nayla Chalhou ‘17, Hannah Taylor ‘16, and Joey McAteer ‘16 create an app that will enable people to order food from the concession stands at sporting events and have it delivered to their seat.
Emergent Services, LLC.
Jason Waller ’17 alleviates the problems veterans face as they transition from active duty by working with insurance companies to employ veterans as Independent Property-Insurance Adjusters.


College Bound
Anna Norkett ’16 and Olivia Nguyen ’17, expand a Saturday enrichment program that prepares low-income, first-generation students to both gain admission to and succeed in college.

Meet
BIOLUM



Meet
READING FOR A REASON


Meet
LEVIATHAN



Biolum
Jack Reynolds ‘15, Edward Allegra ‘16, Miguel Quimbar ’17 develop a smartphone based imaging system that is able to diagnose, monitor, and help treat asthma.
Reading For a Reason
Meghan Scott ‘17, Katie Meier ‘16, Margie Anderson ‘17, Caroline Carter ‘18, Emily Towler ‘16, Pranav Pradeep ‘19, Jordan Vallee ‘18, Kayce Pederson ‘16, Maddie Herskind ‘16, and Mckenzie Korsi ’19 will hold a third annual event promote literacy among elementary students in underprivileged parts of Dallas and to educate their parents how best to support their young students.


Leviathan
Tor Lundstrom ‘18 and Arthur Work ‘18 create a computer privacy solution that is versatile and simple to use. From corporations to the casual surfer, their displays provide the user with the highest level of discretion and safety.

2015 Pitch Contest Winners

Meet
BARHOP



Meet
CAMPUS CONCIERGE


Meet
CROWD SURFERS



Barhop
Brandon McFarlane, Jean Brigonnet

BARHOP is an app that combines the approachability of SMS texting with the power of a web application to streamline ordering and payment of drinks at a crowded bar
Campus Concierge
Tristan Sandor, Alejandro Roman, Brian McCarthy

CAMPUS CONCIERGE is an app that gives college students up to date information on events, locations and general information about everything that SMU provides out of the classroom, automating info based on relevancy to the user.


Crowd Surfers
Christopher Alfano, Lindsey Anderson

Crowd Surfers is an app that lets customers know about wait times at local businesses.

Meet
FIDDLER



Meet
MEXICAN BINGO


Meet
MUSTANGO



Fiddler
Jonah Kirby, Cameron Buller, Alec Siems, Brendan Celii, Luke Oglesbee

Fiddler, a clean energy alternative, is a consumer wind turbine designed to work on a house or commercial building rooftop.
Mexican Bingo
Roberto Hernandez, Tatiana Marinez

Mexican Bingo is an app that lets people play Mexican Bingo across borders, spreading awareness of and introducing the younger generation to the Hispanic tradition of community bingo.


MustanGo
Yuhze Huang, Shiqui Guo, Yangdong Shang, Abe Prawiromaruto, Harvey Hauw

MustanGo is a carpooling and social networking app for SMU students who have a shared interest in an off-campus destination.

Meet
MOTUS



Meet
N-CASE



Meet
BOOTSTRAPPERS




Motus
Sasha Mohammad

MOTUS is an app that serves as a database of blood types available nationally.
N-Case
Tor Lundstrom, Arthur Work

N-Case is the mounting system of a case that is designed to carry a glucagon pen, a potential life-saving drug for diabetics.
Bootstrappers
Jason Waller

Bootstrappers is a start-up property claims adjusting firm that trains and employs veterans in the insurance industry trade of claims adjuster, as a pathway to a smooth transition to civilian life.

2015 Business Plan Competition Winners

Meet
BEYOND US CLOTHING

Meet
BIOLUM

Meet
HELPPLE

BEYOND US Clothing
Hunter Rice, J.P. Buxbaum

For-profit clothing company that partners with charities to help underprivileged children in the U.S. by offering unique t-shirt designs for each partnership and donating a portion of the sales to the charities with a focus on children and education.


BioLum Sciences
Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar, Jack Reynolds

A revolutionary smartphone–based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the US.
Helpple
Austin Wells, Irisa Ona

App that connects people who need help with people who are offering to help, be it tutoring, moving furniture, getting volunteers, building the next big idea.

Meet
OUT & ABOUT




Out & About
Renita Thapa, Sam Hubbard, Raz Friman

App that promotes local businesses and organizations by exposing its users to what is going on in the community for easy planning, exploring and getting to know the local area

 

 

2014 Pitch Contest Winners

Meet
BIOLUM

Meet
DOODLE BOARD

Meet
DVR FOR COLLEGE

BioLum Sciences
Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar, Jack Reynolds

A revolutionary smartphone–based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the US.
Doodle Board
Jorge Valdez, Joshua Musgrove Collaborative, cross-platform, web app drawing tool for use in classrooms, studios, at conferences, special events or even in coffee houses that allows for shared drawing of ideas through the internet.
DVR For College
Eric Straw, Eugene Massad

A DVR for college students that is subscription and provider free and only requires a cable, an Ethernet cord and HDMI.

Meet
ECHO

Meet
FULLY PRESENT

Meet
HELPPLE

     
ECHO
Andrew Burgess, Santiago Martinez, Wade Washmon

A music sharing platform that motivates users to purchase and share music from its registered artists, generating revenue for both the artist and the listener.
Fully Present
Kelly Ann Buddecke, Katherine Bentfield, Elizabeth Zuk

Activity monitor and notification system for the phone, recording the amount of time the user spends on messages, calls and social media accounts and notifying the public when the user chooses to turn it off and be fully present in the real world.
Helpple
Austin Wells, Irisa Ona

App that connects people who need help with people who are offering to help, be it tutoring, moving furniture, getting volunteers, building the next big idea.

Meet
KUNDALINI

Meet
MAXED OUT BY M.A.K.

Meet
THE NARI PROJECT

Kundalini
Kymberly Johnson, Kristen Carreno, Mark Lafferty

Wellness drink made of natural ingredients, free of caffeine, gluten, excess sugar and chemicals that detoxifies the body and increases metabolism.
Maxed out by M.A.K.
Maya Jones, Janay Higgins

Custom jewelry for every occasion, crafted with care and made to empower, giving back to society through its new girls outreach center in Fort Worth.
The Nari Project
Ashley Wali, Priya Chowdhari

An initiative that raises awareness about violence against women by donating kits of essential items to women in shelters in Dallas and abroad, and is now strengthening its link to the SMU campus.

Meet
OUT & ABOUT

Meet
SMU FOOD

 
     
Out & About
Renita Thapa, Sam Hubbard, Raz Friman

App that promotes local businesses and organizations by exposing its users to what is going on in the community for easy planning, exploring and getting to know the local area
SMU FOOD
Samuel Hunter, Gavin Pham, Conrad Appel

Online app that centralizes eating options on campus, including when the various campus cafeterias are open, daily menu options, service provided, user ratings and comments.
 

2014 Business Plan Competition Winners

Meet
COLLEGE BOUND

Meet
OASIS EXPRESS

Meet
FACT

     
College Bound
Anna Norkett, Janice Kim

Student enrichment program that pairs high school first year and sophomore students from Woodrow Wilson HS with current SMU students that mentor and tutor them in the skills necessary to succeed in college.
Oasis Express
Gabriella Padgett, Jewel Lipps, Alison Ina

Weekend shuttle service designed to give on-campus students easy access to local fresh food and fun from SMU to the White Rock Lake Farmer’s Market, outdoor activities on the lake and the SMU Bazaar, a tent at the market that showcases student work and business products.
FACT: Free Admissions Consulting Team
Jun-Ho Koh, Christo Mathew, Katie Logsdon, Zachary Farni, James Jang, Justin Wall

Non-profit that gives low-income students access to free, individualized mentoring and advice targeting every component of the college application process.

Meet
READING FOR A REASON


   
Reading for a Reason
Kayce Pederson, Emily Towler, Madeleine Herskind, Katie Meier, Margie Anderson

Annual on-campus read-a-thon that promotes literacy in young children, impacting students from low performing schools and their parents and guardians.