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Students Qualify for Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge State Championship

April 11, 2017

Contact: Anne Dewvall, Manager of Entrepreneurship Communities, NetWork Kansas
Phone: 316-425-7059

Wichita, Kan. - Thirty-six business concepts earned the chance to participate at the 2017 YEC State Championship April 24 at Fort Hays State University hosted by NetWork Kansas. These business ideas are represented by 56 students from 29 schools across Kansas. Students won a berth at the state championship by winning a sanctioned YEC-series competition, or by having their executive summary win out in a competitive qualifying round.

The 36 businesses who have advanced to the YEC State Championship will be judged on their executive summaries and elevator pitches in an initial round. The top six teams will advance to a finalist presentation round. $11,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top young entrepreneurs. There will also be a tradeshow competition open to the public and accompanying “people’s choice” award.

Clifton Taulbert, award-winning entrepreneur and author, will appear as keynote speaker. Taulbert is an internationally acclaimed speaker and consultant who has worked across the world and has spoken at the United States Capitol, NATO Headquarters, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the United Nations. Taulbert has written fourteen books and been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Currently serving as the CEO of two companies, entrepreneurship is a passion for him that he has dedicated his life to helping others learn.

The judges at the YEC State Championship are: Scott Sproul, Bob Muirhead, Dave O’Dell, James Foster, Suzan Barnes, Feysel Rahmeto, and Jennifer Tennyson. The 2017 YEC State Championship is organized with generous support from Fort Hays State University, Midwest Energy, Sunflower Energy, the Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, Inc., and The Sweet Granada.

The twenty-one local entrepreneurship competitions are part of NetWork Kansas’ YEC Series created in 2013 to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship and help them to begin thinking entrepreneurially. E-Communities who hosted a local YEC series event include Bird City, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Cowley County, Ford County, Hodgeman County, Hoisington, Leavenworth County, Marion County, Norton County, Phillips County, Reno County, Republic County, Riley County, Rooks County, Salina, Sherman County, Thomas County, and Wichita County. Additional communities were invited to participate. 

The YEC series was coordinated by NetWork Kansas as part of their 59-community E-Community Partnership. The E-Community Partnership is dedicated to increasing entrepreneurial activity and developing self-sustaining ecosystems favorable to long-term entrepreneurial growth. 

2017 YEC State Championship Qualifiers: Ability Apparel (Ethan Brown), Salina Central High School; Arrow Grilling (Jonathan Hinerman, Nathan Simhiser), Hillsboro High School; Bridge Digital Marketing (Bridget Stanton), Gloria Deo Academy; Cardinal Corn (Macie LeMarr, Kobe Spiess, Colten Wiesner), Plainville High School; Cougar Custom Signs (Hannah Peterson, Greg Oborny, Cole Methvin, Dylan Deines), Centre High School; Courtney’s Farm Fresh Eggs (Courtney Sherbert), Clay Center Community High School; CT Feeds (Christian Calliham), Colby High School; Dodge City Aerial Photography (Amber Laskowsky, Canyon Laskowsky), Dodge City High School; EndGame Hunting (Max Pierce), Columbus Unified High School; Hangin’ Around (Kaylee Guffey), KALI Academy; Heart to Heart Home Care (Abbey Fischer, Abigail Ridder), Wichita County High School; Hendricks Hens (Kaylynn Hendricks), Cheylin High School; J Engravings (Jaden Roggow), Sedan High School; LAV Café (Lacie Branscom, Ashley Click, Victoria Vice), Buhler High School; Lindsay’s Repurposing (Lindsay Hattok), Lansing High School; Made by Jade (Jade Artzer), Goodland Jr/Sr High School; Milano (Ludovica Bindi), Goodland Jr/Sr High School; MobiFix (Mateo Rosales), Basehor-Linwood High School; Motion Emotions (Tatum Bartels), Phillipsburg High School; My Design Your Design (Madeline Hervey), Central Burden High School; NCHS Tiny Houses (Logan Schlegel, Devin Brown), Ness City High School; Nitro Driving Range (Trevor Mullen, Parker Renz), Salina High School South; No Place Like Home Pet Sitting, Inc. (Jentry McGregor), Pike Valley High School; Nothin’ But Nut (Colin Williams, Marissa Jacobson), Marion High School; NWKS Custom Fallow (Jaren Rush, Declan Ryan, Wyatt Tubbs), Colby Middle School; Queen Bling (Morgan Queen, Nathalie Nebbeling), Salina Central High School; Scan From the Past (Robert DeLeon, Coben Hawkins), Stafford High School; SiloChains by Harrison (Harrison Woodyard), Norton Community High School; Sugar Shack (Brianna Barnett, Kamrie Miller), Colby Middle School; Super Trolley (Della Mettlen), Salina High School South; Sweet and Sassy (Hailey Imel), Winfield High School; The Effervescent Company (Emery Newton), Salina Central High School; The Traveling Trunk (Sailor-Anne Seiler), Hodgeman County High School; Too Fit to Quit (Israel Amezcua), Winfield High School; WiseHart (Natalie Wise, Halle Hartner), Republic County Jr/Sr High School; Zera Tech (Jeremiah Minkler, Michael Fitzpatrick), Phllipsburg High School.

For more information, contact Anne Dewvall at or visit: