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Heartland Student Entrepreneur Conference
Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference

Watch streaming conference
Friday, April 24, 2015

The 2015 Heartland Student Entrepreneur Conference will take place on Friday, April 24, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at Metropolitan Community College's Fort Omaha Campus and will bring together more than 200 middle, high and college students from the Omaha metro area specifically studying entrepreneurship, innovation or creativity. This 4th annual conference is able to again be offered for FREE! and is not to be missed if you are a student from the Heartland area (Douglas, Sarpy, Washington and Dodge counties, Nebraska).

At the conference, students will hear success stories from local and national entrepreneurs. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a big idea essay contest, observe the best-of-the-best student pitchers go head-to-head in a quick pitch contest and network with like-minded peers and resource providers, so bring your business cards to distribute!


REGISTRATION:

Registration is FREE! for Heartland area entrepreneurial students and educators with details coming soon.

In consideration of acceptance of enrollment in The Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference, registrants will authorize Metropolitan Community College to use their image, likeness, name and comments in, but not limited to, photographs, videos and audio recordings created or used for the purposes of publicity/marketing and advertising for the College.


COMPETITIONS

Big Idea Essay Contest

Sponsored by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce

1. BIG IDEA ESSAY CONTEST: Submit your big idea! In 300 words or less, craft an essay to show your passion for entrepreneurship by summarizing your big idea to be your own boss, an intrapreneurial-minded employee or the next great innovator. All ideas accepted, including those with a for-profit, nonprofit or a social agenda. Winners will be announced and must be present at the conference. Tell us what you have going on! Identify:

  • What is the idea? How was the idea born? Why is it a good idea?
  • Who would be (or are) your consumer and how can it satisfy a consumer need?
  • How will you personally make it successful? (Show your passion)
  • What are your next educational and/or professional development plans to support your idea?

Submission: Students, submit your essay at: http://bit.ly/BigIdeaEssay by midnight, April 15.

Judging: Big Idea Essays will be reviewed using this judge form on the following parameters:

  • Idea concept summary - Big idea creatively presented to adequately convey business concept. Background behind idea and support for idea viability addressed.
  • Customer identification/needs assessment - Target market consumer(s) identified and the associated benefits to them are evident and compelling.
  • Credibility - Candidate portrays entrepreneur passion and next step plans to support idea.
  • Overall organization/writing quality - Professional essay presented in clear, concise and logical format. Presented within 300 words using correct grammar and spelling.

Prizes: Winners will be announced and must be present at the conference. Some students may be invited to read their essay to the audience. There will be three divisions (Division I - college/university, Division II - high school and Division III - middle school) with three winners from each division named. Prizes for each division:

  • 1st place:  $75 gift card
  • 2nd place:  $50 gift card
  • 3rd place:  $25 gift card

Elevator Pitch Contest

Sponsored by The Lincoln Financial Foundation

2. ELEVATOR PITCH CONTEST: This contest will bring together the top presenters as to be identified by each individual school's competitions held prior to April 18 (or as identified by instructor if a school has not held a competition). Selected students will have two minutes maximum to present their entrepreneurial or innovative business concepts to a panel of judges using only their voices. It is acceptable for students to dress in business uniform or attire normally worn in the business setting. Any student using a prop of any kind, including a note card, promotional handouts or technology, will be disqualified. Students will have a maximum of one minute following their pitch to address questions from the panel of judges. There will be three divisions:

  • Division I - college/university: The lead instructor from each participating college/university attending the Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference will be able to nominate and send up to two students to participate from their respective school.
  • Division II - high school: The lead instructor from each participating high school located in Douglas, Sarpy, Washington or Dodge counties attending the Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conferencewill be able to nominate and send up to two students to participate from their respective school.
  • Division III - middle school: The lead instructor from each participating middle school located in Douglas, Sarpy, Washington or Dodge counties attending the Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference will be able to nominate and send up to two students to participate from their respective school.

Submission: Lead instructors register (max two students) at: http://bit.ly/HeartlandPitchRegister by midnight, April 15.

Judging: A panel of judges from the local entrepreneur community will have one minute maximum following each student’s pitch presentation to ask follow up questions. The panel will determine the competition winners using the following judge form. Every student participant will receive individual feedback. Criteria for judging includes:

  • Overall organization/logic: Pitch presented in clear, concise and logical form; presenter conveyed confidence and professionalism and stayed within the two-minute timeframe.
  • Presentation quality: Elevator pitch is creative, energetic and delivered a memorable message.
  • Product/service competitive advantage: Product or service concept and the benefit to customers is clear and compelling.
  • Target market: Market opportunity and potential returns are clear and compelling.
  • Credibility: Candidate is believable as an entrepreneur with the passion and knowledge to successfully implement.
  • Q&A: Ability to answer judges' questions.

Prizes: Winners will be announced at the end of the conference and must be present to win. Prizes for the top winner of each division:

  • College/university division will receive a $1,000 Visa gift card plus:
    • MCC scholarship for 4.5 ech credit hours
    • "Keys to Successful Business Start-Up" from the Nebraska Business Development Center
  • High school division will receive a $500 Visa gift card plus:
    • MCC scholarship for 4.5 ech credit hours
    • "Keys to Successful Business Start-Up" from the Nebraska Business Development Center
  • Middle school division will receive a $200 Visa gift card plus:
    • MCC scholarship for either 4.5 ech credit hours or one College For Teens class
    • "Keys to Successful Business Start-Up" from the Nebraska Business Development Center

Additionally, the judges will award the following prizes to the best student from any division:

  • Most innovative concept — $100 Visa gift card
  • Most marketable idea — $100 Visa gift card
  • Most panache presenter! — $100 Visa gift card
    (the most spirited entrepreneur)

Practice!: See last year's conference Quick Pitch Winners to help prepare an Elevator Pitch.


TEACHER RESOURCES


SPONSOR

Lincoln Financial Foundation logo

The Heartland Student Entrepreneurship Conference is made
possible with the support of the Lincoln Financial Foundation.


CONTACT

For conference-related questions, contact
Heather Nelson at 402-289-1376 orhnelson@mccneb.edu.

 
 
 
 
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