FAQ

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers.

We don’t believe in fine print, so we just make it all big and bold. If you have a question you don’t see here, free free to get in touch and we will do our best to answer you quickly.

What is #thebigidea project?

The project is a new way to help great ideas get the tools they need to succeed. We focus on practical help rather than just giving the selected startup a lump of money and saying “go”.

How do I apply?

The application is online and shouldn’t take very long. We do require a team video of 1 – 4 minutes, as well.

What are you looking for in the application video?

The video is expected to be 1 – 4 minutes long and should show off your entire team. We don’t want to see a demo at this point, or even a traditional pitch (seriously…no slide decks).

Tell us who you are, what your idea is, and what makes you the team we are looking for.

Essentially we are looking for a glimpse into what makes your idea, and, more importantly, your team amazing. This video is how you really separate yourself from the pack.

It doesn’t need to be slick or fancy. You could probably record it from your phone if you need to. Just be clear and concise and you should be good to go.

Building an app isn’t cheap. Why is Big Pixel doing this?

Building startups is what Big Pixel does. We love helping local startups get up and running. This is how we give back to the wonderful place that we call home.

Seriously, is Big Pixel taking some equity or something for this?

Nope! Seriously. No equity or payment of any kind is expected by the winners.

Can you go into more detail about the application process and timeline?

Applications open March 28th and close on June 1st. The application consists of an online questionnaire and a 1 – 4 minute video of you and your team talking about your idea and what makes your team and your idea awesome.

During the months of April and May we will be holding Lunch and Learn sessions around the Triangle to help get the word out. Be sure to check the calendar to learn about the events and register.

In early June we will announce the 10 – 15 teams who will be invited to work with us in our Startup Crash Course. This class will be every Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:30pm, June 13th – July 25th (with a week off for Independence Day). During the class you will learn what it takes to make a startup that has real customers and revenue.

After the class is complete, the mentors will select 3 finalists to compete for the grand prize. These finalists will pitch their ideas on Wednesday, August 8th to the judges and the public (free beer and food will be provided to calm nerves). The winning team will be selected that night and celebrations will ensue!

After that…the six month transformation process begins. Big Pixel will work with you to build a marketing site, MVP, and will help you continue to grow and build your startup.

Will there be mentors?

Absolutely! Throughout the Crash Course you will work with some of the greatest startup pros in the Triangle. Don’t believe us? Check ’em out!

Tell me more about the Crash Course

The Crash Course is a six-week blast through all of the things you as a team need to know to make your startup successful. This includes basics like customer discovery, how to monetize, and all that, but it also includes a lot of tough love. Building a successful company is hard and sugar coating it doesn’t help anyone. We want you to go into this with your eyes WIDE open so you can tackle each hurdle head on and create something amazing.

Each class is two-hours (ish) and will include one hour of instruction and one hour of hands on with your mentor and other teams. We feel this structure gives you a lot of information and then the time to process it and make it real for your business.

What if my idea is more lifestyle than venture?

One thing that definitely separates us from other programs like this is that we are not focused on the Facebooks of the world. The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of those burn hot and die quick. We are just as happy working on a niche product that will be around in 10 years as we are the next “big thing”.

We prefer that our candidates are thinking about revenue and building a company rather than having a slick “user acquisition strategy”. With that said… if you want to go the venture route, we won’t stop ya. 🙂

Is this only for totally new ideas? What if I already have an MVP?

Nope! The competition is for anyone who wants to take their idea up a notch. The Crash Course is geared toward new companies/ideas, but if you already have an MVP or even a V1 you are still more than welcome. Big Pixel can still help you out with development and build out something amazing for you. The only caveat is if your existing code is not a stack that we know (i.e. you wrote it in python).

I live outside of the Triangle, can I apply?

The short answer is no. The long answer is still no, but the reasoning is two fold:

  1. All of the mentors for the project are based in the Triangle and we are strong believers in the people and ideas that live in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. We want to support them.
  2. We will be meeting with the teams regularly and, practically speaking, that just won’t work if your team is outside the area.

Will you sign my NDA?

Nope. At this stage in your startup very few people will. While we would never, ever steal a company’s idea, the truth is ideas, by themselves, are rarely very valuable. Execution on an idea is what provides value. We provide the execution.

My team has more than one idea, can I submit both?

Technically no… but if, say, one person on your team applied with one idea, and another person on your team applied with a different idea who could stop you? *wink wink*

Do I have to be on a team to get picked?

Founding a startup is really hard, and the truth is, it is doubly so when you are on your own. It is just a whole lot of work and is usually too much for one person to handle…especially when the pressure is on. Because of this, we are much more likely to pick a team than a “solopreneur”.

With all that said…if you are amazing and have an amazing idea, we would love to hear about it.

If my team wins do I have to quit my job?

No, but we do expect the majority of the team to be able to spend at least 20 hours a week working on their idea. Throughout the class we will be giving homework and tasks for you to work on between sessions. We want you and your team to be serious about taking your idea and creating a company.

Big Pixel is investing a lot of resources into the the winner and we expect that winner to be “all-in”.

Does my idea need to be in a specific industry? Does it need to be tech related?

We are open to working with anyone from almost any industry. The only catch is that, at its heart, the idea has to be somehow reliant on software. We can’t build the next great sports drink, or a better pair of jeans, nor do we want to help you build your ecommerce site to sell your widget. Our goal is to design, create, and launch a web/mobile app that is central to the big idea.

Is #thebigidea project just another accelerator/incubator?

We humbly believe that #thebigidea project is unique and quite a bit different than an accelerator/incubator. We call ourselves a project because we are outside the norm.

We are big fans of places like YCombinator, Startup Factory, and Groundwork Labs, but we don’t feel we really compete with them. Sure there are similarities, but most accelerators and the like give a bucket of money, mentorship, and call it a day. While this format is obviously successful, we wanted to make the project different.

Our focus is being practical. All of the mentors involved are in the business of building startups each and every day. It is what we do, and, more importantly, what we love. What makes the project unique is the fact that we are giving several startups the tools to take the next step, and one a free MVP. Pretty cool eh?

I still have questions; where can I learn more?

During the application process we will be having Lunch and Learn sessions around the area so that we can answer any and all questions that people have. Check out our calendar to see the schedule.

Also, we encourage you to follow our twitter feed (@bigpixelnc)  to get the latest info.

If all else fails, send us an email and we will be happy to answer any and all questions.