The Next Big Idea Challenge

The Next Big Idea Challenge is an online competition for VCU staff to submit ideas for a new company, product, or service and the chance to win up to $1,400 in cash, just in time for the holidays!

Winners will be judged and awarded based on their submission and the number of votes they received from the public. While only VCU staff can submit an application, anyone can vote for their favorite submission.

Applicants can win more than one category, so the total potential award is $1,400!

Applicants can win more than one category. Total potential award is $1,400!

Who Should Apply

The competition is open to all VCU staff. Applicants should apply if they have an idea for a new company, product, or service. Ideas can be at the concept stage or can be a project the applicant is already working on. Submissions should highlight the innovative approach your idea uses to solve a problem.


Submissions will open on November 18th, 2019 and close on December 13th, 2019. Winners will be announced by December 17th and awards will be processed and delivered after necessary information is gathered from the winners.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the VCU Ventures team. Contest submissions will be scored based on the following criteria:

    The Problem (5 Points)

  • Is the problem clearly outlined?
  • Is data or information given to confirm the problem?

    The Solution (5 Points)

  • Is the solution clearly described?
  • Does the solution address the problem effectively?
  • Is this solution realistic/ feasible?

    Expertise Neeeded (Bonus 2 Points)

  • Does the applicant have a team formed or did they list areas of expertise they would need assistance from to move the project forward?


The Next Big Idea Award


People's Choice Award


Runner Up (x2)