Central Nebraska Business Idea Contest


Entrepreneurs are invited to submit ideas to the Central Nebraska Business Idea Contest until 5 PM October 27. The contest is sponsored by the Center for Rural Research and Development at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Although this event is a great way to get your Business Idea out there and reviewed by experts, the purpose is not purely for monetary gain. This event was created to give many the opportunity to network with great professionals and also provides educational value you can’t get just anywhere.



Competition Organizer

UNK: Center for Rural Research and Development

Local US Event
Kearney, NE
*Available in all states*

Submission Date


Awards Date


Total Prize Cash (US Dollars)


Competition Category
  • Graduate - Local U.S.
  • Graduate - All U.S.
  • Undergraduate - Canada
  • Undergraduate - Local U.S.
  • Undergraduate - All U.S.
  • High School - Local U.S.
  • High School -All U.S.
  • Business - Canada
  • Business - Local U.S.
  • Business - All U.S.
  • Graduate - Canada
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Technology - Green
  • Technology - Other
  • Women or Minority-owned
  • Specialized Industries
  • Virtual/Online
  • Business - Global
  • Graduate - Global
  • Undergraduate - Global
  • High School - Global
  • iStart
Who's Eligible

How to enter:
Record a 2-minute video of you pitching your idea. Go to the CRRD-UNK website (www.unk.edu/crrd) for further information on where and how to submit your video. Contact Jessica Hinrichs (hinrichsj2@unk.edu or 308-865-8199) with questions.

All videos submitted by the deadline will be evaluated and the top ten (10) ideas will be asked to participate in a short Q&A session in Kearney on Wednesday, November 19th at 7:00 PM.

The crowd will select the “best” and will award cash prizes to the Top 3 Business Ideas $1,000 1st prize, $500 2nd prize and $250 3rd prize
It’s that easy and it’s FREE! 

Hurry and get your videos in before the deadline.
You must be 13 or older to enter an idea but you must be able to present in person onWednesday, November 19th in Kearney.

Your business idea does not have to have a fully-thought-out business model, just a description of the product or service, what need it serves, who your customers might be and how you would make it available to those customers.

If you don’t have video equipment, you can stop by the CRRD on the UNK campus and you can film your pitch at our office and we’ll make sure it gets evaluated for a chance to be in the Top 10...please call 308-865-8199 to make an appointment and for directions.

All entrants and the public are invited to join us in downtown Kearney on Wednesday, November 19th at 7:00 PM to watch the presentations and to mingle with other entrepreneurs, investors, designers and creatives!!!!

Competition Prizes

$1,000 1st prize, $500 2nd prize and $250 3rd prize!

Other Info

At this time the website with instructions on how to enter is being updated. Officially updates will be in place by August 1st. 

The University of Nebraska at Kearney and the Center for Rural Research and Development considers all submitted business ideas as confidential. However, we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. 

The University of Nebraska at Kearney and the Center for Rural Research and Development are not liable for exposure you may receive from and beyond this event. We cannot protect your idea from being "copied". However, maintaining a collaborative learning environment where ideas can be discussed openly is crucial to the Central Nebraska Business Idea Contest process. It is the responsibility of the owner(s) of the intellectual property (idea) to decide what information should or should not be included in deliverables. If you are planning to "sell" your product/service, we recommend that you contact the University's Technology Transfer Center - NUTech Ventures - or a patent attorney for guidance/direction before you submit your idea.