Governor launches New Venture Competition for state's college students

· 3 min read

Governor launches New Venture Competition for state’s college students

Jim Pillen
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen, who previously visited a management class in Hawks Hall, announced an entrepreneurship pitch competition for college students in the state to help spur innovation in Nebraska.

Gov. Jim Pillen announced the inaugural Nebraska Governor’s New Venture Competition this week to celebrate and encourage student-led entrepreneurship and innovation in Nebraska. He launched the competition to provide a meaningful learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students attending a Nebraska post-secondary educational institution who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity now or at some point in their careers.

Because student teams need to pitch their ideas to judges through two stages of vetting, the Center for Entrepreneurship plans to help University of Nebraska-Lincoln students prepare. Students with any major at the university can register for workshops, practice sessions and work with the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship faculty and Community Fellows, a selected group of successful entrepreneurs from Nebraska and beyond who serve as guest speakers and mentors.

The competition is designed for “contemplated and pre-seed businesses.” Participants must select which of the seven industry tracks their business represents, including AgTech, FinTech or InsurTech, CleanTech, Advanced Manufacturing, BioTech Emerging Media Arts or SportsTech. The submission deadline to compete is Dec. 1.

“The Governor’s New Venture Competition provides an amazing opportunity for college students in Nebraska to showcase their talents. We know we have many talented students at UNL working on new ventures, and we are here to assist them in preparing for this competition. The Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship is here to help UNL students of all majors with their submissions. Our workshops are available to any student at Nebraska and will be a great step towards advancing their new venture,” said Samuel Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of practice in management.

The Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship workshops with faculty and Community Fellows are scheduled for:

  • 5 p.m. Nov. 13, Howard L. Hawks Hall (HLH) 111: Governor’s New Venture Competition Submission Preparation Work

  • 5 p.m. Nov. 28, HLH 111: Governor’s New Venture Competition Submission Preparation Work

  • Dec. 18-19, videoconferences: Virtual Pitch Practice for Semi-finalists

  • 5 p.m. Jan. 25, HLH 111: Governor’s New Venture Competition Pitch Practice for Finalists

Learn more about the competition.

[Learn more about how the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship can help you or to register for a preparation workshop.]( or email

The competition is sponsored by Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, Invest Nebraska, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Nebraska Economic Developers Association.

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