Get Started Omaha
Startup Showcase & Pitch Competition
Get Started Omaha is excited to be held in collaboration with Startup Omaha Week, championed by the Greater Omaha Chamber in 2023. The Showcase and Pitch Competition highlights entrepreneurship and innovation, harnessing the energy and spirit of the Omaha community through an event that welcomes all founders, funders, business leaders, and community members.
This event is for the community by the community. The pitch competition will showcase the best and brightest early-stage businesses the Omaha area has to offer with a prize package made of $25,000, plus services and products. Each round of the competition will be judged by members of the Omaha startup ecosystem that have expertise in early-stage business development and growth. All are invited to attend.
This year, anyone registered to attend Startup Omaha Week will be able to vote for their favorite pitch to determine the People’s Choice Award. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced during the Startup Showcase on September 25 and automatically advance to the pitching stage for the final round pitch competition of Get Started Omaha. Celebrate the Get Started Omaha startups and finalists and kickoff Startup Omaha Week with a networking happy hour immediately following the announcement of winners.
Thank you to our primary sponsor, Husch Blackwell, for making this year’s pitch competition and prize for the winner possible.
July 10 – Applications Open
August 31 September 5 – Applications due at 12:00 pm (Noon)
September 11 – Semi-finalists notified
September 25 – Startup Showcase featuring 24 semi-finalists and Final Pitch Event
- Eligibility: Any early-stage company located in or with strategic growth plans for the greater Omaha area that have received less than $1 million in outside investment.
- Apply: Companies will need to complete a short application form and submit a 90-second (max) pitch video
- Showcase: Those selected as semi-finalists must be physically present during the Get Started Omaha Showcase on September 25 for semi-finalist judging.
- Pitch: Five semi-finalists as well as the People’s Choice Award winner will be announced and proceed to pitch to a panel of judges and an in-person audience on the evening of September 25.
Expectations & Guidelines
The Get Started Omaha Showcase and Pitch Competition offers an opportunity to show your big idea to the greater Omaha community. Although not every company will win a prize package, Get Started Omaha offers exposure to a large and diverse audience, as well as a chance to vet the framing of your idea and hone your sales pitch.
Interested participants must submit a short application and 90-second (max) pitch video describing your business, identifying your products or services, addressing your competitive advantage, and detailing how winning this competition will allow you to take your business to the next level by September 5th. Applications will be judged by a team of startup experts to select the semi-finalists based on submitted application materials. Semi-finalists will be notified on September 11 and be asked to verify submitted application materials, confirm participation in the Startup Showcase on September 25 and submit a seven-minute pitch deck.
Part 2: Showcase
This is your time to shine! The Showcase will take place on Monday, September 25 in the afternoon. Semi-finalists will be asked to arrive early for one-on-one time with judges The Showcase is open to everyone – business executives, civic leaders, funders, and startup supporters will all be in attendance.
People’s Choice Award Winner:
Attendees of the Get Started Omaha Showcase will vote for the company they believe should automatically advance to the final pitch competition.
Each semi-finalist will have a high-top table (approximately 24” wide) to “showcase” your business – products you sell, physical displays, electronic simulations, etc. The Showcase is interactive – event attendees as well as judges will be coming by your table to talk with you about your business.
Throughout the Showcase, a team of judges will select five teams based on submitted application materials and personal interaction during the Showcase. These five companies along with the People’s Choice Award winner will make their pitches in front of a panel of judges and live audience on September 25. Due to tight turnaround, all semi-finalists will need to submit pitch videos before the Showcase.
Part 3: Pitch Competition
There will be six finalists competing for the grand prize. Each finalist will spend five (5) minutes pitching their company to judges and an in-person audience, followed by five (5) minutes of Q&A with judges. There will be one (1) minute of transition between pitches. Judges will award each pitch with a score of 1 – 5 in each of these categories:
- Strength of Value Proposition / Competitive Advantage
- Clarity and Presentation
- Market Identification / Target Market
- Financial Model and Team
- Intangibles and Funding Readiness
The winner of Get Started Omaha will be announced immediately following the final pitch competition! Everyone is invited to attend the Kickoff for Startup Omaha Week to celebrate afterward.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!