An in-school program showing students that they can turn their passions and ideas into something real. 


My Big Idea is hosted by The Biz Foundry, a nonprofit organization working for entrepreneurs and innovators in the Upper Cumberland. The Biz Foundry is based in Cookeville, Tennessee and offers workspaces, workshops, and events to support entrepreneurs and innovative collaboration. The Biz Foundry is dedicated to helping all participants of My Big Idea.

The Biz Foundry created and launched My Big Idea in 2017 as a youth innovation and idea generator program. This hands-on program takes the students through business idea generation, idea evaluation, and business model development. Each program ends with a 24 Hour Grand Finale event where teams prepare a business pitch to present to a panel of business-veteran judges in hopes of winning cash prizes.



Our goal is to show kids in rural areas they are not limited by where they live. Greatness is not limited by geographic location, and we want to help spark that fire in the youth of the Upper Cumberland. We want to keep innovation and entrepreneurship thriving in the present and future generations.


We want to cultivate passion, to help generate ideas and innovative solutions to problems, and to teach the skills for building and executing those ideas. We aim to teach youth how to present their ideas and solutions to the public. In the end, we hope to leave students with pride in having done something real and meaningful. 

The Process

My Big Idea is a four week program where participants meet once a week. Each week, a different topic.

Week 1

Spark excitement, learn to see problems, discover your role, and learn to be innovative. 

Week 2

Discover the basic framework for evaluating good ideas, and learn how to use the business model canvas.

Week 3

Discuss findings from customer discovery and how to use that info to find the best fit solution. 

Week 4

Learn how to make money and make strategic partners.  

Each program ends with a grand finale event where students pitch their business idea to a panel of judges and compete for cash prizes.


Bring My Big Idea to your Community

Are you interested in hosting My Big Idea in your community? Contact us at to get started.

We look forward to speaking with you!



Any amount helps us achieve our goals

Donating to My Big Idea means you're supporting high school students in the Upper Cumberland region achieve their dreams. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, your donation is fully tax deductible. 


You can donate online or mail a check.

Mailing instructions:
Checks Payable to: The Biz Foundry
Attention:  Jeff Brown
The Biz Foundry
140 W. 7th St.
Cookeville, TN  38501

Want to get involved and love working with kids?

We are always look for volunteers and program facilitators to help with My Big Idea. Let us know you are interested! Email us at We look forward to speaking with you!


Youth turning their passions and ideas into something real


Past Programs

Jackson County - February 2017
Macon County - February 2017
Van Buren County - February 2017

White County - February 2017
Warren County - February 2017

24 Hour Grand Finale Event - March 10th - March 11th at TTU Memorial Gym


  • Charlie Jordan - Co-Founder, SafeSurv
  • Alane Boyd - Vice President, GoFanbase
  • Barbara Fleming - Retired MD

24 Hour Grand Finale Event - March 10th - 11th at TTU Memorial Gym | Group photo taken at 3:00AM!



"This was an incredible experience. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of it. The young people who participated in this are simply fantastic and we know the future of our area and the country are in good hands (THAT was my biggest "take-away")"

- Barbara Fleming, 2017 Judge


Upcoming Programs

Fentress County

at York Institute and Clarkrange High School


Wed, April 12th, 3:30PM - 6:00pm - Clarkrange HS

Wed, April 19th, 3:30PM - 6:00pm - York Institute, Jamestown

Wed, April 26th, 3:30PM - 6:00pm - Clarkrange HS

Grand Finale Event:

Friday, April 28th 5:00PM - Saturday, April 29th 5:00PM

(Location to be announced soon)

Putnam County

at Cookeville High School


Tues, April 11th 3:30 - 6:00pm

Tues, April 18th, 3:30 - 6:00pm

Tues, April 25th, 3:30 - 6:000pm

Grand Finale Event:

Friday, April 28th 5:00PM - Saturday, April 29th 5:00PM

(Location to be announced soon)

Cumberland County

at Cumberland County High School


Wed, April 12th 3:30 - 5:30pm

Wed, April 19th, 3:30 - 5:30pm

Fri, April 21st, 3:30 - 5:30pm

Wed, April 26th, 3:30 - 5:30pm

Grand Finale Event:   

Friday, April 28th 5:00PM - Saturday, April 29th 5:00PM

(Location to be announced soon)

Morgan County

at Morgan County Vocational Tech Center


Thurs, April 20th 4:00 - 7:00pm (EASTERN TIME)

Thurs, April 27th, 4:00 - 7:00pm

Thurs, May 4th, 4:00 - 7:00pm

Grand Finale Event: 

Saturday, May 6th 9:00AM - 7:00PM at the Vo-Tech Center


We'd love to hear from you

Interested in participating or getting involved with My Big Idea? Contact us to get started.

The Biz Foundry

140 W. 7th Street

Cookeville, TN 38501

Phone: 931.210.5105

Name *