Finalists chosen for Big Idea Kearney; Pitches Wednesday at The World Theatre

KEARNEY – Many of central Nebraska’s youngest, brightest and most motivated entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas as finalists in the Big Idea Kearney competition.

The event, spearheaded by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s College of Business and Technology, begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at The World Theatre in downtown Kearney. It is free and open to the public. Audience members will vote as the popular vote selects the winners.

Contestants in Big Idea Kearney submitted entries earlier this month pitching their business ideas. The purpose of the contest is to support a culture of entrepreneurship and provide contestants with feedback from other entrepreneurs and community leaders.

In its seventh year, Big Idea Kearney includes four categories: middle school, high school, community and UNK / college. It is sponsored by the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, Invest Nebraska Corp., University of Nebraska 4-H Extension, NUtech Ventures, Xpanxion, GIX Logistics, Ature Beck and Call and Nebraska Enterprise Fund.


Community Division
Benjamin Carlson, Kearney – DotAuth
Jaime Eschliman, Kearney – TUNE TEACHERS Online Music School for Adults
Patrick Hargon, Kearney – Third Story Window, nonprofit media company, podcasts, other forms of electronic storytelling
Mark Richardson, Kearney – Veteran Civilian Community Center
Caleb Wood, Kearney – The Duo

UNK / College Division
Skyler Bokoskie, North Platte – Easy Parking
McKenzie Cuba, Silver Creek – Digito-Deco
Nate Immel, Hastings – Clip N Bag
Savannah Lyon, Kearney – FosterOrg
Megan Ockinga, Red Cloud – Who’s Hungry
Elizabeth Ptacnik, Litchfield – Sleep Easy Bumper
Daniel Zavadil, Omaha – Toy Tent

Middle School Division
Lane Alexander, Kearney – L’s Pet Care
Keslea Christ, Kearney – Slime Time
Clayton Hickman, Kearney – Wooden Wagon Woodworking

High School Division
Palmer Evan, Kearney – AgriDrone
Tiffany Huang, New Jersey – Shoe Shield
Nicolas Jaramillo, Lexington – Real Estate Drone
Garrett Nuss, Sutton – Pivot Stuffer
McLean Witte, Hastings – Online Global