thinkBIG! Summit

March 7, 2023, 9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Case Western Reserve University

The thinkBIG! Summit provides a climactic close to the annual thinkBIG! Challenge by providing a platform for the Final Four Challenge teams to pitch their ideas. The finalists present to a panel of volunteer judges as part of the full-day conference on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

The thinkBIG! Summit kicks off every year with an inspirational keynote speech. Past keynote presentations focused on youth entrepreneurship have featured Yelitsa Jean-Charles, Founder & CEO of Healthy Roots Dolls, Shane Feldman, Founder & CEO of Count Me In, Ann Makosinski, Inventor, and Gerard Adams, Entrepreneur.

The keynote presentation is followed by our attendee favorite mini-maker hack-a-thon led by the staff at Upcycle Parts Shop. Each table of students is asked to work as a team to craft an innovative physical product made of recycled materials and to create a short pitch to sell it. Four final teams will pitch their product to audience members for a chance to win a cash prize.  

The day continues featuring a panel discussion with several young entrepreneurs coming to Cleveland from various cities in the U.S. to participate in the program. The panelists will discuss their personal journeys as young entrepreneurs and provide advice the students may use in their own journeys.

After lunch, the day concludes with the culmination of the thinkBIG! Challenge! The challenge is an online business plan competition consisting of two tracks – Small Business and Innovation. The competition is open to all high school students in Northeast Ohio, offering more than $9,000 in prizes. Four finalists advance to present live on stage at the thinkBIG! Summit.