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Third Big IDEA Challenge gearing up

Those with an idea for a new product or technology can enter Patrick Henry Community College’s (PHCC) Big IDEA Challenge 3.0 for a chance to win a prize package valued at over $5,000. In this 30-day challenge, participants are guided through the product development process and compete for the chance to see their idea become a reality.

Information session: October 10 at 6 p.m.

Deadline to apply: October 20 by 5 p.m.

Big IDEA Challenge begins: November 6

“We’ve had two Big IDEA Challenges o far, and we saw some incredible products arise from both,” says Community Development Coordinator Tiffani Underwood. “While previous winners are busy patenting their products and developing them into business concepts, we’re ready to get another set of creative community members started on this innovation adventure.”

Up to ten entries, made up of individuals or teams of two, are chosen to participate. Those accepted receive one-on-one mentoring, specialized training, free access to the Fab Lab (a fabrication laboratory is a space equipped for product prototyping and visualization), and design assistance.

At the end of training, participants pitch their product ideas to a panel of judges. The winner receives three months of free access to the Technology Accelerator, a space designed to help anyone develop an idea into a marketable product or business. Winners also receive continued design assistance, additional mentoring, and media and promotional opportunities.

Those interested can attend an information session on October 10 at 6 p.m. at the Dalton IDEA Center, or they can contact the IDEA Center (276-656-5461; ). Applications are available online at or at the Dalton IDEA Center at 26 Fayette St. in Uptown Martinsville. Entry and participation in the challenge is free. All intellectual property and equity remain with the entrepreneur teams and individuals.