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November 29, 2018

Contact: Amara Kniep
Product Manager of E-Community Programs, NetWork Kansas
Phone: 316-425-8832



YEC News Release

Wichita, KS – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the 2018-2019 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship. Forty-one local events in Kansas cities and counties will culminate in a state championship hosted at Kansas State University on April 30, 2019.  

“After organizing this event several times and watching it grow and gain interest each year, I am amazed and impressed at the ideas that are presented from the participants. It is important for us as a community to plant the entrepreneurial seed so that the businessperson spirit can develop. I am certain that we will see some of these ideas become viable business ventures,” says Suzanne McClure, Economic Development Director in Goodland, Kansas.

Local YEC Series events require students to prepare an executive summary and four-minute presentation, and often feature interactive tradeshows or elevator pitches. Students compete for awards and prizes. Students’ work is judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, and other community members. The first place business idea at each local YEC Series competition qualifies to compete at the state championship. Up to fifteen additional business ideas can earn the right to participate at the state championship through a wildcard application process.   

"The YEC Series helps students gain experience with creative problem solving and confidence in presenting their ideas to others. The competitions can help students feel more connected to their community as they think of needs they could fill in their local area. This year we expect the YEC Series to involve over 1,000 students,” says Amara Kniep, Product Manager of E-Community Programs.

Competitions in the 2018-2019 YEC Series will be hosted in: Barton County, Chase County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Cheyenne County, Clay County, Cowley County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ellis County, Ford County, Greeley County, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Logan County, Lyon County, Marion County, McPherson County, Montgomery 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 (both Fall and Spring events), Scott County, Sedgwick County, Shawnee County, Sheridan County, Sherman County, Thomas County, and Wichita County. KC BizFest is also participating in the YEC Series.

During 2017-2018, 709 students from more than thirty-five Kansas communities participated in thirty-one local entrepreneurship competitions as part of the YEC series. The 2018-2019 academic year marks the sixth annual YEC series coordinated by NetWork Kansas and the E-Community Partnership.

For more information, contact Amara Kniep, Manager of E-Community Programs, at

For more information about NetWork Kansas or the E-Community Partnership, visit