Nice Idea

An Idea Competition for North Dakota

Nice Idea is an entrepreneurship program for North Dakota middle and high school students where they:

  • Learn to be creative and entrepreneurial
  • Connect with mentors and actual problems that need solving
  • Showcase their ideas and win support to make those ideas a reality

Learn how it works, read frequently asked questions, or sign up and get started!

Nice Idea Logo

We are currently accepting North Dakota schools and teachers to join over 500+ students who will participate this fall with either in-person and/or virtual instruction. Sign up here to be a participant as a teacher, student or mentor.

The lessons can be completed any time before October 31 with the solution completed by November 13. The final showcase is hosted virtually on November 19, 2020.

How it Works

Nice Idea can be used in the classroom or as an extra curricular program. Students first learn about entrepreneurship in a series of four short experiential lessons built with the Youth Entrepreneurs curriculum. We estimate about 10 hours of instruction to complete the lessons. This should be completed by October 31st.

After completing the lessons, students form teams and are given a specific problem from a local business or government that needs solutions. They connect with their mentor to craft solutions to this problem, knowing their idea will directly improve their local community. They finalize their solution by November 13th.

Finally, students showcase their idea at a statewide competition. A panel of experts choose winners who receive cash prizes and resources to make their ideas a reality. The Nice Center at NDSU also provides scholarships for students who want to continue exploring entrepreneurship after high school. The final showcase is hosted virtually on November 19th.

Why Nice Idea?

The entrepreneurial mindset is an essential skill for everyone, regardless of what they do in the future. Nice Idea will teach a valuable skill to participants and help our state retain our young people by creating exciting opportunities for them to be engaged in their home towns.

How To Get Involved

We are looking for schools, teachers and students to participate in Nice Idea. Sign up below to bring the program to your school, organization or home. Once you’re signed up, make sure others in your community knows about it by sharing the Media Kit!

You can also learn how to integrate Nice Idea into your classroom in the following webinars:

If you’re a student and your school is not currently offering Nice Idea, please sign up to be added to our virtual Cohort! We’ll meet for four weeks in October and you’ll get the opportunity to connect with other students from across the state.

Know a business leader or community member who has a problem that needs solving? Learn more about how anyone can support creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I share information about Nice Idea with my community? Send them the link to the Media Kit! There’s even social media posts for anyone to use to share about your participation.

What’s the minimum age to participate? We recommend 13+ and the program is geared towards 8-12 grades. 

How much does Nice Idea cost to participate? Nice Idea is free to all participants for Fall 2020. 

When are we supposed to start? Nice Kits will begin shipping on September 15. It’s up to you when you want to start, but we ask that all curriculum is complete by October 31 if you plan on competing in Nice Idea Showcase. 

What’s included in the Nice Kit? The Nice Kit includes Facilitator Cards, Activities and materials needed for the lessons. 

How do I participate as a student if my school isn’t offering Nice Idea? If your school isn’t offering Nice Idea yet, sign up to enroll in our virtual cohort! We’ll start October 1 and meet Thursdays from 10:00 – 11:00 CST.

What if our school has to proceed with distance learning? Nice Idea can be used in a classroom or as an extracurricular program virtually or in-person. If you’re moving to online learning and have questions about how to modify the program, please contact us!

How big should student groups be if we decide to participate in the Nice Idea competition? We recommend 4-6 students, but can vary based on your total class size. Please note that as the group gets bigger, each student plays less of a role.

What will the competition entail in November? Students that opt into the showcase will be given a problem on November 2 and get connected to mentors to apply their learning to develop solutions. Teams will present their solutions via a three-minute recorded pitch and the top five teams will advance to participate in ND Innovation Day. A panel of experts will choose winners who will receive cash prices and NDSU scholarships for those that want to continue exploring entrepreneurship after high school.

Do you have rules for the competition in November? All information, including eligibility and judging criteria, about the Nice Idea Showcase can be found here

If we have questions about Nice Idea, who can we contact? Please contact Kodee Furst at

Get Started

Nice Idea Order Form

  • If you are a teacher, all kits will be mailed to you to be distributed to your students.
  • If you are participating on your own as a student, we will email more information about our statewide Cohort. Please register for 1 kit (or as many needed in your household).
    More information about the competition will be sent later this fall.