News Release
For Immediate Release
April 1, 2021

Amara Kniep,  Product Manager, E-Community Programs, NetWork Kansas
[email protected]

yec star

Wichita, Kan. – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the conclusion of the 2020-2021 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. During the 2020-2021 academic year, 898 students from 46 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 2020-2021 academic year marks the eighth 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 66-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 earned the chance to participate at the 2021 Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) State Championship. This year, the KEC will be held virtually due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and guidelines put out by the CDC. The competition will be held on April 27th and is 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 also selected in late March by having their executive summary and pre-recorded elevator pitch win out in a competitive qualifying round.

The businesses who advanced to the KEC State Championship will be judged virtually on their executive summaries and pre-recorded elevator pitches. Selected finalists will make it to a 15-minute mock board room session. Overall, $20,000 in total prizes will be awarded to the top young entrepreneurs.

The Kansas communities who hosted a local YEC series event include: Barton County, Bourbon County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Cowley County, Crawford County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ellis County, Ford County, Greeley County, Johnson County, Kiowa County, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Logan County, Marion County, McPherson County, Mitchell County, Montgomery County, Morris County, Morton County, Norton County, Pawnee County, Phillips County, Pottawatomie County, Rawlins County, Reno County, Republic County, Rice County, Riley County, Rooks County, Saline County, Scott County, Sedgwick County, Seward County, Sherman County, Smith County, Thomas County (Fall and Spring), Wichita County, and Wyandotte County. Additional communities were invited to participate.


2021 KEC State Championship qualifiers that competed in a local YEC Series event:

Adelyn’s Jewels (Adelyn Stultz), The Independent School;
Animal House (Alec Murphy), Lawrence High School;
Beauty by Jae (Jaelyn Rumback), Norton County Jr/Sr High School;
Bettles Mobile Detailing (Mason Bettles); Salina South High School;
Bits of Thread (Audrey Manry and Sarah Manry), Larned High School;
BroMow (Nate Schears), Goodland Jr/Sr High School;
BTC-Hub (Cole Lanter, Devin Phelps, Harrison Heigele), Clay Center Community High School;
Callitfavor (Lauren Seachris), Leidigh Hall Academy;
Cory Brynds Designs (Cory Brynds), Girard High School;
CY’s BarBQ (Caelei Yakel), Wamego High School;
Drip Shop (Hannah Greenleaf, Tana McDonald, Kamryn Ott), Kiowa County Junior High School;
Eco Coloring (Emma Johnson and Emilie Stramel), Colby Middle School;
EJ’s Sweet Treats (Ella Juenemann), Norton County Jr/Sr High School;
Eleve Arts Company (Lauren Wagner), Hays High School;
Frack Sweet Scents (Cooper Frack), Norton Jr/Sr High School;
Green’s Healthy Grocer (Sydney Achilles), McPherson High School;
Hi Power Conversions (Christopher Erazo), Free State High School;
Holiday Impressions (Shelby Alexander), Hays High School;
Jacqueline’s Swim Program (Jacqueline Varney), Lansing High School;
Jenna’s Sweets and Treats (Jenna Daniel), Riverton High School;
Jessi D Photography (Jessi Dalke), Hillsboro High School;
Jessie’s Computer Repair (Jessie Martin), Sedan High School;
Jurassic Golf (Corbin Bockwinkel and Kush Patel), Oakley High School;
Kennedy’s Business (Kennedy Winford), Lyons High School;
Kiley’s Creations (Kiley Stevenson), Ellinwood High School;
Lilly’s Designs (Lillian Rippe), Rawlins County Jr/Sr High School;
LMS Veterinary Clinic (Laney Crouch, Maggie Brown, Sophie Gerstberger), Wichita County Jr/Sr High School;
MagClip (Sean Anderson), Manhattan High School;
Make It Sweet (Grace Whitham), Greeley County Jr/Sr High School;
Morr2Grow (Kennedy Morrison and Campbell Morrison), Colby Middle School;
Moving Nails (Hope Lindley), Kinsley Jr/Sr High School;
NatterBug’s Bowtique (Natalie Simmons), Norton County Jr/Sr High School;
Natural Ellaments (Ella Rice), Clay Center Community High School;
Oops I Grid It Again; Precision Soil Sampling (Alice Carnahan), Labette County High School;
Paws and Claws (Katie Cook), Burden High School;
Perfect Events and Decorating (Kennedy Holstein), Scott City Community High School;
Poels Pellets (Gabby Poels), Phillipsburg Middle School;
Reading Ahead (Yahaira Lopez), Wyandotte High School;
Russell Reds (Addison Green Russell), Smith Center High School;
S.O.S. Cones and Cakes (Omar Sanchez), Rawlins County Jr/Sr High School;
Sant’s General Services (Colton Sant), Sterling High School;
Shannon Rachel Photography (Shannon Bowker), Elkhart High School;
Simplicity Organic Tea (Iris Klein and Violey Klein), Hillsboro High School;
SJ Designs (Shelby Smith), Fredonia High School;
Sno Shack (Ian Fink), Oakley High School;
Solarwire (Bryan Garvert), Plainville Jr/Sr High School;
Sole Cleaners (Shay Kerr), Liberal High School;
Spread Kindness (Kate Hansen), Plainville Jr/Sr High School;
The Meat Hook (Emily Vanvalkenburg and Shaylee Sanford), Rural Vista High School;
The Silver Spoon (Jera Schoenfeld), Oakley High School;
The Sweet Treat (Bransten Brunk, Austin Phinney, Dalton Estes); Buhler High School;
Timberline Timepieces (Charles Reynolds), Baldwin City High School;
TK Clothing (Teryn Farley), Fort Scott High School;
Trojan Grounds (Cooper Adams, Caleb Burks, Ryan Rinaldo), Beloit Jr/Sr High School;
Trojan Threads (Alexa Boudreaux, Alexis Drake, Riley Hess, Tatem Tietjens), Beloit Jr/Sr High School;
Ullum Blacksmith Shop (Hunter Ullum), Sedan High School;
UnBoxd (Aditya Joshi and Varun Verma), Wichita High School East;
Vortex Welding (Konner Barnett), Oakley High School;
W Bar H Ranch (Ben Wehrman and Jonah Huehl), Sylvan Lucas High School;
Wonderfully Made (Carolina Barraza), Pike Valley High School.

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


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