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College of Business Administration

Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge

kec** $75,000 in Prizes to Student Entrepreneurs! **

The Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) is sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation and Kansas Masons in partnership with Kansas State University and the Network Kansas Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series to promote entrepreneurship and small business development in Kansas.  The competition is for student created, managed, and owned ventures. 

2019 KEC Competitor Guide

Contest Policies

Eligibility

Students must be enrolled in a Kansas middle school, high school, high school equivalent, or University during the semester the competition is held.  Students must compete in the division associated with their current education-level.  The concept and venture must demonstrate student management and ownership.  Teams must have a teacher or sanctioned event organizer that will authenticate that the venture concept and executive summary are the student team’s original work. 

Individuals or teams of no more than four students may submit a concept.  No person can be a member of more than one team. Teams must present in-person at the KEC finals.  Team members not present at the KEC finals will not receive prize money.

The KEC is for independent student-run ventures. Concepts must be the original work of the students who comprise the team. For-profit and not-for-profit entities are eligible. Generally excluded from entry are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, and licensing agreements for distribution in the local market. The licensing of technologies or commercialization of research that is not the original work of the student team is prohibited.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

All submitted information is deemed the property of the participating teams and any licensors.  Competition judges and staff do not sign non-disclosure agreements. Teams are strongly encouraged to not provide any specifics or details that are considered to be intellectual property. There will be no penalty in judging when a question or issue is not fully addressed because of concerns over confidentiality.

Conflict of Interest Statement

No judge, volunteer, or competition staff member may have any vested interest, equity stake, or financial stake in any of the finalist companies. Any of the previously listed parties that stand to gain financially or otherwise from the success of any finalist company is strictly prohibited. Any such associations will result in disqualification of the team and/or removal of that individual from his or her associated position with the competition.

Spirit of the Competition

The spirit of the KEC is that current middle school, high school and university students originate, found, and lead the startup idea. Teams not aligned with this vision or not working towards this end may be disqualified (e.g. an existing company run by non-students cannot recruit students only to become eligible for the competition). The KEC staff reserves the right to review companies on a case-by-case basis and make eligibility decisions. Teams that are unsure of their eligibility should contact the KEC staff. The licensing of technologies or commercialization of research that is not the original work of the student team is prohibited.  Competitors who promote illegal, illicit, unethical, immoral, or other types of activities, which may be considered unworthy of association with the KEC, may be disqualified.

How to Qualify

High School Division

  • Local Event Winner:  The top team from each NetWork Kansas YEC Series or Kansas Masons sanctioned event automatically qualifies.  If the top team is not able to participate, the event organizers may send an alternate team to the KEC.  Teams must submit a three-page executive summary of their concept through the KEC website by March 29, 2019.
  • Open Review Entry: Up to 15 teams may also be selected for the KEC through the Executive Summary Open Review.  Teams can apply for the Executive Summary Open Review by submitting a three-page executive summary of their concept through the KEC website by March 29, 2019.

University Division

  • Each invited University is eligible to send two teams to the KEC finals.  Universities will determine their representative teams.  These teams must submit a three-page executive summary of their concept through the KEC website by March 29, 2019.
     

Submission Requirements (All Divisions)

All submitted work must be the original work of the team members.  Any submission that does not meet these requirements will be eliminated.

  • All submissions are required to include an executive summary.
  • Executive summaries format requirements:
    • No longer than three pages
    • At least 10 point font
    • At least .75” margins on all four sides
    • Must be submitted in PDF form

Competition Divisions

Teams will compete in divisions as described below.  If teams are considered eligible for multiple divisions, the division listed first in the order below will be the assigned division.  For example, a team with an agricultural technology business will compete in the Agriculture division.  Teams will indicate their anticipated division on their submission form, but KEC staff reserves the right to review division assignments on a case-by-case basis and make eligibility decisions.  KEC staff reserves the right to remove or add divisions in order to insure parity among divisions.

High School Divisions
  • Existing Business – Competitors with an existing business defined by more than $1,000 in revenue during the previous 12-months or competitors entering the same (or closely related) idea as the student previously presented at a KEC.

  • Agriculture - Entries related to food and beverage products, food technologies in manufacturing, materials and ingredients technologies, food safety, animal health, and farming.

  • Technology - Ideas in software and hardware (Web-based software, Web 2.0, etc.), networking, communications, wireless equipment and products, the innovative development and/or delivery of technology services, software as a service, medical devices, biologics and biopharmaceuticals, healthcare delivery, healthcare services, and healthcare IT.

  • Open - Entrepreneurs with innovative services and solutions not associated with other divisions including consumer products or services, nonprofits, education, and retail.
University Divisions
  • Technology - Ideas in software and hardware (Web-based software, Web 2.0, etc.), networking, communications, wireless equipment and products, the innovative development and/or delivery of technology services, software as a service, medical devices, biologics and biopharmaceuticals, healthcare delivery, healthcare services, and healthcare IT.

  • Open - Entrepreneurs with innovative services and solutions not associated with other divisions including consumer products or services, nonprofits, education, and retail.

Key Dates

  • March 29, 2019 - Submission deadline for all entries
  • April 5, 2019 – Announcement of teams selected through Open Review
  • April 26, 2019 – Release of judge’s questions to finalists
  • April 30, 2019 – Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge
    • K-State College of Business Administration, 1301 Lovers Lane, Manhattan, KS  66505

Please note: All submission deadlines are final. Late applications cannot be accepted and deadline extensions cannot be granted for any reason. The KEC staff encourages each team to submit requirements early so that any technical difficulties can be resolved before the deadline.  All submissions are due by 5 p.m. (CST) on the due date.

 

Competition Format

Mock Board Room

Successful entrepreneurs are adaptable, critical thinkers, and creative problem-solvers.  The format of the Mock Board Room is designed to help teach and reward these skills in aspiring entrepreneurs.  Based on a review of the executive summary, KEC judges and staff will provide a list of questions to the participants designed to reflect the real-world challenges and decision-making requirements of entrepreneurs.  During the Mock Board Room, the students will have 15 minutes with KEC judges to answer these questions and any additional follow-up questions asked by the judges. 

  • The Mock Board Room is closed to the public. Teams will be allowed to bring one fan into the Mock Board Room, but the fan may not participate (ex. asking or answering questions, clarifying, etc).
  • Time begins when the presenter begins speaking.
  • Teams are not allowed to use a slide presentation (ex. PowerPoint). Prototypes, props, index cards, etc. are allowed.  Any supporting material must be easily removed from the room within two minutes.
  • Presenter must be physically present and give the presentation live and in person.  Teams must be present to claim prizes.
  • Presenters are scheduled to present in random order.  A list with the presentation order will be generated the day of the event.
  • There will be no guarantee of confidentiality.  Presenters are encouraged to avoid speaking about topics or items that should remain confidential. 
Mock Board Room Scoring

Judges will use the following criteria and weighting to guide their scoring.  All judges’ decisions are final.

  •  20% - Executive Summary – to be scored by judges prior to competition day
    •  10% - Business Model – viability to grow a profitable business
    •  10% - Product / Service Offering – customer focused solution with a clear value proposition

  • 80% - Entrepreneurial Characteristics – assessed through answers to questions on competition day
    • 20% - Realistic – answers were feasible, realistic and aligned with company’s means
    • 20% - Justification – ample justification given using quality data, analysis, and critical thinking
    • 20% - Specificity – responses were specific, detailed, and action-oriented
    • 20% - Originality – solutions were creative and original
Elevator Pitch

All students will also compete in a 2-minute elevator pitch competition.  No slide presentation, props, index cards, etc. are allowed for the elevator pitch.

  • The Elevator pitch is open to the public.  Audience members must remain silent during pitches.
  • Time begins when the presenter begins speaking.
  • Presenter must be physically present and give the presentation live and in person.  Teams must be present to claim prizes.
  • Presenters are scheduled to present in random order.  A list with the presentation order will be generated the day of the event.
  • There will be no guarantee of confidentiality.  Presenters are encouraged to avoid speaking about topics or items that should remain confidential. 
7 – 12th Tradeshow
  • Up to 30 students from 7-12th grade will be eligible to participate in the optional KEC tradeshow.
  • Students interested in participating in the tradeshow must indicate so in their submission application on March 29, 2019.
  • A separate $500 award sponsored by NetWork Kansas will be provided. This is emphasized as an opportunity for you to showcase your idea to the public, fellow contestants, judges, etc.
  • Each team will be provided a six-foot table and access to wi-fi for their display.
  • KEC attendees will vote for their favorite business to determine the award winners.

Tentative Schedule

This preliminary scheduled is used for general planning purposes. 

  • 8:00 - Registration opens
  • 8:30 – Orientation - #1088
  • 10:00 – 12:00
    • Mock Board Room
      • High School Existing Business – #1056
      • High School Agriculture – #1054
      • High School Technology – #1092
      • High School Open – #3046
      • University Technology – #2046
      • University Open – #2047
    • Elevator Pitch - #4061 (to be livestreamed)
  • 11:30 – 1:00 – Boxed Lunches provided
  • 12:00 – 1:00 – Trade Show – Atrium
  • 1:00 – Mock Board Room and Elevator Pitch resumes
  • 4:00 – Keynote Address - #1088
  • 4:30 - Reception - Announcement of final placings and cash awards - #1088

Prizes

Cash prizes for the KEC will be awarded and paid to the legal entity where one exists. If no entity exists then the prizes will be awarded to individual student team members in proportion to the capitalization table or proposed capitalization table submitted. If no capitalization table exists, prize money will be split equally between student team members. Cash prizes will not be paid at any time to non-students outside of an entity. If a non-student holds an equity position as indicated on a capitalization table where there is no entity present, the cash prize will be paid on a pro-rata basis to only the student members listed on the capitalization table. Prize awards may be subject to taxation and are the sole responsibility of the entity or person to whom the awards are distributed. Each entity or individual will be required to provide a W-9 and photo release form before receiving any prizes.

High School

All qualifying teams will receive $250

  • Existing Business Division
    • Winner - $4,000
    • Runner-up - $2,500
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000

  • Agriculture Division
    • Winner - $4,000
    • Runner-up - $2,500
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000
  • Technology Division
    • Winner - $4,000
    • Runner-up - $2,500
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000
  • Open Division
    • Winner - $4,000
    • Runner-up - $2,500
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000
    • Honorable Mention - $1,000
  • Elevator Pitch Awards - $500 each
    • Spotlight Award
    • Leadership Award
    • Most Innovative
    • Most Inspirational
University

All qualifying teams will receive $250

  • Technology Division
    • Winner - $5,000
    • Runner-up - $4,000
    • Honorable Mention - $2,500
  • Open Division
    • Winner- $5,000
    • Runner-up - $4,000
    • Honorable Mention - $2,500
  • Elevator Pitch Awards - $500 each
    • Best Pitch
    • Most inspirational
    • Excellence in Organization

Hotel Room Blooks

Bluemont Hotel

  • 40 rooms blocked at $102 per night plus tax
  • Group Code: KS Entrepreneurship Challenge
  • Registration deadline: March 29, 2019
  • Phone: (785) 473-7091
  • Website

Holiday Inn at the Campus

  • 25 rooms blocked at $99.95 per night plus tax
  • Group Code: KEC
  • Registration deadline: March 30, 2019
  • Phone: (785) 539-7531
  • Website


Presenting Sponsor:

masons

 

Supporting Sponsor:
masons

 

Contact

Chad Jackson, director
e. cjackson@k-state.edu 

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