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Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise

100 BIG IDEAS 2023

100 Big Ideas Competition

Do you have an idea that you think has potential? Maybe a new product or service? Maybe a solution to a problem you've encountered or a newfound way of tackling an issue that matters to you?

Why not take the first step in exploring your idea by submitting it to the 100 BIG IDEAS Competition.

100 winners, 100 cash prizes, £100 each.

One Grand Prize of £500 for the most aspiring, creative and ambitious idea.

Ready to turn that idea into a business?

The Student Enterprise team can give you the support and guidance to help make it a reality.

Feel inspired, get creative, think BIG and be ambitious about what you want to achieve here at university.

If you are studying at The University of Southampton, the 100 Big Ideas competition is open to you, no matter your subject area or your year of study.

Submissions are open. Submit your BIG idea now!

Submissions close midnight, Sunday 15 October.

The winners will be announced at the Student Founder Showcase 2023 on Wednesday 25th October.

Don’t miss out, get your ticket to the Student Founder Showcase 2023 below.

Not thought of an idea yet? Sign up below to receive tips on how to come up with the best idea, keep up-to-date with the 100 Big Ideas Competition and to get notified about when applications are about to close.

The 100 Big Ideas Competition is generously supported by Northrop Grumman.

Top Tips & Reminders

Stay up-to-date with the competition, including tips on how win and notifications when applications open and close.

Submit your BIG Idea

Enter your idea here for a chance to win 1 of 100 cash prizes. You can enter more than once!

The Student Founder Showcase 2023

Don't forget to book your ticket to attend our Student Founder Showcase 2023 on Wednesday 25 October, 15:15-17:00 in the Turner Sims Concert Hall!

The winners of the 100 Big Ideas Competition will be announced, plus you'll hear how the University of Southampton supports budding student entrepreneurs. You’ll also hear from the 2023 Student Foundership Cohort and find out how you could receive funding, office space and mentorship to take your business idea to the next level.


I am worried someone will steal my idea!

We are not here to steal your idea. The University of Southampton is here to make it a reality. There is also an option to decide what is public-facing and what will be kept secure and private.

Does it have to be a business idea?

No, it can be an idea that could make a difference in the world.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes, you can enter as many times as you like. In fact, we encourage it.

Can I enter as a team?

Yes, you can enter with other students studying at The University of Southampton, but there is just one cash prize for a winning idea.

The Top 10 Ideas from 2021

Secure Heart Alert - An intelligent alert system for defibrillator cabinets to notify owners of tampering.

Canter Carta - A mini projector that shows your real-time location as a map projected on the ground while you're jogging.

The Big Uni(Re)Cycle - allows items to be donated, then made available on campus for students to help themselves to at the start of the year, saving money, time and waste.

Seeds for Thought - is a project run by Enactus Southampton that uses hydroponic technology to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Smiile - a virtual health and wellness platform featuring contributors from around the world in a curated space.

Soapy - encourage kids to wash their hands! When used a new layer of soap emerges with a character until there is a mini figurine inside.

FemSec - combines different approaches to tackle sexual harassment by acting as a reporting device for sexual harassment.

BioNets - are biodegradable, sustainable fishing nets, that when discarded and left at sea, biodegrade down far quicker than standard nylon nets.

SmartDoc Assistant - is an AI Content-Based Footage Retrieval System to provide automatic raw footages’ aggregation and retrieval in documentary’s pre-editing.

Growers - is a service that aims to help alleviate the dilemma of ethics-based consumption in the food industry.

The Top 10 Ideas from 2022

Ear Plug Alarm Clock - Ear plugs that block outside sound but play an alarm at a time and volume of your choosing.

Sprinter - An app that allows people to find others to play their sport of interest in publicly accessible parks.

Azona - Prosthetics using neuromorphic computing to integrate seamlessly with the nervous system.

Recylapp - An app that provides information on which packaging materials are recyclable.

Remote TB - Treat tuberculosis and stop its spread in low income countries using GPS and video calls.

Confidence Cups - Bras with interchangable and customisable cups for those who have had breast surgery.

Seed Paper Packaging - Packaging paper containing seeds that can be planted directly in soil to help protect the environment.

Suara - An app targeted at young people to improve political awareness and education.

Anti-Microbial Plastic Filter - Mecano-chemical filters that can be easily attached to taps to filter out micro-plastics in water.

Zenicam - Software that measures vital signs, facial expressions and stress/pain levels for use in remote medical diagnoses

Need help coming up with your Idea?

Coming up with an amazing idea can be a creative and challenging process, but there are several methods and strategies you can use to help spark your imagination and generate innovative concepts. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you come up with amazing ideas:

Define Your Problem or Goal: Start by clearly defining the problem you want to solve or the goal you want to achieve. Having a well-defined focus will give your creative thinking a direction.

Research and Gather Information: Research and gather information related to your problem or goal. This can involve reading books, articles, conducting surveys, and talking to experts. The more you know about the subject, the better your ideas will be.

Brainstorm: Engage in brainstorming sessions where you generate as many ideas as possible, no matter how wild or impractical they may seem. Encourage free-flowing creativity and avoid criticism during this phase. You can do this alone or with a group of people.

Mind Mapping: Create a mind map to visually organize your thoughts and ideas. Start with a central concept and branch out with related ideas and associations. This can help you see connections and uncover new possibilities.

Analogous Thinking: Try to find analogies or parallels between your problem and unrelated domains. Often, bringing ideas from one field into another can lead to innovative solutions.

Reverse Thinking: Consider the problem from a reverse perspective. Instead of asking how to solve it, ask how to create or worsen it. Then, reverse those ideas to find potential solutions.

Constraints and Limitations: Introduce constraints and limitations to your problem-solving process. Sometimes, limitations can inspire creative solutions by forcing you to think outside the box.

Collaborate and Seek Feedback: Share your ideas with others and seek their feedback. Collaborative discussions can lead to refining and improving your ideas.

Prototype and Experiment: Create prototypes or test small-scale versions of your ideas to see how they work in practice. This can help you learn what works and what doesn't.

Take Breaks and Relax: Sometimes, the best ideas come when you're not actively thinking about the problem. Take breaks, go for a walk, or engage in activities that relax your mind. Eureka moments often happen when you least expect them.

Keep an Idea Journal: Carry a notebook or use a digital note-taking app to record your thoughts and ideas whenever they come to you, even if they seem small or insignificant at the time.

Learn from Others: Study successful innovations and creative thinkers in your field or related fields. Analyze what made their ideas amazing and consider how you can apply similar principles to your own work.

Iterate and Refine: Rarely does an amazing idea come fully formed. Be prepared to iterate and refine your ideas over time. Continuously seek ways to improve and build upon your initial concepts.

Remember that creativity is a skill that can be developed and honed over time. The more you practice generating ideas and exploring different approaches, the better you'll become at coming up with amazing ideas. Don't be discouraged by failures or setbacks; they are often integral to the creative process.

Submit your idea here
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