NetWork Kansas Announces Conclusion of 11th Annual Statewide Youth Entrepreneurship Competition Series


For Immediate Release

Media Contact

Bailee Henry

Senior Product Manager, E-Community Programs

NetWork Kansas

[email protected] | 785-844-1706


NetWork Kansas Announces Conclusion of 11th Annual Statewide Youth Entrepreneurship Competition Series

Wichita, Kan. – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the conclusion of the 2023-2024 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. Each winning team earned the chance to participate at the 2024 Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) State Championship, held on April 16, 2024, at the Kansas State University Student Union. Students win a berth to compete in the KEC by winning a sanctioned YEC Series competition or by being selected as one of sixteen wildcard participants, chosen due to the strength of their executive summary and pre-recorded elevator pitch. In total, 72 businesses and 81 students participated in KEC.

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 formal 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 2023-2024 academic year marks the eleventh 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. This year was the largest year for participation yet with 1,159 students participating. The 73-community E-Community Partnership is dedicated to increasing entrepreneurial activity and developing self-sustaining ecosystems favorable to long-term entrepreneurial growth.

“NetWork Kansas is thrilled with the growth of the YEC Series over the past decade! Our goal is to foster an entrepreneurial mindset in young Kansans, and to empower our youth to know that their future is in their hands,” said Amara Kniep, Director, E-Community Partnership.

The businesses that advanced to the KEC State Championship were judged on their executive summaries and mock boardroom presentations. More than $75,000 in total prizes were awarded to aspiring entrepreneurs. Kansas State University Research and Extension – 4-H is the presenting sponsor of the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge, and the event is put on in coordination with the Kansas State University Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship and NetWork Kansas.

“K-State Research & Extension is excited to be a partner in this hands-on learning experience for the youth of Kansas. The future for our state is bright with these young entrepreneurs helping lead the way,” said Dr. Sarah Maass, Kansas 4-H Youth Development Program Leader.


Entrepreneurs were awarded distinction in the following categories:


Aerial View – Barton County

Bakers Box – Sherman County

Beach Bound Creations – Sedgwick County

Chording with Cylie – Rice County

DayWeb Media – Bourbon County

Enlightened Wellness – Finney County

Greener Grass – Douglas County

Intricates – Rooks County

Katie’s Car Freshies – Wabaunsee County

Layton’s Show Cattle Embryos – Greeley County

Logan Lawn Care – Butler County

Made in Minutes – Osborne County

Pittsburg Poticas – Crawford County

Tsooi’s Cattle – Pawnee County



Aaron’s Lawn Care – Leavenworth County

Blackbird Blades – Mitchell County

Bluehill Adventure Tours – Mitchell County

CB’s Handcrafted Jigs – Crawford County

Chargelet – Phillips County

Crouse Electrical Co. – Rawlins County

Dough-licious – Saline County

Eggs Xpress – Ellsworth County

Elkhorn Silver – Ellsworth County

High Plains Aquaculture – Cheyenne County

LB.Leather – Rice County

Norris Tutoring – Saline County

Sydney’s Savings Storefront, LLC – Lincoln County

Tre’s Squeeze, LLC – Riley County


The students also had the opportunity to participate in a tradeshow to showcase their businesses. The public was invited to attend and vote for their favorite businesses.

Tradeshow People’s Choice Award:

1st: Made in Minutes – Osborne County

2nd: Delectably Dried – Thomas County

3rd: Cowgirl Creations – Morris County

3rd: Katie’s Car Freshies – Wabaunsee County

4th: Lizzie’s Lounge Doggie Daycare & Kennel – Saline County


YEC Champions:

Heather Stamper-Voss – Rooks County

Liz Watson – Morton County

Linda Haring – Lincoln County

Brian Richter – Rice County

Stephanie Maike – Wabaunsee County

Beth Zimmerman – Anderson County

Candis Meerpohl.- Shawnee County


The Kansas communities that hosted a local YEC series event include: Allen County, Anderson County, Barton County, Bourbon County, Butler County, Chase County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Cheyenne County, Clay County, Cloud County, Cowley County, Crawford County, Douglas County, Elk County, Ellis County, Ellsworth County, Finney County, Ford County, Franklin County, Graham County, Greeley County, Harvey County,  Jewell County, Kiowa County, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Linn County, McPherson County, Mitchell County, Montgomery County, Morris County, Morton County, Neosho County, Norton County, Osborne County, Pawnee County, Phillips County, Pottawatomie County, Rawlins County, Reno County, Republic County, Rice County, Rooks County, Saline County, Scott County, Sedgwick County, Seward County, Shawnee County, Sherman County, Stafford County, Sumner County, Thomas County, Wabaunsee County, Wichita County, and Wyandotte County. Additional communities were invited to participate.

For more information, contact Bailee Henry at [email protected] or visit:

About NetWork Kansas
NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the state of Kansas. Backed by more than 500 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources they need in order to succeed.

NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the Entrepreneurship (E)-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include availability of financial capital, support by local leadership and development of educational resources. All of these factors combine to increase entrepreneurial activity in participating towns, leading to increased startup activity, business expansion, job creation and more.

For more information about the E-Community Partnership, visit or call 877-521-8600.

About K-State Research and Extension
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan. For more information, visit K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.



Share this post