The New Venture Competition provides University of Nebraska–Lincoln students the opportunity to stretch their thinking, pitch business plans and compete for more than $75,000 in prize money. Undergraduate and graduate students have until April 2 to register for the April 9 and 11 competition.
The Center for Entrepreneurship coordinates Nebraska entrepreneurs, investors, business and community leaders to serve as judges for the competition. On the first day, 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 compete against each other for two $25,000 grand prizes and cash prizes for first and second runners-up.
“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.”
A series of help sessions are being offered to help mentor competitors and improve presentations. The sessions, all in Howard L. Hawks Hall, Room 315, are 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. March 25-28 (financials) and April 1-4 (presentation/Power Point).
The competition is open to the public to attend. The competitions begin at 9 a.m. April 9 at the Nebraska Union (room posted) and 1 p.m. April 11 at Sheldon Art Museum. An awards presentation and reception will follow.