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April 25, 2017

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

YEC 2017

Hays, Kan. - Hays, KS - The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) State Championship, featuring high school and middle school students from 29 schools across Kansas, awarded young entrepreneurs with over $11,000 in prize money on Monday at Fort Hays State University. The winner of the state championship and a $5,000 prize was Christian Calliham with CT Feeds. Calliham is in 12th grade at Colby High School. CT Feeds is an operating business that provides nutritious feed and custom-tailored coaching for show livestock in northwest Kansas. 

Thirty-three businesses consisting of 48 students presented their entrepreneurship concepts on Monday. Student teams submitted a written executive summary and presented elevator pitches to judges in the initial round of the competition. Twenty-eight businesses also participated in an optional trade show. The six businesses selected as finalists then went on to make formal presentations, followed by a question and answer session with the judges.

The winning concepts were:
1st Prize $5,000: Christian Calliham, Colby High School, CT Feeds
2nd Prize $2,500: Jade Artzer, Goodland High School, Made by Jade  
3rd Prize $1,250: Macie LeMarr, Kobe Spiess, Colten Wiesner, Plainville High School, Cardinal Corn
4th Prize $500: Bridget Stanton, Gloria Deo Academy, Bridge Digital Media
5th Prize $500: Kaylee Guffey, KALJ Academy, Hangin' Around
6th Prize $500: Natalie Wise, Halle Hartner, Republic County Jr./Sr. High School, WiseHart
Best of the Tradeshow $500: Macie LeMarr, Kobe Spiess, Colten Wiesner, Plainville High School, Cardinal Corn
Best in Business $250: Amber Laskowksy, Canyon Laskowksy, Dodge City High School, Dodge City Aerial Photography
Ready to Launch $250: Ethan Brown, Salina Central High School, Ability Apparel.

YEC 2017-2The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship and give them hands-on experience. The students' work was judged by Scott Sproul, Bob Muirhead, Dave O'Dell, James Foster, Suzan Barnes, Feysel Rahmeto, and Jennifer Tennyson.
The fourth annual YEC Series consisted of 21 local level competitions, which culminated in the state championship on Monday, April 24 at Fort Hays State University. The event was organized by Network Kansas with generous support from Fort Hays State University, Midwest Energy, Sunflower Energy, the Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, Inc., and The Sweet Granada. 

Thank you to our YEC State Championship Sponsors:

Midwest Energy, Inc. Sunflower Electric Power Corporation

Fort Hays State logoCFElogo

NTKSSweet Granada


For more information, contact Anne Dewvall, Manager of Entrepreneurship Communities at NetWork Kansas at
For more information about NetWork Kansas or the E-Community Partnership, visit

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