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Contact: Amara Kniep, Product Manager, E-Community Programs, NetWork Kansas

Phone: 316-425-8832


Wichita, Kan. - NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the conclusion of the 2017-2018 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. During the 2017-2018 academic year, 709 students from 35 Kansas communities participated in 31 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 2017-2018 academic year marks the fifth 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 61-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 2018 Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) State Championship. The competition will be held on April 24th 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. Up to 15 wildcard applicants may be selected by April 13th by having their executive summary win out in a competitive qualifying round. These business ideas are represented by 46 students from 29 schools across Kansas.

The 31 businesses who have advanced to the KEC State Championship will be judged on their executive summaries and 4-minute presentations in an initial round. The top four teams will advance to a finalist presentation round. $18,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top young entrepreneurs. There will also be an optional tradeshow competition open to the public.

The Kansas communities who hosted a local YEC series event include Bird City, Chase County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Cowley County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ford County, Kansas City, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Lyon County, Marion County, Montgomery County, Norton County, Phillips County, Rawlins County, Reno County, Republic County, Rice County, Riley County, Rooks County, Salina (Fall and Spring competitions), Scott County, Sherman County, Thomas County, Wichita, and Wichita County. Additional communities were invited to participate. 

2018 KEC State Championship Qualifiers: Bee Happy Honey (Caitlin Cramer), Clay Center Community High School; Bridge Digital Marketing (Bridget Stanton), Gloria Deo Academy; Checkout Smart (Nick Weippert, Camila Ramirez, and Michael Boll), Buhler High School; Cole’s Cards (Max Svoboda and Cole Srajer), Centre High School; Craving Crushers (Jayde Hosier, Jersey Kaiser, and Ashley Wise), Plainville Jr/Sr High School; Farmdrone (Aidan Trent), Dodge City High School; Dart’s Free Range Eggs and Poultry (Alex Dart), Cheylin West Jr/St High School; Dogs Unleashed (Lily Beach), Baldwin City High School; First Place Protein (Nicholas Cammarn), Emporia High School; Heavenly Hues Video Production (Yami Sanchez and Joselin Garcia), Scott Community High School; J Engravings (Jaden Roggow), Sedan High School; Java Generators (Dylan Babcock), Lincoln Jr/Sr High School; JK’s Sports Cards (Justin Kohlman), Chase County Jr/Sr High School; K&A Designs (Annie Weishaar and Kenlee Ebner), Phillips County High School; Kestrel Aerial Photography (Nicholas Flores), Wichita High School East; Lakin Rose (Lakin Denny), Colby Middle School; LauriFit (Laura Renteria), Shawnee Mission Northwest High School; Live Oriental (Sarah Clausen, Caitlin Low, Wyntr Jacobs), Southeast High School; Logic Co (Brogen Willich), Salina South High School; Made by Jade (Jade Artzer), Goodland Jr/Sr High School; Match.Cow (Preston Dunn), St. John Jr/Sr High School; Oh Rats! (Ivy Gatton), Labette County High School; Pete’s Seats (Mandy Ayers, Annaliese Waugh, and Abby Waugh), Leavenworth High School; Purely Simple (Angela Singhateh), Rawlins County Jr/Sr High School; Republican Valley Agritourism (Mackenzie Ehlers, Samuel Johnson, and Shea Mikesell), Pike Valley High School; Sweet Meg’s (Meganne Nihart), Winfield High School; Tech Haven (Isabel Resendez), Wichita County Jr/Sr High School; The Babysitter Club (Mardee Thompson), Sterling Jr/Sr High School; Varsity Clothing (Julion Falco and Makelti Hastings), Salina Central High School; and Yummoo! (Carleigh Hughes, Anna Meier, Eric Spencer), Cherryvale Jr/Sr High School.

For more information, contact Amara Kniep at or visit: