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Overview Marianne Skoczek

Big Bang! Workshops and Events
Develop your entrepreneurial mindset

View workshops and events for the 2019/20 Big Bang!

Big Bang! workshops offer aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed to move from concept to company—and to effectively compete in the annual UC Davis business competition.

Even if you don’t wish to become an entrepreneur, the leadership skills you learn through Big Bang! will translate into whatever career path you chose.

  • Ability to solve complex problems
  • Ability to be a part of and effectively lead cross-functional and cross-cultural teams
  • Ability to make connections and build your network
  • Ability to thrive in an uncertain environment

“The Big Bang! process turned our idea into a plan—and helped open countless doors to additional funding and growth opportunities.”
—Ryan Barr
Ph.D. Student | COO, RePurpose Energy

RePurpose Energy

Big Bang! workshops are presented by leading business and investment community members and include hands-on activities and a Q&A period. All workshops meet at Gallagher Hall, UC Davis and are free and open to everyone. You don’t have to enter the competition to attend the workshops.

Big Bang! workshops are livestreamed and available on demand.

OCTOBER 2019

Information Session
Tuesday, October 1, noon-1 p.m.
Memorial Union, Garrison Room
RSVP >

Join us at this lunchtime information session to learn about the 2019/20 Big Bang! Business Competition and Little Bang! Poster Competitions. We will also cover the Big Bang! workshop series and the broad range of innovation and entrepreneurship programs at UC Davis.

RSVP by September 27 to connect with fellow campus innovators over pizza to get started on your entrepreneurial path.

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This info session is hosted by the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Pizza generously provided by Blackstone Launchpad powered by Techstars.

20th Annual Big Bang! Launch
Tuesday, October 22, 5:30–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

We are honored to have UC Davis alumnus John Bissell, founder and CEO of Origin Materials, help us launch our 20th annual Big Bang! Business Competition. He’ll share his startup journey (including experiences in the Big Bang! and our entrepreneurship academy) in a fireside chat with institute Executive Director Joe DiNunzio. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet other aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs, share ideas, meet past winners, learn about the competition and start to form teams.

Starting Something That Matters + Networking Mixer
With Joe DiNunzio, Executive Director, UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Wednesday, October 30, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

This workshop introduces the most important skill an innovator or entrepreneur needs: the ability to build a network around your business idea. There will also be a presentation and activity on crafting your elevator pitch. 

Following the workshop is a brief Little Bang! Poster Competition information session. The evening concludes with a networking mixer where you will have the opportunity to find team members or join a team. Pizza, salad and drinks provided.

NOVEMBER 2019

Making the Leap—Moving from Idea to Business
Thursday, November 7, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

Moving your potential business idea from concept to reality requires planning, cheap tools and a strong network. Attend this workshop to develop a foundation for thinking about how to move your idea forward and the tools to do so effectively.

Defining the Problem and Solution
With Mariah Heller, Owner and Creator, Pain-Free Fitness; Manager of Internal Operations, Origin Materials
Thursday, November 14, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

A key element in developing a viable business is clearly articulating the problem you are solving and your proposed solution. In this workshop, you will develop your initial key elements to define your business: the problem, solution and value proposition.

Little Bang! Poster Competition—Session 1
Tuesday, November 21, 6–8 p.m.
Sign up here to compete >
RSVP here to view the posters and meet contestants >
Up to $6,000 in prizes awarded

The Little Bang! Poster Competitions help students define their business idea and communicate it concisely using a poster. This is an entry-level competition; no business experience is necessary.

Please visit our Little Bang! Poster Competitions page for to learn about awards, guidelines and submission deadlines. Both participants and spectators are invited to attend this interactive evening of networking and posters!

DECEMBER 2019

Write to Win—Developing Your Executive Summary
Thursday, December 5, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

Learn how to define your business in a concise and well-written executive summary. The executive summary is a required deliverable in Round 1 of the Big Bang! Business Competition.

JANUARY 2020

Define and Validate Your Business Model
With Tim Keller, Executive Director, Inventopia; Winner 2008 Big Bang! Business Competition
Thursday, January 16, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

A new venture’s business model defines how it brings together available technology, market and business opportunities, as well as how it plans to make money (and how much).

Little Bang! Poster Competition — Session 2
Thursday, January 23, 5–8 p.m.
RSVP here to view the posters and meet contestants >
Up to $6,000 in prizes awarded

Participate in our entry-level poster competition to win prize money, but more importantly, get your idea in front of the public to receive valuable feedback from judges and attendees. 

Please visit our Little Bang! Poster Competitions page for to learn about awards, guidelines and submission deadlines. Both participants and spectators are invited to attend this interactive evening of networking and posters! 

Idea to Reality: Business Boot Camp + Enrich Your Pitch Mentoring Session
With Professor Andrew Hargadon; Joe DiNunzio, Executive Director, UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and a Guest Speaker (TBA)
Thursday, January 30 , 4–8 p.m.
RSVP >

Our business bootcamp will give you the inside scoop on making the leap from idea to business, validating a problem and solution, and identifying a market and customer. Sign up for the Enrich Your Pitch mentoring session to share your concept, via an elevator pitch and optional slide pitch deck, with invited guest entrepreneurs, industry experts and investors.

You’ll leave with a toolset and clear perspective on how to build an effective, appropriate and viable plan and strategy to business.

FEBRUARY 2020

Define Your Customer and the Market + Customer Calls
With Ben Finkelor, Executive Director, UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center
Thursday, February 6, 6-8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

Understanding the needs of your customer is one of the most important first steps in any new venture. Come and learn how to identify your market segment and customers, and evaluate whether (and how much) those customers value your product, service or business solution. You’ll develop questions to ask a potential customer to better validate your market, competitors and customers. Workshop includes a real-time customer call in action.

Show Me the Money: Projecting and Presenting Financials
With Nick Fasciano, Independent Consultant, Private Equity Valuation
Thursday, February 13, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

What do potential investors want to see? Learn to forecast and present your financials in a way that effectively demonstrates your understanding of the market and the value of your venture.

Developing Your Startup Slide Deck
With Benjamin Wang, Founder, NeVap Inc.; Winner, 2014 BIg Bang! Business Competition
Thursday, February 27, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

Learn how to develop a compelling business plan/slide deck to convey your idea. You can then use this presentation when pitching your venture to potential team members, investors and stakeholders.

MARCH 2020

Pitching like a Pro—Presenting Your Startup Slide Deck + Past BB! Winners Pitch
With Monique Brown, Vice President of Media & Operations, HaneyBiz
Thursday, March 5, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

Come learn how to pitch your idea in a more compelling way. Whether you are starting a business, building a nonprofit or presenting a new idea to your boss, this workshop will provide you with a set of tools to effectively pitch like a pro.

Past Big Bang! winners will show you how it is done by presenting their startup. This is a great opportunity to watch a live pitch presentation and ask questions.

APRIL 2020

Intellectual Property
With David Richardson, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US)
Thursday, April 9, 6–8 p.m.
RSVP >
Watch livestream >

Intellectual Property (IP) may be the first tangible asset you have to give value to a new venture. Whether you plan to develop a business around your research or license your technology, you will need to decide how and when to protect your intellectual property.

MAY 2020

Little Bang! Poster Competition — Session 3
Thursday, May 14, 5–8 p.m.
RSVP here to view the posters and meet contestants >
Up to $6,000 in prizes awarded

Participate in our entry-level poster competition to win prize money, but more importantly, get your idea in front of the public to receive valuable feedback from judges and attendees. 

Please visit our Little Bang! Poster Competitions page for to learn about awards, guidelines and submission deadlines. Both participants and spectators are invited to attend this interactive evening of networking and posters! 

Big Bang! Finalist Presentations + Awards Ceremony
Thursday, May 20, 5–8:30 p.m.
UC Davis, Buehler Alumni Center
Networking Mixer, 5 p.m. | Program, 6 p.m.
RSVP >
Unable to attend? Watch livestream >

The top five Big Bang! finalists will present their presentations at the final awards ceremony. Following, we will announce and recognize all prize winners. Audience members will vote for People’s Choice Award winner.

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