An online business plan competition open to all high school students in Northeast Ohio, offering $8,000 in prizes. Semifinalists were invited to attend an Executive Coaching Day and received guidance from entrepreneurial professionals in the Cleveland business community. The Final 4 teams will competed live at the thinkBIG! Summit 2021 in March.

thinkBIG! Challenge Finalists

Congratulations to all finalists that advanced to compete and pitched live at the virtual
thinkBIG! Summit on March 2, 2021!

Small Business Track

  • Nature of Kindness: Hathaway Brown School
  • Scaper: Bay Village High School

Innovation Track

  • Second Ch♲nce: Hathaway Brown
  • NeoSigno: S.E.N.S.E.: Columbus Academy

thinkBIG! Challenge Semifinalists

Congratulations to all semifinalists who advanced to compete in the second round of the thinkBIG! Challenge and attended the virtual Executive Coaching sessions!

Small Business Track

  • Common Scentsations: Olmsted Falls High School
  • Finlit: Financial Literacy Education for Kids: Hoover High School
  • Jade’s Plants: Laurel School
  • NeuroNotes: Hoover High School
  • Petology: Laurel School
  • Powerful Pens: Gilmour Academy
  • Sea-Ring Tech: Olmsted Falls High School
  • Team Kindness: Hathaway Brown School
  • Team Scaper: Bay Village High School
  • Tree Huggers & Co.: Gilmour Academy
  • Up-Beet: Laurel School

Innovation Track

  • Apollo: Hathaway Brown
  • Cup A’ G Coffee: Northern Career Institute
  • Groovy Looks: Laurel School
  • Lux LLC: Olmsted Falls High School
  • Scrap Sunglasses: Laurel School
  • Second Chance: Hathaway Brown
  • Team NeoSigno: S.E.N.S.E.: Columbus Academy
  • Team QuickHelp: Hathaway Brown
  • Team VCircles: Hathaway Brown
  • Team Wellworks Water: Olmsted Falls Public High School
  • The snow shovel that makes you say, “Shoveling snow isn’t so bad anymore!”: Beaumont School
  • Upcycle: Gilmour Academy
  • Vibracelets: Laurel School

How it Works

Round 1: Idea Development & Written Submission Round

  • Teams (comprised of 1 to 4 members) will submit an Executive Summary that explores and develops ideas for business ventures in one of two tracks: Innovation or Small Business.
  • Small business ideas should be able to be realistically started by high school students with under $10,000.
  • The Executive Summary should be no more than 5 pages in length and must describe the concept and outline the problem, the solution, customers, the competition, assets needed, challenges, and financial feasibility.

Deadline for Round 1 Submission: December 30, 2020 (Online)

Semifinalists Proceeding to Round 2 Announced: January 11, 2021

Round 2: Video and Slide Deck Submission Round

Semifinalist teams compete in Round 2 to become a Final Four Challenge team. A slide deck and 60-90 second pitch video will be required for judging.

Round 3: Virtual Pitch at thinkBIG! Summit

The Final Four teams will present virtually in front of judges and attendees at the thinkBIG! Summit on March 2, 2021. Two teams from each track will compete for the cash prizes.

Please download required challenge documents for both tracks here:

Download a sample of a Small Business Executive Summary:


Offering $8,000 in prizes!

Two winning teams will receive $3,000 per team.

Each 2nd place team wins $1,000 per team.

Each Final Four team member also receives Veale Innovator Medals.

For the School Sponsoring the Grand Prize Team a Traveling Veale Innovation Cup Trophy is presented.

Deadline for entries

December 30, 2020 Online

Semifinalists announced

January 11, 2021 Online

Executive Coaching Days

January, 2021 Virtual

Finalists’ live pitch competition

March 2, 2021 Virtual

Please view all rules, eligibility, terms, and conditions for the 2021 thinkBIG! Challenge here:

Areas of Focus:

Networking, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Design thinking, Validation, Sales and Operations, Online Marketing, Finance and Accounting, Effective Communication, Collaboration, Public Speaking
  • Dates:
    New dates will open up for the academic year 2021-22.
  • Location: Virtual
  • Fee: No Charge

The thinkbig! Challenge entry deadline has passed.