FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   April 6, 2020

Contact: Amara Kniep,
Product Manager, E-Community Programs, NetWork Kansas
Phone: 316-425-8832
Email: [email protected]

Wichita, Kan. – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the conclusion of the 2019-2020 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. During the 2019-2020 academic year, 793 students from 50 Kansas communities participated in 44 local entrepreneurship competitions.

The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. Local YEC Series events require students to prepare an executive summary and a 4-minute presentation, and often feature interactive tradeshows or elevator pitches. Students work in teams or individually to represent a business concept and compete for awards and prizes. Students’ work is judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, and other community members.

The 2019-2020 academic year marks the seventh annual YEC series coordinated by NetWork Kansas and the E-Community Partnership. The YEC Series was created in 2013 to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship and help them to begin thinking entrepreneurially. The 64-community E-Community Partnership is dedicated to increasing entrepreneurial activity and developing self-sustaining ecosystems favorable to long-term entrepreneurial growth. 

Each winning business concept would have earned the chance to participate at the 2020 Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) State Championship, however, the KEC was canceled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and guidelines put out by the CDC. The competition would have been held on April 28th at Kansas State University, hosted by the Kansas State University Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship and sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation. Students won a berth at the state championship by winning a sanctioned YEC Series competition. Fifteen wildcard applicants were to be selected April 6th by having their executive summary win out in a competitive qualifying round.

The businesses who would have advanced to the KEC State Championship would be judged on their executive summaries and several 15-minute mock board room sessions. Students were to compete in one of four divisions. Each division has a first place prize of $4,000. Overall, $36,000 in total prizes would have been awarded to the top young entrepreneurs. There would also be an optional tradeshow competition open to the public.

The Kansas communities who hosted a local YEC series event include: Bourbon County, Chase County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Cheyenne County, Clay County, Crawford County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ellis County, Ford County, Greeley County, Kansas City, Kiowa County, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Marion County, McPherson County, Montgomery County, Morton County, Neosho County, Norton County, Pawnee County, Phillips County, Reno County, Republic County, Rice County, Riley County, Rooks County, Russell County, Salina (Fall and Spring competitions), Shawnee County, Sheridan County, Sherman County, Smith County, Thomas County, Wichita, and Wichita County. Additional communities were invited to participate. Cowley County, Mitchell County, Pottawatomie County, Rawlins County, Rooks County, Seward County, and Salina’s Spring competition were set to host events but had to cancel due to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.

2020 KEC State Championship qualifiers that competed in a local YEC Series event:

Applied Analytics (Noah Wiley), Labette County High School;

B&G’s Handmade Creations (Brenna Moya), Fredonia High School;

Back to Basics Equine (Kristen Kahler and Mason Musfelt), Basehor-Linwood High School;

Barn Brags (Addison Green Russell), Smith Center Jr/Sr High School;

BTR (Alex Bortz), Winfield High School;

Cole’s Canvases (Emily Cole), Russell High School;

Compassionately Curated (Kira Johnson and Bethany Hollingsworth), Elkhart High School;

COPT Center (Yazmin Barerra and Johanna Rider), Wichita County Jr/Sr High School;

D & K Pet Care and Grooming Service (Dravon Mackley and Kade Trummel), Kiowa County High School;

Destination Clean (Laura Koch), Chase County Jr/Sr High School;

DTD Construction (Donovan Peterson, Devin Phelps, and Timothy Wood), Clay Center Community High School;

Flying R Jerky (Jayce Ricketts), Manhattan High School;

Free State UAS (Austin Stahl), Seaman Junior High;

Global Linguistics (Damaris Noelia Mireles), Wyandotte High School;

Gus Putt (Gus Ruddle), McPherson High School;

Holiday Impressions (Shelby Alexander), Hays High School;

Jabby Jerky (Gabby Poels), Phillipsburg Middle School;

Jessi D Photography (Jessi Dalke), Hillsboro Middle/High School;

K&A Productions (Kenzie Carter and Anna Stramel), Colby Middle School;

Ketzner Feed Roasted Gold (Brady Ketzner and Dylan Ketzner), Cheylin Jr/Sr High School;

Knowledge Model (Josh Curtis, Cedric Wilson, and Tyus Wilson), Sterling High School;

Lauren’s Treat (Lauren Seachris), Leidigh Hall Academy;

Leviathan Jig Company (Coulter Huddleston), Riverton High School;

Little Sandee’s Photography (Martha Sanders), Chautauqua County Jr/Sr High School;

Living Identity (Cassie Strickler), Pike Valley Jr/Sr High School;

Lolo’s Gourmet Desserts (Loriah Davis), The Independent School;

Mudd’s Jams & Jellies (Alana Bryant), Girard High School;

Paws and Claws (Neymara Freeman), Sumner Academy;

Percy’s Automatic Whiteboard Erasers (Cleary Percy), Haven High School;

Pupcays (Kristina Head), Lyons High School;

Scoop Talk (Leyton Cure), Goodland Jr/Sr High School;

Slap Back (Hannah Furrow), Chanute High School;

Sleeved Seas (Samantha Hight), Wamego High School;

SM2K Drones (Marcus Krannawitter and Sean Morton), Salina South High School;

Snip and Clip (Sasha Albert and Kelsey Decker), Sylvan-Lucas Jr/Sr High School;

Sno-Lo’s Sno Shack (Lauryn Harding), Norton Middle School;

SOS Tech Tutors (Annie Simon), Fort Scott High School;

SPA (Diana Holguin), Kinsley Jr/Sr High School;

The Light Link (Christian Clapham, Braden Colglazier, AJ Dennett, Gracie Munk), Pawnee Heights High School;

The Music Note (Ashton Rapp), Lawrence High School;

Voyger (Kash Schiltz and Charlie Foote), Hoxie Jr/Sr High School;

WJ Show Cattle (Josey Schmidt), Greeley County Jr/Sr High School

Yukon Entertainment (Valerie Aldrich), Rawlins County Jr/Sr High School

For more information, contact Amara Kniep at [email protected] or visit: www.youtheshipchallenge.com.


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