THE 2022 BIG IDEA CHALLENGE: An Education Innovation Contest™ is Here

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Calling All Ideas: Up to $500,000 in Funds to Strengthen Education in Nevada! THE BIG IDEA CHALLENGE: AN EDUCATION INNOVATION CONTEST™ is Here

Jewel and Mike Rowe, among others, confirmed as judges

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 11, 2022) – A statewide contest like never before has officially launched today: THE BIG IDEA CHALLENGE: An Education Innovation Contest™.

At its core, are big funds and a statewide search centralized on one question: Who out there has an idea for improving Nevada’s educational landscape? Winners – after three phases of judging – will share a pool of funds totaling up to $500,000, which will be used to take the ideas to the next level.

The contest was spearheaded by Nevada-based nonprofits The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and The Engelstad Foundation.

“Nevada is where I was born and where I’m proud to call home,” said Andre Agassi, founder of The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. “This is our appeal to those out there who have an idea, innovation or concept that can strengthen our education system. We need you and we can do this. Our foundation has long believed ‘With Education. There is Hope.’ So, together, and through THE BIG IDEA CHALLENGE, let’s make it happen.”

Concepts for THE BIG IDEA CHALLENGE: An Education Innovation Contest™ can span simple classroom tools for kids, technology that supports teachers, a new model to boost schools’ infrastructure and everything in between.

“We’ve all seen the headlines regarding our state’s educational rankings and it’s time for positive change,” said Kris Engelstad, trustee of The Engelstad Foundation. “No idea is too big or too small and I have no doubt that some Nevadans have ideas tucked away in their back pockets that can benefit so many. We’re here to help empower those ideas and perhaps bring some of them to life.”

To enter the contest, initial applications – encompassing a brief pitch of the idea – must be received by March 31, 2022. Judges will select candidates to progress to round two, where they will be asked to create a business plan as well as a video that further introduces themselves and their idea. From there, another round of judging will ensue and select candidates will be invited to the final round for in-person presentations.

Judges throughout the contest will include business leaders, philanthropists, stewards of education, sports figures and musicians – all collectively active in enriching education through direct work with Nevada’s school systems in K-12 and higher education. High profile judges include multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jewel as well as television host and CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Mike Rowe.

Full details on THE BIG IDEA CHALLENGE: An Education Innovation Contest™, including the contest’s timeline, application, official rules and more about the judges, may be accessed at For updates on THE BIG IDEA CHALLENGE, visit its social pages on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


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