In celebration of the local entrepreneurship community, the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship honors entrepreneurs and advocates for their innovation, success and entrepreneurial spirit. Nominations for award consideration are now open and awards will be presented during the New Venture Competition reception on April 18, 2024. Please submit all nominations by 5 p.m. on April 1, 2024.
Nominate Someone For an Award
Nebraska Distinguished Entrepreneur Award
Distinguished Entrepreneur Award
Emerging Venture Award
Start-Up Executive Award
Entrepreneur Advocate Award
Jeff Vaske Service in Entrepreneurship Award
Faculty/Staff Entrepreneurship Advocacy Award
Student Entrepreneur Award
New Venture Competition Grand Prize Winners
Presented to the founder of an established, successful entrepreneurial Nebraska company that inspires and demonstrates continued innovation.
Prior recipients include: Brett Thome, Spreetail; Matthew Wegener, ISoft Data Systems / Turbine Flats; Larry L. Snyder, Snyder Industries, Inc.; W. Patrick Clarke, Northstar Financial Services Group, LLC; David Graff, Brian Kaiser and John Wirtz, Hudl; Michael D. Hays, NRC Health
Presented to the founder of an established, successful company with ties to Nebraska that inspires and demonstrates continued innovation. Company or founder should be connected to Nebraska in some way and must be stated as such in the nomination form.
Presented to a company that is less than five years old that has proven successful in creating an innovative offering experiencing early growth and success.
Prior recipients include: Jordan Lambrecht, Karley Johnson and Tony Bertino, Pixel Bakery; Vishal Singh, QuantifiedAg; Matt Taylor, Tavern on the Square and The Other Room; Matt Medlock, Paysafe; Paul and Stephanie Jarrett, Bulu Julie Mahlock, Bloom.com; Blake Lawrence, Hurrdat / opendorse
Presented to an individual who has made a positive and significant impact to the growth of at least one company.
Prior recipients include: Dillon Sadofsky, Presage Analytics; John Hogan, Home Instead Senior Care; Joseph Knecht, Venture Tech; Bill Hipsher, B2 Interactive; Joe Petsick, Proxibid; Thomas G. Guy
Presented to an individual who has who has played a crucial role in advancing the progress of Nebraska's startup community through substantial contributions.
Prior recipients include: Christina Oldfather, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development; Dan Hoffman, Invest Nebraska; Gregg Christensen, Nebraska Department of Education
Presented to an individual in recognition of unwavering leadership, dedication, and invaluable contributions. Like the inaugural recipient and for whom this award is named, this celebrates the recipients tireless devotion and outstanding efforts which have significantly impacted the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship's success.
Presented to a University of Nebraska faculty or staff member who demonstrates exceptional commitment and support in fostering students' entrepreneurial endeavors. This individual actively contributes to the growth and success of student-led entrepreneurial initiatives, showcasing a dedication to innovation on campus and within the Nebraska community.
Presented to a student who has contributed to the engagement and community of the Center for Entrepreneurship. This student displays hard work in and out of the classroom and is an advocate for entrepreneurship on campus. This student embodies innovation and collaboration and energizes other students to do the same.
Each year, more than 48 student teams compete in a bracket format for the right to be crowned champion of the New Venture Competition. Four final teams will compete for prize money totaling $45,000.