Pitch your IDEA for a new North Platte business ... and win BIG start-up support!
1. Get a
Do you have an idea for a business that could make a big impact on North Platte (maybe even the world)?
Research, brainstorm, ponder, explore, create ... Develop a basic plan for your big business idea.
Make a short video about your Big Idea, and submit it to Big Idea North Platte on BigIdeaNP.com.
The best Big Ideas will win funding and support to help take their business from big idea to reality!
Live Grand Finale Event: POSTPONED
Due to the ongoing C-19 health crisis, we have postponed our live event. Check back soon for an updated event date!
Big Idea North Platte: How to enter
Step One: Create a video describing your business idea, and upload it to YouTube.
Prepare a video describing or demonstrating your business idea in 2 minutes or less, and upload it to YouTube.com. Please choose your account and video settings carefully; please ensure that your video is posted as "public" or "unlisted," NOT private. For additional help and information, read the FAQ below, or contact Cassie Condon or Evonne Keck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step Two: Complete the Entry Form (one submission per idea).
Complete the contest form, being sure to include your YouTube video URL. The video and survey must be completed by the entry deadline of Monday, February 17, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. UPDATE: THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE HAS NOW PASSED. All entires submitted by the deadline will be evaluated, scored and ranked by a panel of local experts with experience across major industries.
Step Three: Attend our Business Idea Contest Event on March 18, 2020.
The top business ideas will be presented during an entertaining event similar to the "Shark Tank" television program. Contestants must be present at the event to win. This event is open to the public, and you are invited to attend whether or not you submitted a business idea. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on March 18 at Godfathers Pizza in North Platte.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the purpose of this event and why should I enter?
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 the opportunity to network with great professionals and provides educational value that is rarely available outside of a college setting.
Will my video have to be professionally done?
No. The idea is more important than the video/graphic presentation style/quality. Feel free to use whatever equipment is available to you; videos shot and edited using your phone are just fine.
How can I learn more about how to upload videos to YouTube?
Click here to view a helpful how-to guide from YouTube.
Is there an age limit to who can enter the contest?
Yes, you must be 10 or older to enter. To make sure you are uploading legally and according to YouTube's age guidelines, you should take the time to read through YouTube's terms of service.
I don't have a complete business plan. Can I still enter the contest?
Yes. Your business idea does not have to be a fully thought-out business model, just a description of the product or service, what need it will serve, who your customers might be and how you would make it available to those customers.
Once my video is submitted, how is it judged?
Each video will be evaluated, scored and ranked by a panel of local experts, who will judge the ideas based on originality and creativity (50% of total score) and feasibility of success (50% of total score). The top business ideas will be invited to the live finale event on March 18th.
What happens if I become a finalist?
The top 7-10 business ideas entered into the first round of judging will be chosen as finalists. The creators of these Top Ideas will be invited to participate in a coaching event at Mid-Plains Community College, and encouraged to "market" their business idea to the community before the March 18th finale judging event. All finalists are required to attend the March 18th event in order to be eligible to win.
How are the final winners chosen?
During the Business Idea Contest Event on March 18, the creators of the top business ideas will stand before three judges and an audience of voters for a 5-minute question-and-answer session. The first two minutes will be the contestant pitching their business idea, followed by three minutes of questions from the judges. Once all contestants have presented their business ideas, the judges will select the top 5 candidates. The Top 5 will then follow up with another one minute Q&A session. Following that session, audience members with a ticket will vote on a winner.
What’s a voting ticket and who gets one?
A voting ticket is given to every person that attends the Big Idea North Platte Contest Event on March 18th. To get a ticket, you must be present prior to the first round Q&A session. All voters must have had the opportunity to have heard all contestants in order to vote. Each voter gets a chance to choose which top contestant they liked best by dropping their ticket in the contestant’s voter bucket. (Limit one vote per person.)
Who attends the final event?
The top Big Idea North Platte Contestants must attend. Colleagues, friends, and family of the contestants and the community are also encouraged to attend. (Attention contestants! The more of your family and friends that attend, the greater chance you have of winning if you make it to the Top 5!)
How are prizes awarded?
Prize tiers are as follows: First Place, $1000; Second Place, $500; and Third Place, $250; with $500 for the winner of the Youth category, and $250 for the runner-up in the Youth category. The prizes will be handed out to the winners after the Big Idea North Platte judging event on March 18, 2020. Each winner will need to fill out the appropriate paperwork in order to receive their payment. Payment can take up to 14 days to receive once the process is sent to the North Platte Chamber and Development Payable Department.
Meet Big Idea North Platte's Organizers
The mission of North Platte Young Professionals is to create and retain young leaders ages 21-40 in our community. NPYP aims to create strength in the workplace by developing individuals in a professional setting. NPYP members are invited to the monthly Power Hour, which is held every 2nd Thursday at noon at NebraskaLand National Bank Main Branch as well as to the YP Networking Events, held periodically throughout the year (check Chamber calendar for dates and location).
Resources & More
NBDC: Nebraska Business Development Center (click)
Contact local NBDC Director Charlie McPherson (click)
REAP: Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (click)
Free webinars from SCORE (click)
"How to develop a business idea," from INC (click)
"8 Hints for Starting a Business," from Entrepreneur (click)
Additional Information, Terms and Conditions
A video must be uploaded onto YouTube in one of the following formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, or WebM and must be no more than 2 minutes long (all copyrighted material will be removed). The Top 7 to 10 videos may be shown at the event on March 18th to the public.
Submission must be primarily in English or subtitled in English.
Judging and Selection of Winners
The judging criteria for the first two rounds is as follows: Originality and creativity, 50%; and feasibility and likelihood of success, 50%. The judging criteria for the third round is as follows — Majority vote of the audience: The contestant with the most votes will win the 1st place prize. The contestant with the 2nd most votes will win the 2nd place prize and the contestant with the third most votes will win the 3rd place prize. *Round one is defined as the review of all online submissions by local experts in that field/industry in order to finalize the top 10 contestants. Round two is defined as the live pitch and followed by a question and answer session that will be reviewed by three judges on March 18th, 2020 and narrowed down to the top three contestants. Round three is defined as public voting session which will define 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place based off of the number of votes each contestant receives.
Top Contestant Notification
Contestants will be notified by telephone, mail and/or email. If attempted notification is returned as undeliverable, if a Contestant cannot be verified, or if Contestant is otherwise unable to attend the Big Idea North Platte event on March 18th at 5:00 pm in North Platte at Godfathers Pizza, the Contestant will give up their spot, their spot will be forfeited and may be awarded to an alternate contestant. Additionally, they will not have the opportunity to win the Big Idea North Platte Contest.
The North Platte Area Chamber and Development, additional event sponsors and participating volunteer judges make reasonable efforts to treat all submitted business ideas as confidential until the concept is selected for presentation at the live event. However, we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. The North Platte Area Chamber 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 Big Idea North Platte 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 deliverable. If you are planning to "sell" your product/service, we recommend that you contact a patent attorney for guidance/direction before you submit your idea. Submissions that do not include all required information and adhere to the Official Rules will be considered void.