The Big Idea Center hosts various programs and competitions for all Pitt students throughout the year

Please note that all fall Big Idea Center programs will be held virtually. Additionally, the Big Idea Center office at G50 GSCC is closed for the remainder of 2020. For more information, please contact us.

Spring 2021

Spring 2021 will operate virtually unless otherwise noted. Days and times for our Spring 2021 events are tentative and are subject to change.

She Innovates – February 5-7, Discord

The Women in Computer Science (WiCS), School of Computing and Information, and the Big Idea Center are delighted to bring you She Innovates, Pitt’s only all-women hackathon.  This hackathon is for all female students – undergraduates and graduates – in the Greater Pittsburgh area with or without a computer science background!  Come for a weekend filled with hacking, technical talks, mentorship, and fun!

Learn More

Big Idea Blitz – February 12 & 13, Zoom

Join us for a 24-hour idea, pitch development competition where you will be able to pitch your idea,  work with entrepreneurs in residence, and win prizes.

Learn More

Start Smart Series – TBA

The Start Smart series hosts various seminars and workshops throughout the semester that cover a wide range of legal topics for startup businesses. During each event, you will be able to learn from K&L Gates’s startup lawyers and gain valuable insight on how to legally start/run your startup.

Learn More

Randall Family Big Idea Competition – February through early April, Zoom

This competition is an experience-based learning opportunity for Pitt students with Big Ideas who enjoy working in diverse teams to bring those ideas to life.  It is open to all Pitt undergraduate and graduate students across all schools and departments.  Discover how to take your idea to the next level towards startup creation.  This competition spans February and March of each year and awards a total of $100,000 in cash prizes to winning teams, with a grand prize of $25,000 given to the team with the most startup promise.  Since its inception in 2009, the competition has attracted hundreds of interdisciplinary teams seeking to bring their Big Ideas to market.

Learn More


Blast Furnace – May through July (tentative timeline for Summer 2021)

The Blast Furnace is Pitt’s student accelerator providing access to a deep mentor network, inspirational co-working space, and a rich curriculum preparing student startups for creating and growing their businesses.

Learn More


The Forge

Pitt students and alumni who have developed advanced ideas and startup projects are eligible to apply for the Forge, Pitt’s newest program for ongoing startup incubation.

Learn more

Innovation Living Learning Community

This first-year, on-campus, living experience is a partnership between the Big Idea Center, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (A&S), Residence Life, School of Computing and Information (SCI), and Swanson School of Engineering (SSoE).

Learn More

Looking for info on past events?

Learn More