What’s The Big Idea?

10th Anniversary Edition

Ever dreamed of being on Shark Tank? Have that great idea that your mom loves, but you haven’t told anyone else? Know you’ve got the next big thing?

Shark Tank Meets Lock-In

“What’s The Big Idea?!” is the event for you. Compete to win up to $10k in expense reimbursement in a 48-hour weekend business pitch competition. WTBI is Shark Tank meets Lock-In with $10k dollars on the line.

Mentors All The Way

Work side-by-side with local business mentors to craft the perfect pitch for your new startup business or idea. We have business mentors that can help you with your business plan from start to finish from Legal, Marketing, Finance, Sales, Design, Technology, and more.

One Weekend

What’s the Big Idea 48 Hour Launch is a weekend-long business start-up summit designed to inspire entrepreneurial action. The competition will bring together bright minds over 1 weekend to participate in an intensive period of prototyping, community building, planning, incubation, and launching.

Support for your Idea

The winning idea will be advanced to the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s CO.STARTERS Program and be eligible for up to $10,000 in business launch reimbursement costs after completing the program.

2018 Applications

What’s the Big Idea 48 Hour Launch is a weekend-long business start-up summit designed to inspire entrepreneurial action. The competition will bring together bright minds April 13-15 to participate in an intensive period of prototyping, community building, planning, incubation, and launching. The winning idea will be advanced to the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s CO.STARTER Program and will be eligible for up to $10,000 in business-launch reimbursement costs after completing the program.

Who Should Apply?

  • Applicants with a concept or a new enterprise in the seed-capital, start-up, or pre-revenue stage;
  • Applicants who are at least 18 years of age;
  • Applicants with a concept that could lead to potential growth and job creation in the Knoxville, Tennessee area*.

* Defined as being located in Knox County or a contiguous county including: Anderson, Blount, Jefferson, Grainger, Loudon, Roane, Sevier, and Union counties.

Who Shouldn’t Apply?

  • Companies that are acquisitions or buy-outs;
  • Companies that are expansions of existing companies;
  • Companies that are considered a franchise;
  • Companies that have a licensing agreement for distribution of products and services by others;
  • Enterprises that have raised equity capital from sources other than direct members of the venture, their friends, or their families;
  • Companies that have already won similar competitions;
  • Companies that do not intend to grow in the Knoxville, Tennessee area (as defined above);
  • Ideas will be judged on potential for growth and job creation.

*  Please read the “Official Rules” for What’s the Big Idea?!

 

Dates & Deadlines

  • 2/14 – Applications open
  • 3/11 – Applications close
  • 3/30 – Selection made
  • 4/13-15 – Competition
  • 4/15 – Public pitch

Presenting Sponsors