Rules

Competition Rules

We’ve put some guidelines together in a couple handy little PDFs for you to download, print and keep for reference. Just make sure your dog doesn’t eat it.

The rules document also includes a sample entry and marketing design. Visit our FAQ’s page for general information.

Download the competition rules and checklist:

Judging Criteria

These are the scoring sheets that will be used by the BIG Idea judges. Round 1 includes the scoring of the written applications submitted via the website. These scores will determine the top 8 finalists. Round 2 is the scoring for the oral presentation given by the finalists. The winning entry is determined by combining the scores from Round 1 and Round 2. The Marketing Design competition scoring is used to rank all entrants who chose to participate in this phase of the competition. The scoring criteria is used to determine the winner of the Marketing Design portion of the BIG Idea Competition.

Download the competition scoring sheets:

Judging the Wellness Category

To enter this category, students’ business concept must promote wellness. Wellness is defined as a state of being in good physical and mental health.  Students must  check the Wellness box in the Entry form under the Business Name section to be submitted in this category.  The top 10 scoring entries will be submitted to Sanford Health, who will determine the winner of this category. The winning prize is $500 cash and a $500 scholarship to Northern State University.

Judging the Agriculture Innovation Category*

To enter this category, students’ business concept must promote agriculture. Agriculture Innovation Category must be an agriculture business that incorporates innovation, technology and/or leadership into agriculture or agriculture education. Students must check the agriculture innovation category box in the entry form under the business name section to be submitted into this category. The top 10 scoring entries will be submitted to the South Dakota Agriculture Foundation, who will determine the winner of this category. The winning prize is $500 cash and a $500 scholarship to Northern State University. This category can only be won by a South Dakota student.

Judging the Hometown Business Category*

To enter this category, students’ business concept must promote small town business. The Hometown Business Category must be a brick-and-mortar retail, hospitality, grocery, or trade business. The business should also have an online presence but needs to have a physical storefront component, not online only. The category will also be judged based on if the business idea would be suitable in a community with a smaller population. Students must check the Hometown Business category box in the entry form under the business name section to be submitted into this category. The top 10 scoring entries will be submitted to a panel of retailers, who will determine the winner of this category. The winning prize is $500 cash and a $500 scholarship to Northern State University. This category can only be won by a South Dakota student.

Judging the Makers Award Category*

To enter this category, students’ business concept must promote manufacturing. The Makers Award Category must be a business that creates and builds a physical product, which can include either a custom product built one at a time or a product that is made in larger quantities. Students must check the Makers Award category box in the entry form under the business name section to be submitted into this category. The top 10 scoring entries will be submitted to Blackout Industries, who will determine the winner of this category. The winning prize is $500 cash and a $500 scholarship to Northern State University. This category can only be won by a South Dakota student.