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 to walk-in visitors at this time. For more information, please contact us.

Spring 2022

The Big Idea Center will operate virtually unless otherwise noted. Days and times for our Spring 2022 events are tentative and are subject to change.


She Innovates | January 28-30, Hybrid (In-Person and Virtual)

The Women in Computer Science (WiCS), School of Computing and Information, and the Big Idea Center are delighted to bring you She Innovates, a weekend hackathon event celebrating women in tech!  This event is open to all 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!

Application deadline: January 21, 2022

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Big Idea Blitz | February 4-5, Zoom

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

Application deadline: January 28, 2022

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Randall Family Big Idea Competition | February-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.

Application deadline: February 11, 2022

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Big Idea Bootcamp | February 17 @ 5:00 P.M., Zoom

Do you have an idea you’re itching to explore? Are you curious about entrepreneurship but don’t know where to start? Are you thinking of participating in one of our student competitions? If you said yes to any of these questions, we invite you to join the Big Idea Center for our Big Idea Bootcamp! In a mere 2 hours you will learn key concepts for entrepreneurial success from our entrepreneurs in residence and other guest experts.

Registration deadline: February 17, 2022

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Big Idea Advantage Fund | March-April, Zoom

Our goal at the Big Idea Center is to provide students with the opportunity to take their ideas from concept to reality. We are thrilled to be able to take this mission one step further by introducing the Big Idea Advantage Fund! This new investment opportunity is the first of its kind and geared towards students who have an advanced idea and are looking to take that idea to the next step towards startup creation and business growth.

Application deadline: March 4, 2022

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Start Smart Legal Series – Various Dates, Zoom

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.

Various registration deadlines

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Accelerator Opportunities

Blast Furnace – May through July

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.

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Incubator Opportunities

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.

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Looking for info on past events?

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