Promising business ideas earn student entrepreneurs $20,000 from K-State Launch
MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University competition has awarded 16 students and 10 different business ideas with $20,000 in prize money. Among those awards was a $5,000 prize to Rebecca Keating, master's student in interior architecture & product design, Adrian, Missouri, for her business, Rekreative Design. The business provides quick and accurate body geometry scans of individual motorcyclists, which are then used to design custom body armor solutions unique to both the rider and the rider's position on his or her current motorcycle. Keating will be studying abroad in spring 2017 and elected not to participate in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge.
The K-State Launch competition gives students experience in the process of making a business proposal. The competition is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration and is open to all students and majors in the university. In total, 212 student teams representing every college at Kansas State University entered the competition this year by submitting a feasible written plan, which was used to narrow the field to the 10 best startup ideas.
The 10 finalist teams first presented their ideas to the Manhattan business community at the recent Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce After Hours event at the college, with all attendees voting for their favorite idea. Each vote was worth a portion of a $2,000 prize pool that was distributed to all of the companies by percentage of votes received.
The finalists then each had the opportunity to deliver a business pitch to a panel of judges — consisting of local entrepreneurs, bankers and investment experts — that had $18,000 in prize money to distribute to the companies showing the most promise.
"K-State Launch is an opportunity to showcase the tremendous entrepreneurial talent at K-State," said Chad Jackson, director of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. "The real-world experience of pitching a business in front of the type of business experts we have on our panel is invaluable to these students, and provides real-world feedback and support to launch companies within our state."
In the end, five businesses were awarded cash prizes by the judges' panel, with three being chosen to represent Kansas State University at the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge in spring 2017.
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