Big IDEAS is more than a curriculum, it is a personable approach designed with entrepreneurs' needs in mind. The Big IDEAS curriculum was created by business leaders around the country to help businesses develop an action plan to create a sustainable business. Step by step, from the Idea, Develop, Execute, Accelerate, and Scale Stages, entrepreneurs learn vital concepts. As entrepreneurs participate in this series, one learns to create a business model, develop a problem statement, realize customer clarity, assess profitability of offerings, promote team engagement, leverage key partnerships, optimize supply chain, and more! Big IDEAS is a model that is continuous, experiential, and individualized which provides a new way forward that is rooted in collaboration, culture, and a community of support.

From Inspire to Concept

Exploring entrepreneurship and starting an ideation discovery journey.

From Concept to Company

Validating, feasibility, desirability, and viability, of a specific concept.

From Company to Customers

Execution trumps everything in business. We act, then we learn.

From Customers to Growth

Build a stronger business model – rapidly move the company forward.

From Doer to Owner

Supporting continued success with real- time assistance and individualized support.


The signature Pacesetters program provides a proprietary curriculum with accompanying mentorship, coaching from world-class serial entrepreneurs who have been there and specially curated resources to Big IDEAS entrepreneurs.

Pacesetters Studio, is The Russell Center’s invitation-only experience, that supports (10) growth stage Black led companies selected for a two-year in-house entrepreneur studio experience. Anchored by Ernst and Young’s trademarked Velocity platform and RICE signature curriculum – collaborating with some of the biggest names in business. These high potential companies receive the highest levels of access and support in wrap around services to accelerate and support their growth, profitability and scale. Partners include Google, Chase Bank, Accenture, King and Spalding and others ultimately creating jobs, strengthening the community, increasing wealth, and setting the pace for others to follow.

BIG IDEAS moves companies through an iterative process which allows them to work through their ideas, test them with customers, discard, change and build stronger business models that will systematically move the business forward.

  • Community
  • Accountability and Mentorship
  • Access to Capital
  • Safe Space to Work
  • Technical Assistance

Pacesetters Team

RICE Learning and Innovation Team

Execution Engine Leads and Catalysts determine Stakeholder Readiness for each PATH Stage.

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