BigIdea! Pitch Contest
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BigIdea! Pitch Contest Details
The BigIdea! Pitch Contest, hosted by the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising (CIEF), is a contest where any University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) student with an innovative and original idea can showcase their business idea and receive funding for that business idea.
This year's contest took place on October 8, 2019 and October 15, 2019 in the Mammel Hall Atrium. The preliminary round began on October 8 with over forty students representing colleges all across campus competing for a chance at making it to the final round on October 15. Students were given 90 seconds to pitch their idea to a panel of three judges followed by up to five minutes of question and answer. Please see BigIdea! Pitch Contest Rules and Instructions for more information regarding the rules of the contest. The top three students from each of the four preliminary round rooms advanced to the final round the following week.
Trevon Brooks, Founder of Greater Management and Investments and City Leader for Bunker Labs, was a preliminary judge and had the following to say about the 2019 BigIdea! Pitch Contest:
"The BigIdea! Pitch Contest is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get real world feedback from subject matter experts. They (students) will get ideas, connections and feedback that may be the difference between their idea remaining an idea or it becoming an actual business"
The final round of the 2019 BigIdea! Pitch Contest commenced on October 15, where 12 students competed for $500 and a trip to the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization Pitch Competition in Tampa, Florida. The same rules applied for the final round and there were five judges on the panel. On the panel of judges there was Mark Griffis from Aviture, Chad Swantz from Suiter|Swantz, Les Robbins from Robbins Consulting, Scott Anderson from Medical Solutions, and Ashley Pieper from Mutual of Omaha. This year, Emily Buettner won the 2019 BigIdea! Pitch Contest, William (Blake) Phillips was awarded second and third place went to Patrick Grover. To read more about these students and their businesses, please read below or visit this article.
2019 BigIdea! Pitch Contest Winners
First place for the 2019 BigIdea! Pitch Contest, hosted by the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising on October 15, 2019, was awarded to Emily Buettner. Emily Buettner's business, Plug, is a social recruitment platform that democratizes the recruiting process for athletes and recruiters. Plug uses necessary recruitment features like geolocation and advanced search filters, so that athletes and recruiters can connect with recruitment opportunities. Users on Plug can upload videos that showcase their skills, highlights, or training, along with representing their training facilities so that other users can interact. Plug has integrated unique features like a user player card, built in direct messaging, and offers recruiting events near the user that make the recruitment process efficient and compliant with NCAA regulations.
Second place was awarded to Blake Phillip's and his business, PostMyProject. PostMyProject is a free project estimator for over 160 types of home improvement projects and an online community for service providers. Blake's service allows the average homeowner to develop a professional grade estimate and renovation item list by using just a few simple measurements, and then connects them with verified service providers. Blake received $250 and an bid into the 2019 National CEO Pitch Competition in Tampa, Florida.
Third place received $100 and was awarded to Patrick Grover for his self-assisting yoga mat. This yoga mat assists anyone from amateur to expert yoga goers with rising from the yoga mat.
2019 National CEO Pitch Competition Recognition
University of Nebraska at Omaha had two students' representatives at the 2019 National Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization Conference and Pitch Competition, Emily Buettner and Black Phillips. Emily Buettner pitched her business, Plug, in the Ideators portion of the pitch competition and Black Phillips pitched his business, PostMyProject, in the Founders portion of the pitch competition. Altogether, these two UNO students competed against 80 other college students from around the globe.
2018 BigIdea! Pitch Contest Winners
First place for the 2018 BigIdea! Pitch Contest, hosted by the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising on October 9, 2018, was awarded to Ly Phan, a business administration major from Vietnam. The first-place winner received a $500 check and an all-expense paid trip to the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) Pitch Competition in Kansas City. At CEO Nationals, she placed in the top 16 out of the other 80 competitors that made it to Nationals.
Her business concept is NailedIt – a management system for nail salons in the form of an app – benefits nail technicians, salon owners, and customer. It would increase efficiency of communication between salon owners and nail technicians while allowing customers and technicians to build rapport. Additionally, it will allow customers to see ratings and performance reviews of salons and technicians, allowing for a seamless experience from all angles.
First runner-up was awarded to Michael Mazgaj and his Hollar Scholar idea. Hollar Scholar is an audible abstracted service that aids researchers in maximizing their time in digesting literature.
Second runner-up was awarded to Suzy Fendrick and her Chorie idea. Chorie is an app that is described as "Hudl meets choreography and dance."
2018 National CEO Pitch Competition Recognition
Along with Ly Phan, Michael Mazgaj also represented UNO CEO at the 2018 National Collegiate Entrepreneur's Organization Pitch Competition. Michael Mazgaj is an MBA and IT Innovation graduate student and he placed in the top 16 with his idea, Hollar Scholar.
For more information about the 2019 BigIdea! Pitch Contest, please email Connor Berg: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You, 2019 BigIdea! Pitch Contest Sponsors!