QuickPitch Competition The Engler Open 


Quick Pitch Competition Winners

On March 13, 2018, Engler hosted the Engler Open, a Quick Pitch business competition for University of Nebraska – Lincoln undergraduate students who competed for one of three $1,000 awards. Students had to give a three minute pitch and then answer two minutes of questions from the panel of judges. A total of forty students pitched at the event held at Turbine Flats Project and were divided into five random groups that each faced two judges. After all of the students had presented, they then had the opportunity to sit down with the judges and gain valuable feedback about how to improve their ideas and presentations. All of the students who participated did a tremendous job and the panel of three judges were tasked with selecting two students from each group to move on to a finals round the same evening.

Cheyenne Gerlach

Cheyenne Gerlach

Cheyenne Gerlach, Agricultural Economics major from DeWitt, Neb won with her business Giving Gloves, which donates 25% of its profits of the sale of high-quality gloves to an organization that fights hunger in the customer’s home state.

Jake Wilkins

Jake Wilkins

Jake Wilkins, Ag Education major from Ainsworth, Neb., won with his business, Pik-Up. His business connects drivers of pick-up trucks and trailers to businesses that need products hauled all across Nebraska and the Midwest.

Audrey Foster

Audrey Foster

Audrey Foster, a Textiles, Manufacturing and Fashion Design major from Berwyn, Neb., won with her customized painted clothing business. The business fills a vacancy in the market for people who want one of a kind clothing creations.

Approximate Agenda - March 13

4:15 pm

All competitors check-in

4:30 pm

Welcome & Announcements - Quick pitches begin in multiple rooms

5:45 - 6:15 pm

Judges feedback and Finalists announced

6:30 pm

Finalists pitch followed by awards and dinner

Event Details

Tuesday,  March 13, 2018

Preliminary Rounds:  Begin promptly at 4:30 pm at Turbine Flats.

All competitors check-in at least 15 minutes before.

Finals:  6:30 pm at Turbine Flats.

Awards and food and beverages following!

Competition Structure

All competitors should be present at the preliminary rounds. The order you pitch in will be determined by random draw.  We will not divide by underclass and upperclass or experience level, however, HS students will pitch seperately from college undergrads.

  • Pitching will be open format. All participants are welcome to be in the room where they will pitch and spectators are also welcome.
  • There will be two finalists from each room grouping.
  • The finalists will compete at the same location at 6:30pm
  • At conclusion of pitches, 4 winners will be announced - 3 college and 1 high school
  • Total prize money of $3,000 will be allocated to the college winners!
  • The high school winner will be invited back to participate in a special Engler event in the Spring or Fall.
  • Finalists, judges, staff and special guests will enjoy dinner and networking after the awards are handed out.

Quick Pitch Rules

1. Each student will have three minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges; at 30 seconds remaining, a timer will give a signal and then will stop the pitch at 3 minutes.
2. Judges will have two minutes for a question and answer session with the student.
3. Visual aids / props (PowerPoint presentations, posters, displays, etc.) are not permitted.

What is a Quick Pitch?

A Quick Pitch (sometimes known as an elevator pitch) is a 30-second to 3-minute action-oriented description of a business venture designed to:

  1. Engage the interest of the audience/investor
  2. Persuade them to participate in the business venture as you see fit (investor, customer, partner, referral source, etc.)

What information should be included in a Quick Pitch?

An effective Quick Pitch should address the following questions:

  1. What is your product or service?
    Briefly describe what it is you sell. Do not go into excruciating detail.
  2. Who is your market?
    Briefly discuss who you are selling the product or service to.  What industry is it?  How large of a market do they represent?
  3. Who is behind the company?
    "Bet on the jockey, not the horse" is a familiar saying among Investors. Tell them a little about you and your team's background and achievements. If you have a strong advisory board, tell them who they are and what they have accomplished.
  4. Who is your competition?
    Don't have any?  Think again.  Briefly discuss who they are and what they have accomplished.  Successful competition is an advantage; they are proof your business model and/or concept work.
  5. What is your competitive advantage?
    Simply being in an industry with successful competitors is not enough. You need to effectively communicate how your company is different and why you have an advantage over the competition.  A better distribution channel?  Key partners?  Proprietary technology?
  6. What is your revenue model?
    More simply, how do you expect to make money?

How should a Quick Pitch sound?

  1. It should not sound memorized or robotic, but it should be well-rehearsed.
  2. You should be excited about what you are pitching!  Your audience should be able to hear the passion in your voice.

Judges’ Criteria

Presentations will be judged on the competitors’ ability to both address the key components of a start-up business venture, answer the judges’ questions regarding their venture, and present their idea passionately, creatively, clearly, and concisely.  Judges will be provided with criteria on which to evaluate the competitors.  The finalists of each flight will be determined through a deliberation process and mutual decision by the judges.