Top 10 Big Idea Blog Posts of 2023

2023 - Top 10 Big Idea Blog Posts (Twitter Post)

As 2023 comes to a close, a year filled with excitement, fresh starts, and unforgettable moments at the Big Idea Center, let's take a moment to reflect on the captivating stories that were shared on our blog. Delve into these insightful articles, gain inspiration from their unique perspectives, and expand your own perspective on how you can make a positive change in the world. Get ready for an engaging read that will leave you motivated and equipped for success!

These are the top 10 most popular blog posts of 2023, written by talented individuals including Pitt alumni, current students, Big Idea Center staff, and more! 

Happy reading!


Creating Ripples of Sustainable Change - Sydney Shoff, Founder of Sol Refill

by Sydney Shoff


In March, we highlighted sustainable startups and organizations who create social impact by focusing on saving our planet. Sydney Shoff, Founder of Sol Refill, shared how incremental shifts in the way we purchase common household items can snowball into major environmental change and what her business is doing to make low-waste living accessible and attainable. 

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Micah Headley

What Clock Do You Want to be a Part Of? My Venture for America Entrepreneurial Fellow Experience - Micah Headley (CBA '22)

by Micah Headley (CBA '22)


Micah Headley, University of Pittsburgh alum and 2022 Venture For America Fellow, shared his reasons for joining the Venture for America Entrepreneurial Fellows program, how the experience has enriched his career, and why you should get involved as a student!
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Entrepreneurship Isn’t Just for Adults: How Pitt Student Innovators are Inspiring Young Minds to Think Creatively

by The Big Idea Center


Anna Li and Joe Maggiore, University of Pittsburgh students, shared their personal experiences and insights about being a student entrepreneur with elementary students during an assembly at the Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship. Students were encouraged to think creatively, follow their passions, and step outside their comfort zones. This experience demonstrates the importance of inspiring and educating young people about entrepreneurship.

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Breaking Grad: Reflecting on Starting my Solo Business During Lockdown as Graduation Nears - Sai Govindaraju '23

by Sai Govindaraju '23



Sai Govindaraju transformed a quarantine hobby of tie-dyeing and into a full-fledged business. In this featured article, She reflected on what she learned about entrepreneurship through her journey starting and operating Sai's Dyes and shared how her tie-dye business helped to bring color back into other's lives!

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Beyond Cultural Exchange: An International Exchange Student's Pursuit of Innovation at Pitt - Noeline Hequet (CBA '23)

by Noeline Hequet (CBA '23)


Noeline Hequet reflected on her experience participating in this the Randall Family Big Idea Competition as part of team LaRecette, and how she'll take what she's learned here at Pitt to continue to innovate in her home country, France!

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Olivia Wagner

Side Hustles Supporting My Career Journey - Olivia Wagner '23

by Olivia Wagner '23

Olivia Wagner discussed her personal career journey and the unique opportunities she's sought out to earn a passive income and gain valuable transferrable skills to bring to the workforce. Her story is relatable, thought-provoking, and showcases what students are able to accomplish when put to the test!

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Natalie McDonald WEW2023 Blog Profile Pic

Entrepreneurial PSA – There’s Value in Not Going it Alone (Even if We Sometimes Think We Can!) - Natalie McDonald, ‘97

by Natalie McDonald, ‘97


University of Pittsburgh alum and Founder of CreateNYC, Natalie McDonald DSAS '97 shared how you can unlock entrepreneurial success through the power of relationships based off of her personal journey of building her marketing and advertising agency that serves the heavily regulated pharmaceutical industry. Discover how mentors, collaborations, and diverse partnerships shape the journey of a successful entrepreneur!

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Home(care) is Where My Heart is: An Immigrant Student's Journey to Starting Her Own Homecare Agency - Helga Zeneli, CBA '24

by Helga Zeneli, (CBA '24)


Helga Zeneli discussed how she set out to achieve her goal of starting a homecare business while utilizing skills she's gained from various leadership roles within Pitt student organizations. Her story as an immigrant entrepreneur is inspiring and a must-read for anyone looking to achieve their leadership and entrepreneurial goals at Pitt!

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Generative AI Applications: The Opportunity to Seize - Bishal Dasgupta, MBA ‘24

by Bishal Dasgupta, (MBA ‘24)


Second-year University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business MBA candidate and Digital Transformation Consultant, Bishal Dasgupta '24, explored the opportunities available to entrepreneurs who can harness the power of generative AI by developing applications tailored for various use cases. Discover how startups, collaborations, and diverse partnerships shape the journey of a successful entrepreneur!

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Taking Dreams Into my Own Hands - Hannah Beil '25

by Hannah Beil '25


At just 17 years old, sophomore business student Hannah Beil '25 started her company, ÜP, and serves as CEO. Hannah "creates a space for everyone to dream their most "far-fetched" or "unrealistic" dream and turn it into a timeless editorial product which focuses on fashion, lifestyle, culture, beauty, and travel." In her featured blog post, Hannah discussed her background, personal philosophies, entrepreneurial goals, tips for other creative self-starters, and much more.

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