FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 21, 2017) – The 10th annual Idea State U finals competition is set for Saturday at the Lexington Convention Center and promises another year of innovative business ideas from young entrepreneurs across Kentucky.
Thirty teams of Kentucky college undergraduate and graduate students will pitch their business plans and models for a chance at a share of a $100,000 prize pool to help further their ideas. Finalists participated in one of three regional competitions over the past weeks to narrow the field of 61 teams representing 22 Kentucky colleges and universities. The top teams from each region – five in the Business Plan category and five in the Business Model division – qualified for this weekend’s finals competition.
Keynoting the event will be Mason Shelton, second-place winner of last year’s Business Plan competition. Shelton developed the Raptor Adaptor, a shotgun stabilization device for turkey hunters.
Teams will present business plans and models to a panel of judges that will select the overall winners and provide feedback to each team. The panel will address potential challenges and improvements to the business ideas, as well as opportunities to further research and market those ideas. The Office of Entrepreneurship, within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, oversees Idea State U.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Idea State U competition, and look forward to yet another impressive group of finalist presentations from college students across the commonwealth,” said Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “I encourage all Idea State U participants to make the most out of the experience, continue to be creative and to push into new spaces while soaking up the successes and failures with equal humility.”
Judges will evaluate the proposed ventures based on the stage of development of the business ideas and likelihood for success. The majority of a team’s winnings can be claimed only as reimbursements for qualified business expenses following formation of a legal Kentucky company.
The finals competition begins Saturday at 9 a.m. and will be capped by the award ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. The Lexington Convention Center is located at 430 W. Vine St. in Lexington.
The Idea State U competition is open to all post-secondary institutions in the commonwealth. This year’s list of entrants continues last year’s strong participation by students from community and technical colleges across the state.
The Office of Entrepreneurship provides an array of services, programs and initiatives to encourage small business growth across Kentucky. The Office works to coordinate the state’s focus and efforts in creating and promoting a strong culture of entrepreneurship.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2015 totaled a state record $5.1 billion, spurring more than 16,000 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.