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What is Big Idea Hastings?

It's like Shark Tank, but LIVE and with a Hastings spin! Finalists will participate in the Big Idea Hastings: Live Pitch Event on November 5th where they will have 2 MINUTES OR LESS to pitch their idea in front of a panel of community judges or”sharks” and the audience. Each pitch is followed by a series of questions. Top 5 receive a list of community resources to help them continue their idea. Top 3 get cash prizes!

1st Place - $1,000
2nd Place - $500
3rd Place - $250

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Before we get ahead of ourselves, we are looking for BIG ideas! We want you to be creative, innovative, and think about how this idea could thrive not only in our community, but maybe even beyond Hastings. We live in a community where you can do anything, start anything, or recreate something you’ve seen somewhere else. We just want those that want to pursue those ideas to step up and submit!

Idea Submission Deadline

Wednesday, October 23rd at MIDNIGHT

You don't need a business plan to submit your idea. Your idea could be in infant stages and you want to see what others think or it could be at maturity and you just need a little seed money (and resources) to get your idea off the ground!

Your idea can be in any of the following categories:
- Retail
- IT / Tech / Web Services
- Service
- Product Invention
- Food Service / Food-Related

If your idea falls outside these categories, please feel free to still submit your idea! We will let you know if it is outside the scope for Big Idea Hastings.

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When will you know if you are a finalist?

Ideas must be submitted by MIDNIGHT on Wednesday, October 23rd. Finalists will be notified by Friday, October 25th if they will be pitching at the Live Pitch Event on November 5th.

If you are a finalist, we help you prepare for your pitch by meeting with you, talking through your idea, and providing you with necessary criteria. A slide presentation is not required, but we’ve learned it really helps the contestant stay on track. Remember, you only have 2 MINUTES!

How many finalists will there be?

To be determined. We have had anywhere from a TOP 8 to a TOP 12.

How old do you have to be to submit an idea?

19 years or older. That’s the only criteria we have! We encourage students, locals, retirees, and anywhere in between to submit an idea.



1st Place Sponsor - $1,000

Hastings Economic Development Corporation //

2ND Place Sponsor - $500

Hastings College //

3RD Place Sponsor - $250

Central Community College - Small Business Institute //





We are currently recruiting our 2019 Professional Partners for Big Idea Hastings. To become a professional partner, click here.

Have questions about Big Idea Hastings? Contact Maggie Vaughan with Hastings Economic Development at (402)461-8406.

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CHECK OUT (SOME OF) OUR entrepreneurs and small businesses


Yeah, we did this last year too! Check out Pitch Your Biz 2017 on our YouTube channel.