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Big Idea Canvas
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Hypothesis Generator

for Startups and New Products

Big Idea Canvas the lean startup canvas
Start Your Big Idea Canvas Now!
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English Language
Big Idea Challenge
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Create Hypothesis
Step 2:
Test Hypothesis
Step 3:
Launch Startup

The first step in your startup journey is to develop a big idea and develop a startup hypothesis. Use the Big Idea Canvas to identify your assumptions and create a hypothesis you can test.

Before you jump in, take a step back and apply the scientific method on your idea just as a scientist would. Resources to guide you through this process include:

You have one chance to make a first impression. Do your homework and make it count. Resources to help you through the startup launch process are available at the Alta Innovation Institute.

Winners of the 1st Annual Big Idea Challenge
March 31, 2016  |  Lima, Peru

Steve Duffin is a dentist and a microbiologist who has devoted his career to working in public health settings. For years, Dr. Duffin has been researching methods to stop tooth decay using a device that applies a medicine rather than shots and fillings. Dr. Duffin has now achieved a major breakthrough, and has patented technology that is based on the application of silver nitrate, used over one hundred years ago, combined with a modern fluoride varnish. Together when applied in a specific manner, tooth decay is arrested and new decay greatly diminished. Millions of children go to school each day with tooth pain. Untreated caries is the most prevalent malady of humans globally," said Dr. Duffin. He has invented a simple, safe and effective method to treat people outside of a dental office, even without electricity. Working with his son, Marcus, Dr. Duffin designed a medical device to facilitate this process anywhere on earth. The device is named NoDK, and proof of concept pilot programs are being conducted in Ecuador and Ghana with remarkable results. "The NoDK idea is a significant breakthrough that addresses the global epidemic of dental disease," said Paul Ahlstrom, Founder of the Big Idea Challenge. He added, "We are delighted that the Big Idea Challenge has been able to provide a spotlight to this important breakthrough." Dr. Duffin noted, "We hope very soon the NoDK will be globally available, and we look forward to checking the caries problem off the list of global epidemics."

First Place
Steve Duffin
Second Place
Anasofia Monteblanco

Anasofia Monteblanco was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States when she was eight years old. She attended Lewis and Clark College, receiving a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She particpated in an Executive Program on exponential technologies at Singularity University in Silicon Valley in 2015. She has over 20 years of successful sales experience, selling technical solution for such firms as Oracle, NetIQ, Web Trends, and Kyocera. She is passionate about education and preparing our children to be creators of technology, not just consumers. To that end, Anasofia is planning to build an online education platform that teaches coding and computer science to elementary school children. The platform will use artificial intelligence to cater to each child's interests and machine learning and eye tracking to keep students engaged. 

Third Place
Jason Smith

Marketing managers and analyst have difficulty working with data that is often unstructured, dirty, aging or missing, which results in poor communication and missed opportunities. Jason Smith's big idea, IntelAgent, is a crowdsourcing software platform designed to enable businesses to clean and enrich data at speeds and quality that rival existing solutions at a more affordable price. Jason has over 15 years of experience in market research and data analytics. He's currently Senior Manager of Customer Insights & Analytics with HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, a leading nationwide supplier of maintenance, repair, and operations products. At HD Supply, Jason is responsible for translating analytical insights into business actions, representing the customer viewpoint in light of proposed business decisions, and measuring the success of company marketing campaigns and website enhancements. He earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology with Honors from San Francisco State University and also achieved the 2011 President's Excellence Award and 2012 Bullet Train Award Runner Up.

Start Your Big Idea Canvas Now!
Explore the 5 Key Elements of a Big Startup Idea:
Pain of the Customer
Potential of the Market
Prescription for the Pain
Positioning in the Market
Path to the Exit

Do You Have a Big Idea? Let's Test.

Entrepreneurs have a habit of spending years and thousands of dollars on an idea that was never big enough to merit their time from the very beginning. Don't make that same mistake.


Before you try nailing and scaling a startup of your own, you need to be sure that your idea passes the "who cares" test. The Big Idea Canvas will take you step-by-step through this process. Download the canvas and fill it out on paper or engage with our digital interactive canvas online.

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#20 Startup Ecosystem Index
#24 Entrepreneurship Program

Used by Top Startup Programs.

To ensure that students in its top-ranked entrepreneurship program (#2 by The Princeton Review) are focused on chasing big ideas, BYU is using the Big Idea Canvas as the first step for those participating in its world-class startup competitions.

Startup Chile is a highly successful accelerator that has placed startup companies at top programs like YCombinator, 500 Startups, and TechStars. They're using the Big Idea Accelerator Program as their prep course for incoming cohorts.

To improve the process of turning patented university IP into scalable startups, the U of Utah's Technology & Venture Commercialization Office is using the Big Idea Canvas to spot ideas with high commercialization potential. And they love using it.

#2 Entrepreneurship Program
(The Princeton Review)
(Startup Ecosystem Report)
(The Princeton Review)
Made in Partnership.
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Big Idea Course
Vinod Khosla
Scott Cook
Mike Maples, Jr.
Perri Gorman
Steve Blank
Jared Allgood
Charles Huang
Patrick Lee
McKay Thomas
Anthony Soohoo
Scott Case
Nolan Bushnell

Accelerate Your Big Idea by Doing the Right Things First.

For those of you who have completed the Big Idea Canvas and developed a Big Idea Hypothesis, we've built the Big Idea Course, a virtual startup course to help you move your big idea through the customer-market fit validation process.


The course is based on the concepts and methods found in the book, Nail It Then Scale It, and other works centered on lean startup methodology. We hope this virtual course will help you start and grow your idea into a successful venture.


Concepts in the Big Idea Course will introduce you to theoretical and practical thought-leadership in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, shared by founders, investors, and innovators from all over the world.

Join the Big Idea Accelerator
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