BigIdea! Pitch Contest
Do you have a business idea worth the startup capital? Are you looking to grow your existing business? All it takes is a 90-second pitch for a chance at $1000 in cash prizes and the winner gets a FREE trip to CEO Global Conference in Tampa, Florida on October 28th-30th.
2021 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.
On October 5th and 12th at 5:45 PM, CIEF will host its annual BigIdea! Pitch Contest in Mammel Hall. University of Nebraska at Omaha students representing colleges all across campus can partake in the two-round contest. The preliminary round begins on October 5th with UNO students pitching to a panel of three judges from the Greater Omaha community. Students are given 90 seconds to pitch their idea to the panel of judges followed by up to 90 seconds of question and answer. There will be three rooms, each running it own pitch contest, with the top three students from each room advancing to the finals the following week.
Pitch Category: General
Please reach out to email@example.com to reserve your spot in the Pitch Contest!
2021 BigIdea! Pitch Contest Winners
The Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising (CIEF) wrapped up the 12th annual BigIdea! Pitch Contest on October 12th. The contest had a preliminary and final round that brought together students of various majors from the University of Nebraska Omaha. The students pitched their innovative and original business ideas to receive funding. Students were given 90 seconds to pitch their idea followed by a short Q & A from the panel of judges.
Makayla Leiting, an Entrepreneurship student at UNO, took first place with her startup, Smart Sort, and received a $500.00 check for her efforts. Makayla also won a trip to the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization global conference in Tampa, Florida on October 28-30 where she will represent UNO. Makayla and her team developed Smart Sort at Breakthrough Weekend 2021. Smart Sort is developing trash bins that sort through trash into recyclables and trash. Smart sort is driven to be an eco-friendly startup while also providing valuable waste analytics to customers.
Second place was awarded to Khylie Kight an IT Innovation student at UNO with KITE’s Innovation lab. KITE’s goal is to create a platform that gives its users an inside perspective of productivity. Users can easily see the progress of all participates in their projects through the platform. This will increase the overall efficiency and understanding between the participants. Khylie successfully brought home $300.00 for her business idea.
Third place was awarded to Tera Maher an IT Innovation student at UNO with her startup, RoadEvac. RoadEvac is an app that will instruct and lead people to the closest and safest shelter when there is a hurricane. Her goal for the app, once it is fully developed, is for the government to use it to improve their existing system. Tera won $200.00 for her proposal.
2020 BigIdea! Pitch Contest Winners
Kaitlyn Baysa, senior in the College of Information Science and Technology, and University Honors Program, graduating with her Bachelor of Science in IT Innovation, with a minor in Spanish, pitched the idea, Actívate. Actívate is a non-profit educational resource for Spanish speaking students in middle-late elementary school that assists students in learning the basics of computer science. She aims to diversify the technology field by developing a website that offers learning modules in Spanish. Her mission is to empower Spanish speaking students by activating learning, creativity, and confidence in the next generation of technologists.
Edward Whittle received 1st Runner-Up in the 2020 BigIdea! Pitch Contest. Edward pitched the idea Music Ringer, a web application that allows for users to effectively view and hire musicians. Currently, there are no effective ways to locate and hire reputable musicians, resulting in millions of gigs worldwide being left unmatched. Music Ringer addresses this problem as its mission is to connect musicians with the world by allowing them to become more discoverable and successful.
Justin Krug is a senior in the College of Business Administration pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Business Management. Justin won 2nd Runner-Up with his idea Chim. Chim is a premium Christmas stocking line that allows consumers to show off their school allegiance. By taking advantage of being the first mover in the local Omaha area, Justin plans on utilizing peer to peer marketing and social media marketing to establish a proof of concept before adding to his product line and scaling nationwide.
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 2021 BigIdea! Pitch Contest, please email TJ Andreasen: firstname.lastname@example.org
2021 BigIdea! Pitch Contest Sponsors