UT Dallas Student Entrepreneurs to Compete in Annual Big Idea Competition for $100,000 in Cash and Prizes

RICHARDSON, TX, NOVEMBER 19, 2019 – Six student teams have been selected to compete in the Big Idea Competition (BIC) at The University of Texas at Dallas, a Shark Tank-style pitch competition. Hosted annually by the UT Dallas Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the 2019 BIC will be held Nov. 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. The BIC brings undergraduate and graduate students together from all disciplines to pitch the most innovative startups and ideas in front of their peers and a panel of esteemed judges for cash and scholarship awards.


The program typically draws more than 800 attendees each year and awards more than $100,000 in prize money.


This year, entrepreneur, technologist, investor and impact leader Shiza Shahid to serve as the celebrity guest judge. Shahid co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and has led the organization as founding CEO. She was named one of TIME magazine’s “30 Under 30 People Changing the World,” Forbes “30 Under 30 – Social Entrepreneurs” and a Tribeca Institute Disruptive Innovator. She is a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council and has been featured in multiple publications, including Elle, Fast Company, Forbes, Glamour, The Edit and Town and Country, and on television networks, including ABC, Al Jazeera, CNN, MSNBC and others.


The startup companies represented by the six finalist student teams competing in the Big Idea Competition are:

  • OhmMaker – STEM education startup inspiring middle and high school students with engineering project kits that are applicable to everyday lives.
  • IDA – Decide. Act. Helping female entrepreneurs achieve their business goals while using AI for personalized insights and consistent progress.
  • Comely – A dating/social hybrid designed for people who believe in-person is the best way to gauge chemistry.
  • CodAR – Augmented reality platform for learning and evaluating technical skills.
  • ResumePuppy – A cloud solution that ensures resumes not only look good but also moves past the initial screening.
  • Access My Research – A nonprofit social platform connecting your research with the world!


“At the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we’re on a mission to educate, empower and equip the next generation’s new ventures. The Big Idea Competition brings our campus and surrounding community together to celebrate the accomplishments of UT Dallas entrepreneurs,” said Dresden Goldberg, director of programs and operations for the institute. “Through the BIC, we have been able to award funding to student startups. This funding can make a critical difference in helping them to launch their businesses. Past winners have gone on to win regional and national pitch competitions, secure venture capital and create jobs in our community.”


Tickets to the UT Dallas Big Idea Competition are complimentary. Register for the event here.




About Interlock Partners

Interlock Partners LLC operates as a venture capital firm. The Firm provides seed and early-stage financing to startups operating in the marketplace, enterprise IT, technology, Internet and digital media sectors. Interlock Partners serves customers in the states of Texas and New York.


About Naya Ventures

Naya Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused mainly on U.S. and India-based companies. They invest in and partner with companies that offer products and services in the mobile and SaaS arenas that have the potential to tap into global markets. Their portfolio companies are characterized by innovative technology, strong management teams with deep industry connections and significant customer traction. In many cases, they will be the initial largest investor and act as an incubator to the companies and their technologies.


About Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley Bank, a subsidiary of SVB Financial Group, is a U.S.-based high-tech commercial bank. The bank has helped fund more than 30,000 start-ups. SVB is on the list of largest banks in the United States.




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