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University of Nebraska–Lincoln
New Venture 2025
New Venture Competitors

Bring Your Business to Life

The New Venture Competition is a showcase of entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and competition. All ventures created, run, and owned by University of Nebraska–Lincoln students* are invited to compete. During the two day event, undergraduate and graduate students pitch their business plans to a panel of judges and field questions based on feasibility, market potential, financial projections and more. Judge panels are comprised of founders and professionals in the entrepreneurship space who are dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship in Nebraska and beyond.

*Alumni who graduated within a year of the competition (May 2024 or after) are invited to compete.


April 22 and 24, 2025
City Union and Rococo Theater (140 N 13th St Lincoln, NE 68508)

How It Works

The New Venture Competition uses a bracket style (3 rounds, knockout elimination) competition. Teams advance through two preliminary rounds on Day 1. Following those two rounds, four teams will compete against one another on Day 2. One grand prize of $15,000 will be awarded, as well as cash prizes for 2nd-4th place. Prizes will be awarded immediately following the competition during the awards reception. Feedback from the finals judges will be available.

Grand Prize


Second Place


Third Place


Fourth Place


Finalist teams may have the opportunity for further investment up to $25,000 from the Husker Venture Fund, a student-led venture fund that provides early stage capital to startups.

Thomas G. Guy Startup Team Award

Awarded to the team demonstrating the best organization and collaboration



  • The competition is open to all University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate and graduate students. *Alumni who graduated within a year of the competition (May 2024 or after) are also invited to compete.
  • Registration is due by 5 p.m. CST on April 10, 2025.
  • All teammate names and contact information must be included in registration.
  • Submitting a business plan is not required, but is highly recommended.
  • Teams must be present at check in for all rounds in which they are competing.
  • Teams who wish to cancel their registration must do so by 5 p.m. on April 16, 2025 by emailing Failure to notify the Center for Entrepreneurship by this date could result in disqualification from future competitions.
  • Prize payment information (business name, account information, etc.) must be provided to the Center for Entrepreneurship immediately following the competition and completed no later than 5 p.m. on June 10, 2025.
  • The New Venture Competition provides a trusted and confidential environment where students should feel safe to develop, test, and present their business models. All participants (students, judges, etc.) must keep all discussions, materials, and pitches confidential and not share information with others outside of the competition or take competitors/presenters ideas and make them their own.
  • Teams that have competed in prior University of Nebraska–Lincoln competitions AND been awarded $7,500 or more (total across all competitions) must report this in the registration. These teams will be placed in the Advanced Traction Bracket. See below for further details.

Advanced Traction Bracket

Teams must report if they have competed in prior University of Nebraska–Lincoln competitions AND been awarded $7,500 or more (total across all competitions). Following a completed registration indicating the $7,500 award criteria applies to them, teams will be notified that they have been placed in the Advanced Traction Bracket. If a team fails to notify the Center for Entrepreneurship that they meet the Advanced Traction Bracket criteria, they will be disqualified from the competition and from future competitions. Teams presenting the same business more than once will be limited to two New Venture Competition experiences, once in the traditional bracket and once in the Advanced Traction Bracket. The Advanced Traction Bracket will take place only if two or more qualified teams register to compete within the same year.

Advanced Traction Bracket teams will not compete during rounds one and two. Placement in this bracket automatically advances the team to the final round of competition on day two where they’ll compete against one another. These presentations will occur before the traditional bracket presentations, during a morning session.

Advanced Traction Bracket teams are required to submit their business plan for judge review one week prior to their presentation. Teams should provide a high-level view of the business and presentations must include these elements and/or be prepared to answer these questions from judges:

  • Present a robust financial analysis, including projections, revenue and profit when compared to the last time the team competed
  • Include details about venture updates, pivots and changes when compared to the last time the team competed
  • Provide updates regarding competitors and customers when compared to the last time the team competed and consequent marketing strategy adjustments
  • Provide information about defined roles and organizational structure and any gaps that exist within both
  • Provide short (within the next year) and long (2-3 years) term plans
  • Address what worked, what didn't work, and how the team pivoted
  • Give a 5-minute presentation following the traditional bracket competition during the afternoon of day 2. This presentation should be a very brief overview of the business as it is today and is not intended to feel like a pitch. Basically, tell the audience who you are, what you're doing, why you're doing it, and what help you might need.

There will be no defined First, Second, Third, etc. place prior to the competition. These placings, and associated prize money, will be determined solely by the judges on competition day and may vary from year to year. Advanced Traction Bracket teams will be awarded their place/prize money during the Entrepreneur Award Celebration along with the traditional bracket teams.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Registration When is the registration due?
Thursday, April 10, at 5 p.m. CST.

Does each member of the team need to register?
No. Only one team member should submit a registration. In this registration, the team member will share contact information for all team members. All communications from the Center for Entrepreneurship will include all team members listed on the registration.

Will I receive a confirmation of my registration?
Yes, you will receive an immediate confirmation email following your submission. Additionally, you will receive an email from the Center for Entrepreneurship team within 72 hours of your registration with additional details regarding document uploads. Be sure to check all your inbox folders. The final confirmation will come no later than April 16 once the bracket is built. If your team is not selected for the bracket, you will be notified no later than April 16.

If I register, am I guaranteed a spot on the bracket to compete?
Registration does not guarantee a spot on the bracket to compete. The center typically receives more registrations than there are places on the bracket. The factors that are considered when choosing the 48 teams who will compete include:
- Submission of business plan or other supporting materials
- Attending workshops and/or otherwise engaging with the center for assistance leading up to the registration
- Enrolled in one of our classes and engage with our faculty about your registration/business idea
- All 3-2-1 Quick Pitch winners are guaranteed a place on the bracket

Do I need to submit a business plan or other supporting materials when I register?
No, not during registration. See the "Business Plan" section for further information.

Can I compete with an existing business?
Yes. All new, student-created, managed and owned ventures are welcome. The competition is for new, independent ventures in the idea development/pre-launch, seed, startup or early growth stages.
Teams that have been awarded $7,500 or more in University of Nebraska–Lincoln sponsored competitions will compete in the Advanced Traction Bracket. See the Advanced Traction Bracket section for more details.
The Event Logistics What is the structure of the New Venture Competition?
The bracket-style, three-round competition is structured as follows:
  • Round 1: morning of Tuesday, April 16 in the Nebraska City Campus Union
  • Round 2: afternoon of Tuesday, April 16 in the Nebraska City Campus Union
  • Final Round and Awards Reception: afternoon and early evening of Thursday, April 18 at the Rococo Theater
Do I have to show up at check in or only when I present?
You must show up at check in.

Can my friends and family attend to support and watch my pitch?
Yes! Please remind all spectators of the need for confidentiality while observing other pitches.

Are meals provided on competition day?
Yes! Breakfast and lunch are served on the first day of the competition. Heavy appetizers are provided during the final round and award celebration on day two.
The Teams Who can compete?
All programming and competitions hosted by the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship are open to all University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate and graduate students.
Alumni who graduated within a year of the current New Venture Competition (May 2024 or after) are also invited to compete.

Is the competition for individuals or is it team based?
The competition supports individuals and/or teams who are pursuing entrepreneurship.

Do all team members need to be students?
No, but for companies in the concept phase, students must have played a major role in conceiving the venture and have key management roles within it. Existing companies must be at least 50% student-owned. For the purpose of this competition, students are defined as currently enrolled University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni who graduated within a year of the competition (May 2024 or after).

Are there restrictions as to who can present?
If there are non-students who are members of your venture's management team, they are not allowed to present. They can participate in planning the venture and may help answer questions from the judges, but cannot present.
The Business Plan Do I need to submit a business plan?
No, however, submitting a business plan is highly recommended as it will be used to build the competition bracket and will ensure the competition is fair and balanced. Submitting a business plan will also increase your chances of making the final 48 team selection for the bracket.

How long should my business plan be?
There are no length requirements, but all business plans should include: a problem statement, solution, target market(s), business model, marketing and sales plans, competition, management team, financial projections, key metrics, current status, accomplishments to date, timeline and use of funds.

How and when do I submit my business plan? Your business plan and any supporting materials (executive summary, financial projections, etc.) must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on April 15, 2025. Your business plan does not need to be finalized when you upload it, but should be nearly complete. You are welcome to make changes to your business plan prior to your pitch.

Are there resources to assist me with my business plan and/or financial projections?
Yes! Center for Entrepreneurship faculty and staff are available to help you with your business plan, pitch, and any other questions you may have. Please refer to the schedule of pre-competition workshops for topic-specific help. Contact to set up an appointment.

Can I submit more than one business plan?
The Pitch How long is the pitch?
Each team will be given five minutes to set up, 15 minutes to present its business plan, followed by a 10-minute question and answer session with the judges. These time limits will be strictly enforced.

What specifics do I need to know about my pitch deck?
A pitch deck should be around 10-15 slides to fit within the 15-minute presentation limit. Teams will be responsible for determining the best way to share their slides while presenting, considering tech compatibility. Please reach out to if you would like assistance.

How many times will I pitch?
There are three rounds of competition - two preliminary rounds on Day 1 and a final round on Day 2. Because the competition is run in a bracket (knockout) format, you may be required to present once, twice or three times. If you are a finalist, you will present your business plan three times.

What technology is available to me during my pitch?
The room is equipped with a computer, keyboard, mouse, slideshow, clicker/pointer, speakers, a projector and screen. The preferred way to access your pitch deck is by accessing it on a cloud based service, such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Canva, etc. The computer will have inputs for HDMI should you choose to bring your own computer, but you must bring your own cords and understand that connecting to the computer/projector screen could create delays based on technology issues.

Can I have props?
Yes. If props are oversized, potentially dangerous, or could be restricted by the competition venue, please consult the Center for Entrepreneurship team at

Can I observe other teams' presentations and/or their question and answer sessions?
Yes! Teams are allowed to observe other teams' presentations and/or question and answer sessions. However, teams should respect the confidentiality agreement made when entering the competition.
The Prizes Do I need to set up an LLC or business bank account prior to the competition?
No, but if you win and receive prize money you will be required to set up a business bank account for payment purposes. Please work with your preferred bank for specific information and requirements.

If I win, how do I receive the prize money?
Winners are paid via check and/or direct deposit depending on individual team circumstances. All prize payments will be paid to the business and cannot be deposited into an individual personal account. All prize money should be deposited into a business account and used for business purposes.


The Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship offers workshop sessions to help you with your business plan, pitch, and any other questions you may have. See the schedule, location and topics below.


Preparing Business Plan Financials



Competition and Customers



Perfecting the Pitch



Pitch Deck Success



Office Hours

Come with any last questions, requests for help, etc. No topic is off limits!


February 1

Registration Opens



Workshop: Preparing Business Plan Financials

TBD | No RSVP Required


Workshop: Competition and Customers

TBD | No RSVP Required


Workshop: Perfecting the Pitch

TBD | No RSVP Required


Workshop: Pitch Deck Success

TBD | No RSVP Required

April 10

Registrations Due at 5 p.m.



Workshop: Office Hours

TBD | No RSVP Required

April 15

Business Plan and Supporting Documents due at 5 p.m.

Not required, but recommended - see guidelines

April 20

Round 1: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Round 2: 2 - 4 p.m.

Nebraska Union

April 22

Final Round and Awards Celebration

Rococo Theater

June 10

Winner Payment Information due at 5 p.m.

Previous Winners

2024 Traditional Bracket
2% Football

$15,000: 2% Football
Eduardo Sicilia Ayala

$12,500: FuturHerd Solutions, LLC
Brooke Parrish

$10,000: TeachFront
Lena Lankas and Peyton Peck

$7,500: InfoFilm
Madison Kreifels

2024 Advanced Traction Bracket
Pat on Tap

$15,000: Pat on Tap
Abby Miller

  • two percent football
  • coraltechnologies
  • Hudl
  • Dyslexico
  • Fan Word
  • Infofilm
  • Informedic
  • Lslures
  • Oakbarn Beef
  • Pat on Tap
  • Pawlytics
  • Stahlaservices
  • TeachFront
  • The Pallette Project
  • Upstream Farms

Past Winners


$15,000: Dyslexico
Grace Clausen, Tristan Curd, Bridget Peterkin and Schadrack Shumbusho

$12,500: InforMedic
Tan Phan and Pranav Rajan

$10,000: Beacon
Maci Wilson

$7,500: Pat on Tap
Abby Miller


$15,000: Cattle Kettle
Seth Daup and Brooke Bode

$12,500: The PALETTE Project
Erika Casarin

$10,000: InforMedic
Tan Phan, Pranav Rajan, Luke Farritor

$7,500: Now Vertakking
Courtney and Sheldon Brummel


$25,000: Corral Technologies
Jack Keating

$25,000: LS Lures
Hunter Suchsland and Cade Ludwig

$10,000: Heartland Sounds
Hailey Demers (Coufal)

$7,500: Playbook
Maria Heyen


Oak Barn Beef, Savannah Breeders Service


Pawlytics and Upstream Farms


Terrace Ag


Concise Research Group


Bongo Watersports and T&B Innovations, LLC


Stahla Services




Center for Entrepreneurship
HLH 315