The Center for Entrepreneurship will host the Start Something 48-Hour Challenge during the weekend of January 26-28 at Howard L. Hawks Hall. This event is open to students of all majors and colleges at the University of Nebraska–
Lincoln. It costs just $10, which includes all meals, a t-shirt and prizes for the winners.
The Start Something 48-Hour Challenge provides an opportunity for students to experience the highs, lows, fun and pressure of developing a business idea and building a startup. Participants pitch their business ideas and form teams with other students before presenting their business idea to a panel of judges, who are from the local business community.
“You don’t even need a business idea to compete,” said Dr. Samantha Fairclough, assistant director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management. “Students bring their skills, passion and enthusiasm and find a place for it on one of the teams.”
Students compare ideas and form their teams on the opening evening of the event. After team building and role allocation, the clock starts ticking, as the teams have two days to collaborate before presenting their ideas and market research. Fairclough believes this is a tremendous professional development opportunity and a chance for students to move outside their comfort zone.
“This event forces students to meet people they don’t know. They go through the trials and tribulations of solving real-world problems by interviewing business people around town, calling potential customers on the phone and even developing a prototype,” she said.
The student teams also interact with mentors from the community. These mentors are local entrepreneurs, business community members and others from the entrepreneurship ecosystem across the state.
“Mentors give their time freely to work closely with student teams during the challenge. They share their knowledge and networks, and provide emotional and moral encouragement. Mentors are often the source of technical expertise in respect of problem statements, market validation, marketing and other aspects of the idea development process,” said Dr. Fairclough. “Students are able to test their ideas, expand their networks and gain a different perspective from someone who has relevant experience and can provide constructive critical feedback.”
Students can also win awards for posting on social media, being the quickest to take action on their idea, and the most entertaining presentation. To register and learn more about the challenge, go to: http://business.unl.edu/entrepreneurship