Engler Startup Experience

It’s a learning-by-doing campus workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment.



Coming in 2019






About Engler Fireside

Day 1: Participants arrive – with or without startup ideas – and a facilitator leads the group through dedicated brainstorming, preliminary pitches/feedback, and team selection modules. Some teams work late into the night and others prefer to rest up in preparation for day 2.

Day 2: Customer discovery (teams exit the building or hit the phones and talk to potential customers), structured mentorship, intermediate pitches and feedback sessions. Day 2 places heavy emphasis on business model generation. We will end the day with pitch workshops, leading into final pitches/demos to an esteemed panel of mentors and entrepreneurs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the weekend look like? You and a team of students will explore how to start a company over the course of three days. We provide the work space and it’s open to students with a wide range of backgrounds, we cater food, drinks, snacks, and coffee. The best ideas for startups are picked during the Friday brainstorming session, and students pitch the business model by the end of day 2. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend.

If I participate, what do I get out of the weekend? The worst case scenario is that you will work with brilliant people from numerous disciplines toward the common goal of building real companies and products. You’ll learn real entrepreneurship skills and get to interact with industry leading mentors. Great connections happen at Startup Experiences: cofounders meet, complementary skill sets collide, and friends are made. The best case scenario is that you will be a cofounder of a wildly successful new startup.

I’m a student majoring in X. Should I even consider applying? The short answer is: yes! Past participants have spanned everything from a freshman in psychology to a freshly minted PhD in Neuroscience. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to startups, what unites all of the participants is a common interest in entrepreneurship. If you’re at all passionate about startups, technology, and solutions, this event is for you!

Can I apply even though I am not a student? This event is student focused and is for current students registered with UNL.

What kind of ideas are allowed? Ideas with scalable business models are strongly preferred. Our selection criteria for ideas are (1) your amount of passion and (2) the amount of research on your own idea that you perform.

What about food? Sleep? Engler caters all meals, drinks, and in-between snacks. Sleep is optional. Participants can bring a pillow, or can go home to rest.

What should I bring?  Your laptop, power cord, favorite coffee mug, a second monitor or keyboard (basically anything to help you be productive), and lots of creative energy!

How do I prepare? The more prepared you are when you come into the weekend, the more successful you will be. If you plan on pitching an idea, we suggest that you dig in and do enough research on it to give a persuasive speech to attract a successful team. And then practice your pitch!

But the Huskers are playing! The football team has an away game this weekend, and we will probably broadcast the game, but you should be more worried about possibly building the next big startup!