NWU Students Hope NGAL Experience Turns Business Ideas Into Reality
Ever since they were little, identical twins Nathan and Thomas Krick have shared a passion for hunting. They take conservation seriously. They support the environment. And they love the challenge of the hunt.
But their long-time hobby is taking on a new challenge.
The Kricks were selected for this year’s “Network Globally, Act Locally” (NGAL) program, a shared program between Nebraska Wesleyan University, College of Charleston in South Carolina, and the University of Tartu in Estonia, that helps entrepreneurial students develop their products.
The Kricks have started a company called “Identical Draw,” an outdoor television show focused on faith, brotherhood and the outdoors.
“We strive to capture all the different aspects of the outdoors, and have a clean, entertaining and respectful show,” said Thomas Krick.
The twins, who just completed their first year at NWU, further developed Identical Draw as part of an entrepreneurship class. The class required their participation in the university’s annual quick pitch competition, which gave participants the opportunity to briefly pitch their product before a panel of judges. NWU’s quick pitch winners are then invited to participate in NGAL.
NGAL is an intensive three-week experience that sends students to Estonia for 10 days at the University of Tartu’s Idea Lab. Then they will spend a week at the University of Charleston where they will network with more entrepreneurs and experts, refine their product pitch, and present their 4-minute final pitch before a panel of judges. Winners will receive funding to use toward continued product development.
“We are extremely grateful and appreciate this opportunity from Nebraska Wesleyan,” said Thomas. “We never thought such a great experience like this would happen during our first year here.”
Joining the Kricks in the NGAL program is senior Ryan Pace. Like the Kricks' passion for hunting, Pace holds a special place in his heart for animals.
Pace has created "MyPetTrax," a website that serves as an advanced communication tool for veterinarians and pet owners.
"Almost everything is moving to apps or websites and these make communications with customers much easier and efficient," said Pace.
Through MyPetTrax, owners can answer a series of questions about their pets' conditions. Based on responses, veterinarians will be notified of critical changes or irregularities. From there, veterinarians can contact clients and offer medical advice directly without the added hassle—and time—of setting up an appointment.
Pace is eager to simplify communication between vets and pet owners and to work through the NGAL program to do it.
"I am very excited to participate in NGAL. I think it's a great opportunity for me," Pace said. "I'm not sure what expectations I have going in but I'm just going to try my best."
Students left for Estonia on June 4. They will wrap up their NGAL experience with the final pitch contest on Friday, June 23 at the College of Charleston. Last year the program was hosted at Nebraska Wesleyan University. NWU biology majors Gwen Plouzek and Stacie Skaff took top honors with “SipSafe,” a stirring stick that detects drugs in drinks.
NGAL is made possible through the generous support of the Harry and Reba Huge Foundation.