Big Idea Grand Island

Big Idea Grand Island

Monday, November 4th, 2024

The Liederkranz - Free Admission

401 W 1st Street, Grand Island

Social Hour @ 5:30p

Pitches Start @ 6:30p

submit your idea

                                                 FAQ           Prizes          Sponsors

About Big Idea

It's like Shark Tank – kind of.

There’s an idea. There’s a panel of “sharks”. There’s also an audience, access to resources, and money.

Big Idea is our version of Shark Tank. Ideas are submitted in advance, narrowed down to a group of finalists, and ideas are pitched LIVE in front of an audience and panel of judges. Pitches must be 2 minutes or less. Each pitch is followed by a Q&A.

Top ideas will win access and discounts to key resources, business coaching and planning services, and startup money to launch their business in Grand Island! Our panel of judges determines the top 5 and popular vote (yes, the audience) determines who takes home the top 3 cash prizes! 

The Basics

When is it?
Big Idea Grand Island is happening on Monday, November 4th, 2024 at The Liederkranz. Social will start at 5:30 PM and pitch night will start at 6:30 PM.

When does idea submission open and close?
Idea submission will open on Sunday, September 1st, and close on Wednesday, October 16th at midnight. Click here for idea submission. Finalists will be notified by October 21st.

What ideas are accepted?
Business or product ideas for Grand Island (and beyond...eventually). It can be retail-based, technology-driven, a product invention, food service, service-based, etc. The sky is the limit! To qualify for the competition, this must be a FOR PROFIT business idea and must be Located IN Grand Island AND/OR within the 2 mile jurisdiction around the Grand Island area.

Who can submit?
You must be 19 years or older to submit an idea. Not 19 or older? If your idea is accepted, we’ll just need your parent’s permission. We encourage students, locals, retirees, and anywhere in between to submit an idea.

Are there prizes?
You bet there are! All finalists receive something including gift bags, access to professional services, and startup cash! Plus, the networking and connections you receive at this event are invaluable.         

          Congratulations to the Past Winners!






1st Place


Danielle Helzer - Rooted Books


Hayley Royle - 29th Design


2nd Place 


Michelle Simmons - Simmons Sweets


Brenda Kay - FIthy Hair Mobile Studio


3rd Place


Enny Ellison - Indo - Archipelago


Fouad Mhadji Issa - Koponi Vanilla


Top 5


Rooted Books and Gifts

Simmons Sweets

Indo- Archipelago

Really Dan Games


29th Design

Decode Humanity

FIthy Hair Mobile Studio

Garden Park

Koponi Vanilla

Top 10


Rooted Books and Gifts

Simmons Sweets

Indo- Archipelago

Really Dan Games


Party Animal Event Suppliers

Homicide Prevention Program

Panderia Emanuel


Fly by Night Printing

29th Design

Decode Humanity

FIthy Hair Mobile Studio

Garden Park

Grand Island Afro Hair Products

Koponi Vanilla

Novus Body Care



S'Cool Kids


Title Sponsors


Prize Sponsors


Community Sponsors


Professional Partners




Coordinating Sponsors


Contact Information

Big Idea Grand Island is made possible by:


For inquiries:


“Grand Island provided us the ability to build and maintain professional careers, while still being present in our children's lives. That's the 'better opportunity' we found here.”
Lynda ConnerGrand Island Business Owner
Read More Stories