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Big Idea Kearney Pitch Competition

Returning for an exciting 12th year, Big Idea Kearney is once again poised to give aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to win up to $2,000 in seed money to launch your Big Idea!

Spearheaded by Cultivate Student Organization and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the competition is designed to foster and showcase the innovative business and product ideas emerging from our talented pool of UNK students as well as from the wider community.

About Big Idea

Ideas are submitted in advance, narrowed down to a group of finalists, and ideas are pitched LIVE in front of an audience and panel of judges. Pitches must be 2 minutes or less. Each pitch is followed by a Q&A.

Top ideas will win access and discounts to key resources, business coaching and planning services, and startup money to launch their business in Kearney!

Pitch Night

Finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a live audience Tuesday, March 5th, 2024, at Legacy on the Bricks in downtown Kearney. Social will start at 5:30 PM and pitches will start at 6:30 PM. This event is free and open to the public.

Event Sponsors

Event sponsors support Big Idea Kearney and make pitch night possible. Thank you to these sponsors for elevating the event for Big Idea. Email Sara at [email protected] to become an Event Sponsor.

Professional Partners

Professional Partners are committing free or discounted services to the Top 5 finalists. These services can include, but are not limited to the following: business planning, legal, accounting, marketing, insurance, and branding & design. For paid services, we will limit professional partners to one business per industry. When you become a Professional Partner, you are offering free and discounted services to the Top 5 only, but we will recommend your services to all Big Idea Kearney finalists. Email Sara at [email protected]  to become a Professional Partner.


Sara Bennett, Cultivate Faculty Co-Advisor
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship & Rural Development
[email protected]



March 5
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm CST
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Legacy on the Bricks – Kearney
16 West 21st Street
Kearney, NE 68845
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