The New Venture Competition provides University of Nebraska–Lincoln students the opportunity to stretch their thinking, pitch business plans and compete for a $15,000 grand prize, alongside additional cash prizes. The top four students have the opportunity for further investment up to $25,000 from the Husker Venture Fund.
Undergraduate and graduate students must register for the April 5 and 7 competition by March 25.
The Center for Entrepreneurship coordinates Nebraska entrepreneurs, investors, business and community leaders to serve as judges for the competition.
On the first day of competition, students compete in a bracket-style format by presenting a 15-minute business plan to the judges followed by a 10-minute question and answer session. The second day, the four winners from each bracket will compete against each other for various amounts of cash prizes.
“The cash prizes are certainly an attraction for competitors and can be important to kick-start or grow a business,” said Samantha Fairclough, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management. “But the competition is not just about the money. The experience of writing a plan, pitching it to a panel and responding to some fairly tough questions is a fantastic method of refining and testing business ideas, and a way for students to build confidence.”
Student competitors can get free mentoring to improve their plans and prepare presentations at the Center for Entrepreneurship, Hawks Hall, Room 315.
The competition begins at 9 a.m. April 5 in the Nebraska Union. The final four take the stage at 1 p.m. April 7 at the Sheldon Museum of Art Auditorium. An awards presentation and reception will follow.