Eric Rego Big Idea Competition

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The Eric Rego Big Idea Competition is in honor of Eric Rego.  Eric was an E-1 who graduated in 2006.  Eric sadly passed in 2008.  In remembrance of him, the Big Idea Competition was born.  To compete, students must submit a 30-second video pitching their venture (application link below).  Once the deadline closes for submissions, a group of Bennie and Johnnie Entrepreneur Scholar alums select the top 10 pitches to compete as finalists.  Those finalists will give a 90-second pitch to a live audience at the Big Idea event on February 27, 2024.  Judges will select the top three for a Q + A session and a chance to win one of the top three cash prizes!

 Video submissions are due no later than February 9th at midnight!

Competition Details:
Tuesday, February 27, 2024, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Gorecki Family Theater, CSB

2024 Video Application link

First Place Second Place Third Place

Who can participate?

The BIG Idea Competition is open to any student enrolled at CSB/SJU.  We believe that all students have entrepreneurial potential and can demonstrate potential with limited assistance.  We would be happy to consult with participants who want to learn how to further develop their ideas.

Want some advice to get started?

In your 30-second video, you will not be able to answer all the following questions, but they could help you shape your video.  Pick a couple questions to answer and use your 30 seconds to make us believe in you and want to learn more about your idea!

  1. The quality of your idea:
    1. Does your idea meet a need?
    2. Does your idea provide a solution?
    3. Does your idea have a market?
  1. The quality of your presentation:
    1. Did you say your name and the name of your product/idea?
    2. Did you make eye contact?
    3. Did you present with confidence?
    4. Did you leave the audience wanting more?
    5. Did you ask the judges/investors for their support?
  1. Demonstration that you can turn your idea into results:
    1. Did you explain how much money you will need?
    2. Did you explain how you will generate money?
    3. Did you explain how you will sustain your idea over time?
    4. Did you demonstrate you have the skills and determination to make your idea come to life?

What is a venture idea?

The possibilities are wide open!  A venture idea can be a needed new product, a new way to deliver a service, a new solution to an old problem, a new way to help others, etc. It can address a campus need, a community need, a national need, or a global issue.  That the idea can be about something that has never been tried, something that has been proven elsewhere, but needs to be “tweaked” to be done in central Minnesota, or something that strengthens an existing venture or product.  It can be an idea that would be delivered for profit, or one that would require a nonprofit organizational structure.

Contest Rules:

  1. Open to current CSB and SJU undergraduate students.
  2. Previous winners may apply again but are not allowed to submit the same idea.
  3. Previous applicants who did not win may submit the same idea in consecutive years.


Email Becca Brzezinski, the Center Coordinator, at [email protected] or call 2065.