Big Bang!, the annual competition organized by UC Davis kicks off this year on Tuesday, October 24 with a networking mixer and keynote conversation, “From Big Bang! to Silicon Valley: An Entrepreneur’s Journey.

Each year, the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, puts on this program that offers the community the opportunity to collaborate, develop and test business visions and plans. Last year, for the first time, UC Davis opened up the competition to the broader community, meaning you don’t have to be a student or alumni to enter and participate. The competition is open to everyone in the Sacramento region. It’s a great program that offers mentorship, team building, education, financing and networking for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs.

The Big Bang! Business Competition and all workshops are open to everyone who wants to start and grow a business. Select workshops will be offered online. Participants in the Big Bang! will learn how to:

  • Define your problem and solution
  • Develop an elevator pitch
  • Define your product or service
  • Evaluate the potential market
  • Develop a business model
  • Create a pitch presentation
  • Write a business summary

The Big Bang! begins in October with the kick off event and ends in May. Teams have the opportunity to attend Big Bang! workshops to develop and hone their business concept. You can find an overview, guidelines and link to register on the Big Bang! Rules and Tools page. Early team registration opens on December 1, 2017.

Whether or not you decide to enter the competition, October 24th’s kickoff event promises to be educational and informative for any entrepreneur. Come out and listen to David Hahn, Executive-in-Residence at Greylock Partners and Accel in conversation with RepowerYolo Co-Founder Chris Soderquist. It’s free to attend but you need to register.

Register for networking mixer and keynote conversation.


About David Hahn and Chris Soderquist

David Hahn is the executive-in-residence at Greylock Partners and Accel, two leading Silicon Valley investment firms. Prior to this, Hahn was president and chief product officer at GoFundMe, where he applied the best technologies and thinking to match donors with people in need, much as he did for job-seekers and companies during his decade at LinkedIn. As an early product manager at LinkedIn, Hahn launched many of the network’s most successful growth features and was also a key architect of LinkedIn’s monetization strategy, ultimately responsible for monetization products across all lines of business. Hahn started his career as an assistant to the chief of staff for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Chris Soderquist is the founder and director of Davis-based New Energy Assets, a solar project developer and investment advisor, and RepowerYolo, a solar group purchase program. He has 25 years experience founding, managing, advising, capitalizing and selling companies in the clean-tech, high-tech, professional services and private equity industries. Previously, Soderquist co-founded and directed Octus Energy, Crescendo, Sierra Energy and two business incubators: Venture Lab and Technology Development Center. He is a member of the Cool Davis Council of Advisors, a Davis Roots mentor, a board member with Inventopia, and a former board member of Sierra Energy, the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy, Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance, UC Davis Connect, Comstock’s magazine and the UC Davis Graduate School of Management Alumni Association. Soderquist earned a B.S from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and an MBA from UC Davis.