Winning participants in the 2016 3-2-1 Quick Pitch competition shared $7,000 in prize money for their entrepreneurial ingenuity by delivering three-minute elevator pitches to panels of expert judges similar to the television show Shark Tank. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Center for Entrepreneurship sponsored the event which took place in the Memorial Stadium skyboxes on Thursday, November 3. More than 100 competitors from Nebraska colleges and high schools participated.
The annual event, held each fall, gave more competitors an opportunity to win money this year by sharing the prize money between 21 winners rather than 10 prize winners in past years. Dr. Sam Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, explained whether the competitors won $1,000, as in past years, or $333.33 this year, the amount of the prize money does not make or break a great business idea.
“Giving three prizes for each room helps us identify more students to partner with and help them explore their ideas,” said Nelson. “Validating the winning ideas is very important, and lets us follow-up and do cool things with their business plans in the future. Judges from past years recommended this model based on how close the top three competitors in each room have been in the past.”
The energy of the event cycles through the student population according to Nelson. It builds the competency of the presentations and allows competitors to network with both their peers and professionals from the local business community.
“From a practical standpoint the ability for students to get feedback from judges and gain confidence to know they can make a business pitch is vital. Students are usually nervous and have never experienced anything like this, but once they do they realize, ‘I can do this,’ and then they want to do more of it. That success spreads by word of mouth which brings in new students to compete, and even leads to competitors from past years becoming our new judges,” said Nelson.
Nelson also announced the new business minor in entrepreneurship now offered through the College of Business Administration. He believes the minor can make 3-2-1 Quick Pitch an even bigger event going forward.
“We want to see more colleges represented at events like Quick Pitch, and by enrolling in the minor more UNL students are going to hear about it. We know the business ideas are out there, and we just need to make those connections which we hear about at events like this. The minor gives us a chance to talk to students about entrepreneurship who otherwise might not know about our resources,” he said.
View Facebook Photo Album Including Winning Competitors
Winning competitors included:
High School Room
· Corinne Baier, junior from Career Academy Lincoln, Nebraska
· Catelynn Neville, senior from Millard South High School
· Nate Staskiewicz, senior from Millard South High School
· Thomas Clutter, senior supply chain management major from St. Louis, Missouri
· Dillon Whittier, senior management major from Omaha, Nebraska
· Daniel Woodworth, senior finance major from Papillion, Nebraska
· Brenna Backemeyer, sophomore accounting major from Elmwood, Nebraska
· Grace Hansen, senior horticulture major from Omaha, Nebraska
· Michaela Mapes, sophomore economics major from Bennington, Nebraska
· Nicholas Brouillette, sophomore management major from Fort Collins, Colorado
· Matt Foley, senior economics and management major from Lincoln, Nebraska
· Grant Suddarth, sophomore agricultural economics major from York, Nebraska
· Morgan Cuttlers, junior agricultural economics major and animal science major from Raymond, Nebraska
· Reid Gahan, sophomore economics major from Omaha, Nebraska
· Shruthi Kumar, freshman undeclared major from Omaha, Nebraska
· Alexander Adams, graduate student from York, Nebraska
· Augustine Milanzi, graduate student from Lincoln, Nebraska
· Alexis Yim, MBA student from Busan, South Korea
· Justin Collier, senior computer science major from Bedford, New Hampshire
· Caitlin Kunz, senior management and marketing major from Stuart, Nebraska
· Zachary Settje, junior agribusiness major from Raymond, Nebraska