The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Center for Entrepreneurship will host the ninth annual 3-2-1 Quick Pitch competition 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 10, at the Memorial Stadium Club Level Suites inside the west entrance. Students who want to participate must apply by Nov. 3.
The public is invited to watch the pitches and attend the event’s award ceremony. Apply to compete and RSVP to attend online here.
The competition is divided into three divisions, which are Nebraska high school students, local community college students and University of Nebraska–Lincoln students. Participants have three minutes to pitch their proposal for a new business venture to a panel of entrepreneurial experts. The presentation format is similar to ABC’s hit television show Shark Tank. Students are judged on their creativity, innovation and presentation skills and receive valuable feedback on their ideas from highly respected professionals.
“Many students have never done anything like this before,” said Sam Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “The opportunity for students to get feedback from judges and gain the confidence to know they can stand in front of a group and deliver a business pitch is crucial for their professional development. Students seem to love this event and participation increases every year. Several past competitors have even become judges on the panel.”
Competitors will be split up amongst seven rooms inside Memorial Stadium, including one room exclusively for high school students. The three top pitches will earn cash prizes. The prize money validates the winning ideas while helping these students pursue their winning business ventures.
“In the past, the prize money was split between 10 winners as opposed to 21 like it is now,” Nelson said. “The change had been proposed by the judges because they felt like the top three competitors in each room were so close and the growth of this event has made it more difficult to narrow down the top ideas. Validating those winning ideas and being able to follow up with those students is important to us.”
Students will present their ideas from 3 to 4:45 p.m., and the winners will be announced at an awards reception at 5:30 p.m. After announcing the Quick Pitch winners, the Center for Entrepreneurship will recognize honorees from the business community with the following awards: the Nebraska Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, Entrepreneurship Advocate Award, Startup Executive Award and New Company Entrepreneur Award.
The event is sponsored by Hastings HVAC, Nelnet, Resort Lifestyle Communities, Cameron General Contractors and Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.