High school entrepreneurs can win cash prizes in UNK contest

KEARNEY – Nebraska high schoolers have a chance to pitch their business ideas – and win cash prizes – during a statewide contest.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development is accepting entries for its Big Idea Nebraska High School Competition.

Open to students in grades nine through 12, the virtual event is an opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship, network with professionals and compete for cash.

To enter, students must upload a two-minute video of their business or product idea pitch to YouTube, then submit the URL at unk.edu/bigidea. The contest is free, but entries must be received no later than March 17.

Entries do not have to be complete business models, but they should include:

  • a description of the product or service
  • what problem it solves
  • the target audience
  • and how it might be made available to customers

The top 10 finalists, as selected by a panel of judges with entrepreneurial experience, will present their ideas 9:30 a.m. April 7 during a virtual event livestreamed on Zoom. After the judges narrow the final group to five contestants, the online audience will vote to determine the winners, who receive $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third.

Prizes are sponsored by the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force. The April 7 livestream is open to the public.

For more information or to request assistance with an entry, contact Aliese Hoffman at 308-865-8199 or hoffmanal2@unk.edu.