3-2-1 Quick Pitch draws record number of competitors

Released on 11/23/2015, at 2:00 PM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., November 23rd, 2015 —

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the seventh annual 3-2-1 Quick Pitch competition Nov. 19 in the Memorial Stadium west skyboxes. Seventy students were selected to pitch their business ideas out of 150 applicants, making it the biggest Quick Pitch to date.

Each student was given three minutes to pitch a new business venture proposal to a panel of expert judges, who scored the competitors based on creativity, communication and presentation skills. Sam Nelson, interim director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management, said he believes the event makes a tremendous impact on students willing to share their entrepreneurial vision.

"I had a former student tell me Quick Pitch is one of the best experiences he had at UNL," Nelson said. "What we're seeing now is word of mouth from current and former students sparking more interest. Whereas it used to be primarily business and agriculture majors competing, now we have students from engineering, biology, education and just about everywhere on campus."

The competitors were divided into six rooms of college students and one room of high school students. Students made their pitches and were then questioned by judges about the specifics of their proposals. One winner was selected from each room and received a cash prize of $1,000. There were also three overall People's Choice award winners who won $300, $200 and $100 respectively for receiving the highest popular vote total from audience members.

The event was sponsored by Cameron General Contractors, Hastings HVAC, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Nelnet and Resort Lifestyle Communities.

Winners of the event included:

Room winners

  • Elizabeth Whitacre, junior management and veterinary science major from Eden Prairie, Minn. -- Caffeline: Nebraska's first cat cafe: coffee shop and cat adoption center in one building
  • Sarah Porath, sophomore electrical engineering major from Lincoln -- Put a Sock in It: collects mismatched socks for the homeless
  • Justin Kyser, senior management major from Beatrice -- DivviMap: data management targeted at companies using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for mapping in the precision agriculture industry
  • Logan Peters, senior animal science major from Lincoln -- PrimeFire Meats: American style Kobe beef sales directly to restaurants across the Midwest
  • Alex Peyton, senior agronomy major from Gothenburg – agronomics located in Pleasanton
  • Steven Fish, senior animal science major from Imperial -- beef breeding company that will supply female bovines and heifers for continued production of beef supply
  • Tanner Magid, Millard Entrepreneurship Academy student from Millard South High School -- TicketTock: nonprofit corporation that aims to provide underprivileged individuals free tickets to live events such as concerts and sporting events

People's Choice winners

  • 1st -- Trent Hoppe, freshman computer science major from Papillion -- Bumble: app that enables student to create, subscribe to and edit a collection of peer-driven calendars (social, homework, residence life, etc.)
  • 2nd -- Stephanie Hernandez, senior management major from Lincoln – app that tells users free spaces on campus for studying
  • 3rd -- Lambros Karkazis, freshman computer science major from Western Springs, Ill. -- database platform connecting textbook buyers with sellers, saving students time and money