That’s where the Dr. Sushil Bhatia Competition for Innovative Ideas comes in. To enter, all you need is a unique business idea with potential. Winners receive up to $100,000 in cash and in-kind services. And starting this year, winners will also be fast-tracked into the semi-final round the MassChallenge Competition, where they’ll have the chance to win a share of $1.75 million in cash prizes.

The annual Innovative Ideas Competition draws hundreds of Suffolk students and alumni. And three of the award categories are also open to the public:

  • The Frugal Innovation Award recognizes inexpensive and useful products designed to help 4+ billion people who earn roughly $2 a day.
  • The Green Product Award is given to ideas that meet environmental needs.
  • The Intrapreneur Award is given to employees who develop an innovative product, service, or process that benefits their organization.

Winners Get the Support They Need to Launch Their Products

Over the years, the competition has helped many entrepreneurs jumpstart their businesses.

Angela Cakridas, for instance, won $10,000 in cash and $15,000 in services for her All-in-One-Makeup-Tube, which includes travel tubes for eye, face, and lip makeup.

She used her prize money to develop high-quality product samples, build a website, and file for trademarks and patents. And she’s also taken advantage of services at Suffolk University’s Intellectual Property Clinic, where she’s received help with contracts and NDAs, as well as general legal advice.

“Having the extra financial support really lifted a burden off me and allowed me to focus 110% on the development of the product,” Cakridas says. This latest venture comes after Cakridas created and sold her first makeup product—the 5 in One Brush on QVC-TV in 2013.

A year ago, Angela’s makeup tube was just an idea. Today, she’s meeting with buyers in the hopes of licensing the product to a major cosmetic company.

“The competition helped me move forward with my idea because you always need funding behind your idea in order to make it reality. Without this competition, I honestly would not be at the point I am today,” Cakridas says.