Big Idea North Platte, hosted by the North Platte Young Professionals, just got bigger. Eagle Communications and the Bob and Pat Schmidt Foundation made a donation to the event in the amount of $29, 250. "We want the community to know that this is a big deal," said Young Professionals Advisory Team member Cassie Condon. "The commitment from Eagle Communications and the Schmidt Foundation has enhanced this event." The biggest enhancement, the prize money. "Prizes have increased eight times what they were last year," said Condon. "We are really excited to hear what types of ideas are out there." Big Idea North Platte is a business pitch competition, similar to Shark Tank. Members of the community will have an opportunity to share their new business, invention, or product with a panel of judges and audience members. The judges will narrow it down to five finalists and the audience will then select first, second and third place with the first place winner receiving $8,000, second place receiving $5,000, and third place receiving $3,000. There will also be a Youth category, with first place receiving $1,000, second place receiving $500, and third place receiving $250. The event, at Godfather's Pizza inside Wild Bills Fun Center, will begin with a Live Event Social Hour on October 20 at 5:00, followed by the main event at 6:00. Admission is free. In addition to Young Professionals, Eagle and the Schmidt Foundation, prize money was also pledged by the North Platte Area Chamber and Development, Beveridge Inc., Gateway Realty, Great Plains Foot and Ankle, Commercial Investments, Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, Nebraska Enterprise Fund and Nebraskaland Bank. Event sponsors include Pro Printing & Graphics, Godfather's Pizza, Mid Plains Community College, Whitetail Screenprint, Black Goose Art & Design and the North Platte Telegraph. More information and registration can be found here.