thinkBIG! Challenge Entry Submission


thinkBIG! Challenge competitors develop ideas and submit innovative business concepts to compete for $9,000 in prizes and recognition as Veale Innovators.


Here you will find information about:

Competition rounds
The timeline

Competition Rounds

Round 1: Idea Development & Written Executive Summary Submission Round

Students start by forming a challenge team that explores and develops big ideas for entrepreneurial innovations for Northeast Ohio. Teams submit written Executive Summaries (10 slides max, .pdf) that include 6 building blocks for describing the idea: the problem, the solution, customers, the competition, revenue, and next steps.

Tools for Round 1:




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Judges for Round 1*

Round 2: Video Submission Round

Semifinalist teams are competing to become a Final Four Challenge team! To submit a video for judging, semifinalists must first upload a 60-second pitch video to YouTube, then submit the URL to us for Round 2 judging using an entry form that will become available after December 15, 2017.

Judges for Round 2

Round 3: Final Four – Live Pitch Challenge at the Summit on February 27, 2018

The Final Four Challenge teams make live pitches at the Summit and compete for the Grand Prize! Final pitch decks must be submitted using an entry form that will become available after February 19, 2018.

Judges for Round 3



For thinkBIG! Challenge Final Four teams
Grand Prize Team – $5,000 cash (teams must split)
Other Three Final Four Teams – $1,000 each (teams must split)
Each Final Four team member also receives:
– 6-month access to Fownders Online Academy ($580 value)
– Veale Innovator Medals
For Mini Maker Hackathon team at the Summit
– Each First Place team member is awarded a $50 gift card


For School Sponsoring the Grand Prize Team
Wildfire Education Workshop for Entrepreneurial Studies – One seat ($1,100 value)
– Traveling Veale Innovation Cup Trophy


August, 2017: School Registration Opens
December 1, 2017: Written Submissions (Executive Summaries) Due
December 4-13, 2017: Judging Window Round 1
December 15, 2017: Semifinalists Announced
January 19, 2018: Semifinalists’ 60-Second Videos Due
January 22 – February 9, 2018: Judging Window Round 2
February 9, 2018: ThinkBIG! Summit Open Registration Deadline (if space is available)
February 14, 2018: Final Four Announced
February 27, 2018: thinkBIG! Summit


*Judges for all rounds may be added or changed as required.