StarBio 2020 Big Bang! winner founders wearing lab coats, smiling while holding large award checks outdoors on grassy hills

Big Bang! Connect. Learn. Compete.

The Big Bang! Business Competition provides a forum for innovators across California to collaborate, develop and test business ideas.

Discover what's possible.

These challenging times call on us to create new solutions to our world's complex problems. 

RSVP for Awards Ceremony | May 26

Leadership Skills

Even if you don't want to become an entrepreneur, participating in the Big Bang! competition and our Ideas into Action workshop series will give you powerful leadership skills to help you succeed in whatever career path you chose.

You'll learn to:

  • Solve complex problems
  • Be a part of and effectively lead cross-functional and cross-cultural teams
  • Make connections and build your network
  • Thrive in challenging and uncertain times

The Big Bang! Business Competition helps you to grow as an entrepreneur and as a leader. You'll find opportunities to connect with fellow innovators, learn and apply business concepts in interactive educational workshops, build your team, grow your network—and compete for cash prizes.

The 22nd annual Big Bang! Business Competition and Little Bang! Poster Competitions will award more than $100,000 in prize money and in-kind prizes.

Fast Facts
  • Big Bang! runs November through May.
  • The competition is designed for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs.
  • Our Ideas into Action Workshop Series is a powerful complement to the business competition. Build your skillset, grow your network.
  • You don’t have to enter the competition to participate in the workshops, which are free and open to everyone.
  • Teams must have at least one founder affiliated with an institution of higher education within the State of California. 
  • Competition finalists compete for cash prizes.
Little Bang! | The Start of Something Big

The Little Bang! Poster + Pitch Competitions are entry-level events that provide an accessible introduction to entrepreneurship. They are open to all currently enrolled students at the high school, community college, undergraduate or graduate level. You may participate in the Little Bang! concurrent with the Big Bang! Business Competition. 

Get involved in the Little Bang >

Woman student pitching startup in business competition.
UC Davis M.D./Ph.D student Anna Sadovnikova pitches LiquidGoldConcept. The startup makes realistic breast simulators to provide health professional students, hospital staff and patients with hands-on, comprehensive lactation education. 

Building a sustainable business is challenging. Big Bang! provided the opportunity to get feedback on our business model and plan for growth with objective third-party reviewers.

—Anna Sadovnikova | CEO and Co-founder, LiquidGoldConcept | UC Davis M.D./Ph.D. Student

Connect. Learn. Compete.

  • Nourish Your Entrepreneurial Mindset | Ideas into Action Workshop Series
  • composite image of a butterfly alighting a lightbulb against a deep blue starry night sky
    The Ideas into Action Workshops Series will give you the knowledge and skills you need to move from concept to company—and to effectively compete in the Big Bang! Business Competition.
    You’ll learn to:

    > Define your problem and solution
    > Develop an elevator pitch
    > Evaluate the potential market
    > Develop a business model
    > Create a pitch presentation
    > Write a business summary

    Join us to grow through discussions, collaborative activities, and the energy and experience of meeting fellow innovators from across the UC Davis campus and throughout California. While participation in the workshops is not required to enter the Big Bang! competition, we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to grow your entrepreneurial skillset and your network—and to help your venture thrive.

    Ideas into Action workshops are open, free of charge, to everyone.

     Discover the Ideas into Action Workshop Series >
  • Put It into Practice: The Business Competition
  • illustration of a rocket ship in a bright blue sky with sun and clouds and text

    The Big Bang! Business Competition runs from November to May and is held in conjunction with the Ideas into Action Workshop Series, where you can gain the knowledge and skills to move your idea or venture forward and successfully participate in the competition.

    Events and competition deadlines are noted below. The Big Bang! culminates with the annual Awards Ceremony, where we announce the winners and award prizes in the following categories:

    > Top innovation in the competition
    > People's Choice
    > Animal Health + Industry Sector
    > Human Health + Industry Sector
    > Food + Agriculture Sector
    > Energy + Sustainability Sector
    > Social Entrepreneurship Sector

    To participate in the Big Bang! Business Competition, at least one of your team or venture's founders must be affiliated with an institution of higher education within the State of California. Refer to competition guidelines on the competition’s Rules and Tools page for details.

    For Big Bang! details and specifics, please download the Competition Overview and Guidelines.

    All Big Bang! teams must register and submit deliverables through the competition platform, Startup Tree, by the designated deadlines. We cannot accept emailed submissions.

  • Ready. Set. Go. | Big Bang! Events and Timeline
    • Note: All Big Bang! teams must register and submit deliverables through the Startup Tree platform by the designated deadlines. We cannot accept emailed submissions.
    • Event/Deadline Date/Time Link to RSVP / Details

      Big Bang! / Little Bang! Information Session + Team Formation

      noon–1 p.m.
      22nd Annual Big Bang! Launch Monday
      5:30 p.m.
      Optional Early Feedback Deadline Wednesday


      Little Bang! Poster + Pitch Competition – Session 1 Monday


      Round 1 Submission Deadline Thursday

      Deliverables: executive summary + team bios

      Round 2 Submission Deadline


      Deliverables: customer call summary; video pitch; draft pitch deck

      Dry Run Presentations

      Tuesday and Wednesday

      Takes place via Zoom

      Round 3 Submission Deadline Wednesday

      Deliverables: additional customer call summary; final pitch deck

      Final Presentations + Judging Thursday
      Finalist teams only
      Little Bang! Poster + Pitch Competition – Session 2 Monday


      2022 Big Bang! Awards Ceremony Thursday
      6 p.m.
      RSVP >



students in a field holding various produce created a web-based service and mobile app that addresses the underlying causes of household food waste: forgetting already purchased foods, and not knowing how to cook them.

    “It’s amazing to see how far our teams can go. In October many of their ideas are just that: ideas. By May, with a ton of hard work, support and mentorship, many of these ideas are ready for prime-time as companies, licensed technologies or nonprofits.

    —Professor Andrew Hargadon