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Bobcat Innovators Group (BIG)

The Bobcat Innovators Group (“BIG”) is for innovators, entrepreneurs, and social difference-makers.

“Ask a BIG” will connect you with the best Bobcat alumni innovator and friends of ours who can help you with advice and introductions.

You ask. They answer.

Ohio University alumni love helping students and fellow alumni. So what’s one question you have for an alum who’s done what’s ahead of you?

“It was incredibly easy to get help from alumni with my startup idea. And one is now an advisor!”
Angel Cunningham
“I wasn’t quite sure if I’d hear back on my basic question. But I got two responses and they were super helpful.”
Johanna Watts

How does it work?

You ask for advice.

Need help with an idea or active startup? Wondering about career options?

We recruit.

Our technology (powered by Protopia) uses AI to find the best, available experts to answer you.

Get answers.

We “hunt” until you have one or more responses. Delivered right to your email inbox.

Say ‘Thank you.’

Build your network by thanking the alum and continuing to stay in touch (such as via LinkedIn).

Not sure how to ask? We’ve got a short video that will turn you into a networking rock star.

Need inspiration?

“Hello, there! My name is Antoine and majoring in physics and pursuing an entrepreneurship certificate. I’m currently working on developing a physical product. I would love advice from innovators and help identifying resources or programs that could help with this venture, particularly the manufacturing aspects. Thank you so much!”

“Hi! My name is Gloria and I’m a business major who has always been interested in starting my own business. I came up with an idea for an app related to college and professional athletes in all sports. I have written a rough, but detailed business plan with my idea, but I am not sure what my next step should be. I’m hoping to get some advice from entrepreneurs who were once in my shoes! Thanks in advance.”

“I am Willow, and I will be graduating with a degree in chemistry and a certificate in entrepreneurship. I work part time at a firm that helps clients find funding to drive improved health and fitness. We are starting a new contract with an org that will probably require us to subcontract with other people/orgs. We are in desperate need of advice related to insurance, payroll, contracts and other professional services. We would love to talk to small (but larger than us) firms who have found cost effective ways of meetings these needs. Thank you for your assistance!”

  • What can I ask?
  • What’s a good question?
  • Who will see my question?
  • Can I request someone specific?
  • Can I ask follow-up questions?
  • How long will it take to get an answer?
  • How many answers will I get?
  • Will my questions and answers be confidential?                        
  • Is there a limit to how often I can ask?                            
What can I ask?

Literally anything to help with your academic or professional development.

There are thousands of alumni, faculty, staff and friends that can help with class projects, building and growing a startup or figuring out career options.

What’s a good question?

Think of your question as an advertisement. Share who you are, what you are doing, and what you need help with.

Keep it short and sweet. Here’s a short video on how to craft a great question that will get you results and help build your network.

Who will see my question?

We send your request to the best alumni, faculty, and staff in your area of interest.

Can I request someone specific?

No. We make our matches based on availability, proximity, experience and skills.

Can I ask follow-up questions?

Yes, of course! Once we make a match you’ll have direct, one-to-one communication and can ask additional questions.

How long will it take to get an answer?

Our goal is to get you answers within 3 business days. But it depends on what you’re asking. It can go as quickly as an hour to as long as 10 days.

How many answers will I get?

The number of answers depends on how many experts we have available with relevant experience. It may be one, three, five or more.

Will my questions and answers be confidential?                        

Your question will not be made public. It will be seen only by matched experts and a handful of administrators.

Is there a limit to how often I can ask?                            

No. You can ask as many questions as you would like. In fact, we encourage it as this is the simplest way for you to build your professional network.

Go ahead and ask

It has never been simpler to get help from others that have done what’s ahead of you. Seriously.

The use of the Bobcat Innovators Group is subject to our Terms Of Use.

Questions? Email us at BIG@ohio.edu.