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Big Bang! Frequently Asked Questions

How can the Big Bang! help me start a business?

The Big Bang! workshops help you prepare for the competition and provide guidance in developing a business. In addition, institute staff members are available for support during designated office hours (TBD).

What are the benefits of participating?

Participants receive valuable lessons through the competition’s workshops, team interaction, interdisciplinary effort of writing the business summary, and networking with successful investors and professionals who serve the new business market. Winners also receive cash awards.

“The mentors helped simplify our message and sell our idea for the pitch deck. As scientists, we had too much detail in our explanations.”

— BioMilitus, 2019 Big Bang!

I’m not interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Can the BIg Bang! help me prepare for the career I want?

There are many benefits to participating in a Big Bang! team, whether you plan to launch a startup or find your niche in an established company:

  • Gain functional experience in your field
  • Build your resume and upgrade your interview examples to demonstrate your strengths
  • Network with business leaders
  • Meet extraordinary people with innovative ideas who are passionate about finding solutions

I am a UC Davis Graduate School of Management student. How can I participate in the competition?

We highly encourage business students to participate. Many teams need members with skills in finance, marketing, business development, and so forth. And if you are in a Bay Area or Sacramento program and unable to attend workshops in person, you can livestream them or view on demand as your schedule permits.

I am not affiliated with UC Davis. Can I participate in the Big Bang!?

Yes. The competition is open to the public. View Rules and Eligibility.

Can I participate in the Big Bang! if I’m unable to attend the workshops on campus?

Yes! We have made it easy for you to compete, whether you are in Davis, across the country or around the globe. All Big Bang! workshops, as well as the launch and the awards ceremony are livestreamed and available on demand. 

Watch parties are a fun way to participate: Get a group of people together with some pizza or have a potluck to watch the workshops and even start a team! 

The workshops will help guide you to complete the necessary competition documents–for example, your executive summary, 10 slide presentation and two-minute video–and upload them on our user-friendly YouNoodle platform.

Please note: If your team is selected as a semifinalist, you must attend (in person) the final pitch session as well as the awards ceremony, both in May.

How big should a team be?

Your team should be as big as is necessary to produce a polished and professional business summary and presentation pitch. Typically, teams range from two to five members.

Can I be on more than one team?

Yes, but the judges may regard this as lack of focus and commitment.

Who are the judges and what are their backgrounds?

Judges include investors, experienced entrepreneurs, industry executives and experienced managers from the Sacramento region and San Francisco Bay Area.

How can I protect the confidentiality of intellectual property?

We are committed to preserving the confidentiality of every submission. Our judges are professional investors and business service providers who treat the information contained in every business plan according to the highest professional standards of privacy. However, due to the nature of the competition, we do not require NDAs of our judges. Additionally, the elevator pitch round and finalist presentations and awards ceremony are public events and may be recorded.

Who sponsors the Big Bang!?

The Big Bang! wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors. A list of current sponsors and information on sponsorship levels is provided here

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