2014 Competition

The Maverick Business Plan Competition encourages development of new ventures, either for profit or social benefit by members of the UNO, UNMC & PKI community. You are invited to submit a simplified business plan that identifies an opportunity and presents a viable proposal to address it. Winning plans can be new or novel innovations or can also address better implementation of or finding new markets for an existing technology.

2013 winners

2013 Winners

First Place ($3,000): MooMaker, an app that simplifies the identification process during artificial insemination for cows. Submitted by: Rachel Ostrander, a Peter Kiewit Institute student studying IT innovation

Second Place ($2,000): STEM-Direct, an affordable online tutoring program for high school and college students in science, technology, engineering and math. Submitted by: Manas Bharadwaj, MBA student; Robert LaMagna-Reiter, MBA student; and Felix Burgstaller, IS&T student

Third Place ($1,000): CardioSys, a platform that performs real-time monitoring for patients with acute and chronic illnesses. Submitted by: Luis Lopez (not pictured). Later accepted into the Straight Shot accelerator program.

The Prizes

First Prize: $3,000
Second Prize: $2,000
Third Prize: $1,000


  • Any team with a current UNO, UNMC or PKI graduate, undergraduate, doctoral, or post-doctoral student. Faculty & alumni are encouraged to participate by partnering with any of the above. Students must be enrolled in a degree granting program
  • Teams may not compete if their concept is part of another venture, or has raised angel or VC funding.
  • A current graduate, undergraduate, doctoral, or post-doctoral UNO or UNMC student must present the concept before the judging panel.


The Maverick Business Plan Competition requires a business or not-for-profit proposal in general terms and should outline the idea, the market, the competition, and competitive advantages, as well as for a general understanding of how the firm will operate and generate a profit. The requested document is a simplified business plan, in that detailed market information and financial projects normally required to obtain VC funding are not required. Concepts are evaluated on their viability in the current marketplace. The submission should have a one page Executive Summary and followed by no more than a ten page proposal for the business. Additional documentation should be placed in an appendix, along with team member’s resumes. Format is 12-point font and one-inch margins. Important elements to include in the business plan are as follows:

Executive Summary

  • Describing your entrepreneurial concept.
  • A description of the underlying idea, what problem does it solve.
  • State what makes the concept unique.
  • Determine the customer/market.
  • Decide how the business will generate revenue or become self-sustaining.
  • What are the long-term goals of the business

Value Proposition

  • Determine the "Pain" or problem that the entrepreneurial concept addresses.
  • Explain the solution the concept provides.
  • Discuss why these product/service benefits are real and valuable to customers.

Market Opportunity

  • If applicable, calculate the total revenues forthe target market. (This can be expressed in terms of total revenues or total expenditures by customers, or can be expressed in terms of total customers multiplied by the average amount spent per customer annually.)
  • If revenue is not applicable, how would you measure success?
  • Discuss your current or anticipated competition. Describe what other solutions exist.
  • Describe the critical success factors and critical risks.
  • Articulate milestone and longer-term goals.

Product/Service Description

  • Describe the attributes of any product or service.
  • Explain how the product will be produced or how the service will be performed.
  • Determine how much or what types of resources would be generally required.


  • Estimate the costs associated with developing or starting the business
  • If applicable, determine the revenue to be generated per unit sale or service provided
  • Estimate the break-even point (the what point revenues exceed expenses). Judges should be able to appreciate that the benefits offered will outweigh the associated costs
  • Detailed pro-formas are not required, but if applicable, can be included in the appendix.

Management Team

  • Who are members of the team?
  • What are their backgrounds?
  • What are their intended roles within this proposal?
  • Will others need to be hired and when?

Contact Information

  • Name of Team Captain
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • E-mail Address


  • Team member resumes • Diagrams, illustrations, photos, etc. • Financials if applicable


The Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Franchising is willing to assist you in the development of your business plan. Not only can we provide you with counseling, but we can connect you to local experts and entrepreneurs who have agreed to mentor our contestants. If you desire assistance, please contact Dr. Dale Eesley at 402-554-2706 or email deesley@unomaha.edu. Contestants who contact us early in the process are likely to receive the most support.


  • Submission deadline: Sunday, April 6, midnight
  • Finalists announced: April 11
  • Finals: Monday, April 14, 5-7:30 PM
  • Email plans to deesley@unomaha.edu

IMPORTANT! IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING DO NOT SUBMIT: The Maverick Business Plan Competition is intended to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial thinking among the students of UNO. As such, it is for educational purposes only. By submitting your idea(s) to the Maverick Business Plan Competition you acknowledge and agree that you are making a submission solely for purposes of being considered for a contest award. Information deemed highly proprietary or sensitive should not be included or disclosed in either submissions or presentations. By making an email submission, you release the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising and its respective directors, officers, shareholders, and employees from any and all claims relating to your email submission, including and without limitation arising from the risk of misdirection or misdelivery of your email.