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Great Ideas Competition

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Great Ideas Competition

The Great Ideas competition is sponsored by the Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship. It is an opportunity for students to think about, build, and scale their business ideas. This is an opportunity for students to have a positive impact on themselves, their community, and the world!

Students work by themselves or in a team to identify a need, plan a solution, and present their ideas.

There are no registration fees to enter the competition. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in each category. All majors and minors are welcome to participate!

Event held November 11th & 12th, 2021

Meet the Judges

David Wu

David Wu Portrait photo
David is currently the Principal at Hawaiian Environmental Consulting LLC. Prior to joining Hawaiian Environmental Consulting LLC, he was the General Manager at Servpro of Central Honolulu and Kailua where he was instrumental in turning around the business. David was an associate at Blue Startups, one of the top 20 Accelerators in the US based in Honolulu during his college term. He graduated from BYU–Hawaii in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in business management with a concentration in finance and minor in Entrepreneurship.

Lisa Wardle

Portrait of Lisa Wardle
Lisa leads Talent & Culture for Nike at Converse. She is also on a Global Talent Management Leadership Team at Nike. Her current focus is working to build competitive differentiating organizational capabilities that enable the strategic direction of Converse. Prior roles include Principal Consultant at The RBL Group, Managing Director at Duke Corporate Education and key leadership roles in human resources for the Olympics in Athens, Greece and Salt Lake City, Utah. Lisa holds a master of arts from Columbia University and a bachelor of science from Brigham Young University.

Marcus Bertilson

Marcus Bertilson Photo
Marcus is the Vice President of Thumbtack where he has been leading the Go-To-Market for this successful start-up over the last six years. Prior to this entrepreneurial experience, Marcus was an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company for five years in Stockholm, London and Dallas. Marcus graduated from the Stockholm School of Business and also served a mission in London, England. Although he was born and raised in Sweden, Marcus currently lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and four children.

Phil Zhan

Phil Zhan Portrait photo
Phil is the Head of Corporate Impact at Sackcloth & Ashes, a mission-driven company that donates blankets to homeless shelters around the world. Prior to this experience, Phil was a Senior Development Consultant for the Mental Health Coalition and the United for Global Mental Health in New York City. He graduated from Linfield College and currently works as a Business Development Specialist with Hadley Impact Consulting.
Picture of the Great Ideas Winners.

$24,000 IN PRIZES



Revenue | Pre-Revenue | Impact | Young Entrepreneurs
  • 1st Place: $3,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,000
  • 3rd Place: $1,000

Competition Timeline

Dates, times, and venues are subject to change. Participants will be notified as soon as feasible to ensure a fair competition. Refer back to this page as updates are made and check your email frequently to stay up-to-date about changes.

Oct. 6

HGB 273 at 6:30 pm

Competition Kickoff
Come join us for the beginning of the 2021 Great Ideas competition!

Oct. 27

Submission due at 11:59 pm

Submission Deadline for Preliminary Round
Submission for the Preliminary Round is done on the Willes Center website. Submissions are due by 11:59 pm on Oct. 27.

For the Preliminary Round of the competition, students will need to submit a two-minute video showcasing their idea. See the Official Rulebook for more guidelines about the video submission.

Nov. 8

Submission due at 11:59 pm

Submission Deadline for Semi-Finalists
Semi-Finalists submit their PowerPoint presentation file and video embedded into the presentation via the Willes Center website.

See the Official Rulebook for more guidelines about the video submission.

Nov. 11

1 pm - 3 pm

Semi-Finalist Booth Showcase
Join the Semi-Final teams are they showcase their ideas to judges, students, and faculty. The event will be held in HGB 273.

Nov. 12

9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Great Ideas Finalist Competition

The Final Presentations will be held from 9:30 am - 11:30 am in the PCC IMAX. We will break for lunch and then come back together at 1:30 pm to hear the keynote speaker and learn about the winners of the 2021 Great Ideas Competition.

Student Resources

For the Preliminary Round of the competition, students will need to submit a two-minute video showcasing their idea. See the Official Rulebook for more guidelines about video submission.