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Clock Ticks Quickly for Entrepreneurs

Nov 7 2018 9:00 AM
Clock Ticks Quickly for Entrepreneurs
Elizabeth Brake, a junior accounting major from Lincoln, Nebraska pitches her solution to fitness, nutrition and motivation issues, to the judges.
With only three minutes to pitch an entire business plan, student entrepreneurs at the tenth annual 3-2-1 Quick Pitch Competition put it all on the line to win. Hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Business on November 1-2, the competition provided college and high school students the opportunity to present their business ideas for the chance to win cash prizes totaling nearly $10,000.

More than 100 students from high schools and colleges across Nebraska came together in the West Memorial Stadium Club Level Suites for the contest. This year the event split into two days with the first for collegiate competitors and the second for high school competitors. Students separated into several rooms across the suites and received three minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges comprising local business and community leaders. Dr. Sam Nelson, director of the center and assistant professor of practice in management, noted dividing the competition into two days allowed the center to include more than 120 competitors, a 70 percent increase in one year.

“We had more female winners this year than we have had previous years, which is great news.  We also continue to get a larger percentage of participants from other colleges outside the College of Business,” said Nelson. “It was great to provide our Clifton Builders the opportunity to compete in the collegiate competition and participate as judges in the high school competition. It presents them a great learning opportunity to see the competition from both sides.”

Christina Oldfather advises the collegiate competitors to utilize the resources within Lincoln when starting a business.
Christina Oldfather advises the collegiate competitors to utilize the resources within Lincoln when starting a business.
Megan Boyle, a sophomore finance major from Elmhurst, Illinois, pitched her idea for a wearable clip which when in dangerous situations, acts as a tracker and contacts local authorities when clicked three times. Boyle’s idea and presentation skills won over the judges, and led her to be one of three winners in her room.

“It’s a completely different type of competition, forcing you to quickly adapt to your audience because you do not know who you are pitching in front of. Figuring out how you want to deliver your pitch can be a challenge since you only have the one chance to do so,” she said. “Since the panelists were so established in their careers, they gave applicable feedback because they already experienced some of the obstacles we were facing. The competition was a great opportunity, pushing me out of my comfort zone.”

Following the collegiate competition were the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Awards, recognizing competition winners and honoring four entrepreneurs for their innovation, success and entrepreneurial spirit. The honorees included:
  • Nebraska Entrepreneurship Advocate Award – Christina Oldfather is the director of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and interim co-managing director of NMotion, a startup accelerator in Lincoln, Nebraska. She dedicates her time to building entrepreneurial communities and helping entrepreneurs succeed with programs like StartupLNK and LaunchLNK. She also helped organize 1 Million Cups, Lincoln Startup Week, the JumpStart Challenge and serves as the chapter director of Startup Grind x Lincoln.
  • Start-Up Executive Award – Dillon Sadofsky, a development team lead at ISoft Data Systems, Inc., assisted with making the company grow from a startup to a stable business. Sadofsky also helped start Presage Analytics, developing the software that helps big and small food safety businesses across the country. He also was a founder of Clockwork Demon, a local computer game company.
  • New Company Entrepreneur Award – Pixel Bakery, an award-winning creative studio, provides services ranging from animation and videography to production and print design. Jordan Lambrecht, Karley Johnson and Tony Bertino founded the studio in 2015. Since its foundation, Pixel Bakery continues to work on a wide range of creative projects, such as a teaser video for KANEKO and the animations for the opening titles to a video series by SoulPancake. 
  • Nebraska Distinguished Entrepreneur Award – Spreetail c/o Brett Thome, the vice president of business development, dedicated the award to the whole company of Spreetail, an e-commerce company established in Lincoln. Spreetail sells products focused on home, backyard and outdoors, working with companies like Amazon and eBay. The company has grown since its inception in 2006 to eight cities across six states.
 
Dillon DeRozairo, a senior at Millard North High School, pitches his idea in the final round of the high school division.
Dillon DeRozairo, a senior at Millard North High School, pitches his idea in the final round of the high school division.
The high school competition ended in a surprise final round of competition. Selected randomly, a winner from each of the five rooms were asked to pitch their idea one last time, this time in front of a newly formed panel of judges, as well as their peers. Wooing the crowd and judges, Ben Blumenthal, a senior from Millard Academy, came out on top as the overall high school 3-2-1 Quick Pitch champion – earning him a slightly higher prize amount.

As one of the judges for the collegiate level of the competition, Pixel Bakery’s Jordan Lambrecht, managing partner and creative director, left impressed by the competitors. Lambrecht looked for enthusiasm and passion in the competitors. The range of students – from chemical engineers to business and advertising majors – surprised him.

“Starting a business is a very daunting task, so take it in bite sizes. Learning is a constant, so never stop. It is important to reflect every day and think, ‘What did I learn today, and why am I better because of it?’ Otherwise you can get overwhelmed and drown in how much there is to do,” he said.

The winning collegiate competitors included:

Room 1
  • Siena Gailloux, freshman management major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Andy Mason, junior chemical engineering and geology major from Kearney, Nebraska
  • Shelbe Stroh, sophomore business administration major from Omaha, Nebraska
 
Room 2
  • Jarod Aerts, sophomore computer science major from David City, Nebraska
  • Levi Gipson, graduate student from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Tiffany Miles, senior management major from Lincoln, Nebraska
 
Room 3
  • Megan Boyle, sophomore finance major from Elmhurst, Illinois
  • Steven Kirchner, senior history major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dominic Nguyen, senior economics and chemical engineering major from Lincoln, Nebraska
 
Room 4
  • Annie Hua, senior finance and computer science major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Christopher Knapp, junior business administration major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Gage Mruz, senior environmental studies major from Lincoln, Nebraska
 
Room 5
  • Lance Daharsh, graduate biological sciences major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Mi Huynh, graduate student from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Katie O'Neil, senior advertising and public relations major from Dunbar, Nebraska
 
Room 6
  • Tiffany Burns, senior women’s and gender studies major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Joseph Jeanetta, senior management major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Rohan Thakker, sophomore computer science major from Omaha, Nebraska 
 
Room 7
  • Mitchell Johnson, junior advertising and public relations major from Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Lauren Mosser, sophomore management and marketing major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Tanner Stalsberg, sophomore accounting major from Milford, Nebraska
 
Room 8
  • Hannah Esch, junior animal science major from Unadilla, Nebraska
  • Connor Jolley, sophomore management and computer science major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Mary Woodruff, senior management major from Omaha, Nebraska
 
The winning high school competitors included:

Room 1
  • Sawyer Barnhart, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Emma Cromer, junior from Millard North High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Rachelle Tomasek, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska       
Room 2
  • Sienna Davis, junior from Millard West High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Miranda Dresen, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dillon DeRozairo, senior from Millard North High School, Omaha, Nebraska
Room 3
  • Nathan Brink, senior from Millard South High School, Omaha, Nebraska  
  • Katie Duggan, senior from Westside High School Omaha, Nebraska
  • Donte Wilkinson, senior from Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Nebraska     
Room 4
  • Abby Bonnstetter, senior from Millard South High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Alec Folsom, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Owen Jansen, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska   
Room 5
  • Ben Blumenthal, senior from Millard Academy, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Zeke Brown, junior from Millard Academy, Omaha, Nebraska       
  • Kellen Goc, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska / Biruk Tewodros, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska (tie)         
 
Sponsors of the event included Cameron General Contractors, Hastings HVAC, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Nelnet and Resort Lifestyle Communities. To learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship, visit: http://business.unl.edu/entrepreneurship.  

Clock Ticks Quickly for Entrepreneurs

Nov 7 2018 9:00 AM
Clock Ticks Quickly for Entrepreneurs
With only three minutes to pitch an entire business plan, student entrepreneurs at the tenth annual 3-2-1 Quick Pitch Competition put it all on the line to win. Hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Business on November 1-2, the competition provided college and high school students the opportunity to present their business ideas for the chance to win cash prizes totaling nearly $10,000.

More than 100 students from high schools and colleges across Nebraska came together in the West Memorial Stadium Club Level Suites for the contest. This year the event split into two days with the first for collegiate competitors and the second for high school competitors. Students separated into several rooms across the suites and received three minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges comprising local business and community leaders. Dr. Sam Nelson, director of the center and assistant professor of practice in management, noted dividing the competition into two days allowed the center to include more than 120 competitors, a 70 percent increase in one year.

“We had more female winners this year than we have had previous years, which is great news.  We also continue to get a larger percentage of participants from other colleges outside the College of Business,” said Nelson. “It was great to provide our Clifton Builders the opportunity to compete in the collegiate competition and participate as judges in the high school competition. It presents them a great learning opportunity to see the competition from both sides.”

Christina Oldfather advises the collegiate competitors to utilize the resources within Lincoln when starting a business.
Christina Oldfather advises the collegiate competitors to utilize the resources within Lincoln when starting a business.
Megan Boyle, a sophomore finance major from Elmhurst, Illinois, pitched her idea for a wearable clip which when in dangerous situations, acts as a tracker and contacts local authorities when clicked three times. Boyle’s idea and presentation skills won over the judges, and led her to be one of three winners in her room.

“It’s a completely different type of competition, forcing you to quickly adapt to your audience because you do not know who you are pitching in front of. Figuring out how you want to deliver your pitch can be a challenge since you only have the one chance to do so,” she said. “Since the panelists were so established in their careers, they gave applicable feedback because they already experienced some of the obstacles we were facing. The competition was a great opportunity, pushing me out of my comfort zone.”

Following the collegiate competition were the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Awards, recognizing competition winners and honoring four entrepreneurs for their innovation, success and entrepreneurial spirit. The honorees included:
  • Nebraska Entrepreneurship Advocate Award – Christina Oldfather is the director of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and interim co-managing director of NMotion, a startup accelerator in Lincoln, Nebraska. She dedicates her time to building entrepreneurial communities and helping entrepreneurs succeed with programs like StartupLNK and LaunchLNK. She also helped organize 1 Million Cups, Lincoln Startup Week, the JumpStart Challenge and serves as the chapter director of Startup Grind x Lincoln.
  • Start-Up Executive Award – Dillon Sadofsky, a development team lead at ISoft Data Systems, Inc., assisted with making the company grow from a startup to a stable business. Sadofsky also helped start Presage Analytics, developing the software that helps big and small food safety businesses across the country. He also was a founder of Clockwork Demon, a local computer game company.
  • New Company Entrepreneur Award – Pixel Bakery, an award-winning creative studio, provides services ranging from animation and videography to production and print design. Jordan Lambrecht, Karley Johnson and Tony Bertino founded the studio in 2015. Since its foundation, Pixel Bakery continues to work on a wide range of creative projects, such as a teaser video for KANEKO and the animations for the opening titles to a video series by SoulPancake. 
  • Nebraska Distinguished Entrepreneur Award – Spreetail c/o Brett Thome, the vice president of business development, dedicated the award to the whole company of Spreetail, an e-commerce company established in Lincoln. Spreetail sells products focused on home, backyard and outdoors, working with companies like Amazon and eBay. The company has grown since its inception in 2006 to eight cities across six states.
 
Dillon DeRozairo, a senior at Millard North High School, pitches his idea in the final round of the high school division.
Dillon DeRozairo, a senior at Millard North High School, pitches his idea in the final round of the high school division.
The high school competition ended in a surprise final round of competition. Selected randomly, a winner from each of the five rooms were asked to pitch their idea one last time, this time in front of a newly formed panel of judges, as well as their peers. Wooing the crowd and judges, Ben Blumenthal, a senior from Millard Academy, came out on top as the overall high school 3-2-1 Quick Pitch champion – earning him a slightly higher prize amount.

As one of the judges for the collegiate level of the competition, Pixel Bakery’s Jordan Lambrecht, managing partner and creative director, left impressed by the competitors. Lambrecht looked for enthusiasm and passion in the competitors. The range of students – from chemical engineers to business and advertising majors – surprised him.

“Starting a business is a very daunting task, so take it in bite sizes. Learning is a constant, so never stop. It is important to reflect every day and think, ‘What did I learn today, and why am I better because of it?’ Otherwise you can get overwhelmed and drown in how much there is to do,” he said.

The winning collegiate competitors included:

Room 1
  • Siena Gailloux, freshman management major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Andy Mason, junior chemical engineering and geology major from Kearney, Nebraska
  • Shelbe Stroh, sophomore business administration major from Omaha, Nebraska
 
Room 2
  • Jarod Aerts, sophomore computer science major from David City, Nebraska
  • Levi Gipson, graduate student from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Tiffany Miles, senior management major from Lincoln, Nebraska
 
Room 3
  • Megan Boyle, sophomore finance major from Elmhurst, Illinois
  • Steven Kirchner, senior history major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dominic Nguyen, senior economics and chemical engineering major from Lincoln, Nebraska
 
Room 4
  • Annie Hua, senior finance and computer science major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Christopher Knapp, junior business administration major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Gage Mruz, senior environmental studies major from Lincoln, Nebraska
 
Room 5
  • Lance Daharsh, graduate biological sciences major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Mi Huynh, graduate student from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Katie O'Neil, senior advertising and public relations major from Dunbar, Nebraska
 
Room 6
  • Tiffany Burns, senior women’s and gender studies major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Joseph Jeanetta, senior management major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Rohan Thakker, sophomore computer science major from Omaha, Nebraska 
 
Room 7
  • Mitchell Johnson, junior advertising and public relations major from Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Lauren Mosser, sophomore management and marketing major from Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Tanner Stalsberg, sophomore accounting major from Milford, Nebraska
 
Room 8
  • Hannah Esch, junior animal science major from Unadilla, Nebraska
  • Connor Jolley, sophomore management and computer science major from Omaha, Nebraska
  • Mary Woodruff, senior management major from Omaha, Nebraska
 
The winning high school competitors included:

Room 1
  • Sawyer Barnhart, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Emma Cromer, junior from Millard North High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Rachelle Tomasek, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska       
Room 2
  • Sienna Davis, junior from Millard West High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Miranda Dresen, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dillon DeRozairo, senior from Millard North High School, Omaha, Nebraska
Room 3
  • Nathan Brink, senior from Millard South High School, Omaha, Nebraska  
  • Katie Duggan, senior from Westside High School Omaha, Nebraska
  • Donte Wilkinson, senior from Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Nebraska     
Room 4
  • Abby Bonnstetter, senior from Millard South High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Alec Folsom, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Owen Jansen, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska   
Room 5
  • Ben Blumenthal, senior from Millard Academy, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Zeke Brown, junior from Millard Academy, Omaha, Nebraska       
  • Kellen Goc, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska / Biruk Tewodros, senior from Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska (tie)         
 
Sponsors of the event included Cameron General Contractors, Hastings HVAC, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Nelnet and Resort Lifestyle Communities. To learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship, visit: http://business.unl.edu/entrepreneurship.