The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Lance Bythe wins student division of UNK’s 10th Big Idea event

Big Idea Logo

UNK hosted its 10th Live Big Idea event on Nov. 3. at NEST:Space located in downtown Kearney where the top ten qualifiers pitched their “Big Idea” in front of a live panel of judges. 

“The process helped me get to another level of self confidence and helped me explore areas outside my comfort zone,” said former UNK student and 2020 Big Idea winner, Emma Osowski. Osowski was also on the judges panel for the 2021 competition. 

The Big Idea event was open to not only UNK students but members of the Kearney community as well. Initial ideas were to be submitted by October 11 where contestants were to submit a two-minute video presentation that included a description of the product or service, what need it served, who the customer base would be, and how the contestant would make their product or service available to said customer. 

Each video was judged by experts with experience in entrepreneurship. The judges voted on each business idea and the top 10 business ideas were invited to the live event where they were then given two-minutes to present their ideas and then enter into a 3-minute question and answer session. 

The judges then picked the top five candidates followed by the top three candidates that were chosen by the audience’s popular vote. First place received a $1,000 cash prize followed by $500 and $250 respectively. 

This year’s winners in the student division included Lance Blythe who received 1st place, runner-up Jordan Schnell, and in third place, Justin Vrooman. 

“We didn’t quite get the numbers (contestants) that we have in past years, it was around 40 participants instead of 70 but the competition was stiff this year, we had a lot of talent and picking the top ten competitors was really tough,” said Aliese Hoffman of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development. 

Although the competition is promoting business and entrepreneurship, the Big Idea event has also inspired rural communities across Nebraska. 

Lisa Tschauner, professor and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development says that the Big Idea event has spread and is now held in multiple communities, even more rural areas. Tschauner also mentions how plans are being set in place to hold the competition on a more broad, and more competitive level amongst the University system in hopes of a competition to take place sometime during the spring semester. 

“We’ve really started something here and I think it is going to continue to grow,” Tschauner said. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *