Two Winners Crowned at JumpStart Challenge

Two winners were announced during the JumpStart Challenge Pitch Competition on Thursday night, with each winner receiving cash prizes and the opportunity to build out their solution to the challenges presented.

Josh Jones’ Project Aksarben won the ALLO Challenge, while Chris Aumueller’s FanWord took top honors in the UNL Athletics Challenge. 

The JumpStart Challenge Pitch Competition was held on Thursday, October 7 at ALLO Lincoln, 330 South 21st Street, in the Telegraph District. Each participant had six minutes to present their solution to the challenge prompt with a four minute period to answer questions from the judges.

The ALLO Challenge tasked participants to come up with solutions to make their high-speed fiber network better suited to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The UNL Athletics Challenge sought the best ways to organize and maximize the opportunities for students athletes looking to capitalize on Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) endorsements, while a second prompt looked to improve fan experience in stadiums on gamedays.

“To be able to provide the platform for these founders to pitch a solution and then potentially get to work with ALLO or the university to bring this to fruition is a really big deal,” says Christina Oldfather, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development.

“With ALLO and the University of Nebraska Athletic Department, we’ve got two industries here that really represent a huge opportunity.”

For winning the ALLO Challenge, Jones will receive a $5,000 cash prize from Calix and $1,000 each from ALLO and LPED. Aumueller will receive a $1,000 cash prize from LPED for topping the UNL Athletics Challenge. Both will receive three months of free coworking at FUSE Coworking or Turbine Flats and an opportunity to partner with ALLO or the UNL Athletic Department to take their idea to the next level. Jones and Aumueller also have the potential to earn a $25,000 LaunchLNK grant with their winning ideas.

JumpStart Challenge 2021 events were presented by ALLO Communications and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletic Department. The goal of the recurring JumpStart Challenge is to solve problems for existing businesses and create new innovative startups in Lincoln with the goal of creating a scalable business. 

For more information, contact Christina Oldfather, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, at (402) 436-2374 or

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