Big Ideas Challenge Adds High Tech Division

The Big Ideas Challenge (BIC) venture competition has a new High-Tech Division with an additional prize of $4000!

January 13, 2021 |

The Big Ideas Challenge is a new venture competition that encourages and celebrates innovative business ideas. The competition includes three divisions—Open, Agriculture/Food/Beverage, and the newly designed High-Tech Division— and is open to Minnesota State Mankato students and alumni within two years of graduation. In addition, the High-Tech division is open to startups from across SW Minnesota. This year’s main event is on April 13, 2021.

If you have a business idea in the areas of:

  • Engineering
  • IT
  • Science
  • Online apps

Be sure to apply online by January 30th to compete for High-Tech prize money ($4000) as well as the Open division prize money (top prize of Open is $5000).

Business ideas

You don’t have to have a business plan, pitch, or even a prototype to apply.  Apply and the business ideas selected in Round 1 as finalists will be paired with business mentors and resources to help with these steps. 

Who can apply?

All Minnesota State Mankato students (and alumni within two years of graduation) are eligible.  Startups from SW MN can apply for the High-Tech Division also.

Applications and Rule Book
Review the Rules Apply by January 30 

This new division was made possible by the generous donation of Minnesota State Mankato alumnus Daren Cotter and his wife, Sarah and with support from LaunchMN, a statewide initiative to support and encourage high technology startups.  Daren’s business, InBox Dollars, connects consumers and advertisers and was acquired by leading consumer rewards platform Prodege, LLC in 2019.