Student entrepreneurs earn prize money

By The Mercury

A Kansas State University competition has rewarded 38 students and creators of 16 business ideas with more than $20,000 in prize money.

The K-State Launch competition gives students experience in the process of making a business proposal. In total, 365 students registered for the competition this year, making it the sixth straight year of record entries.

K-State Launch is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration and is open to all university students. To compete, students create a feasible written plan, deliver a business pitch and present to a panel of judges that consists of local entrepreneurs, bankers and investment experts.

“This competition is a great way to allow students to think creatively and explore their entrepreneurial spirits,” said Chad Jackson, interim director of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. “The real-world experience of pitching a business in front of the type of business experts we have on our panel is invaluable to these students.”

The three finalists to win the top prizes in this year’s K-State Launch were Kansas City Spaces, Concordia Cattle Health and Juedo Social.

Josh Mais, junior in industrial engineering, Leawood, won $6,000 for his pitch for Kansas City Spaces. His business plan centered on providing professional photography, high definition video, Google business photos and detailed floor plans to display and view property websites for residential and commercial real estate in the Greater Kansas City area.

Concordia Cattle Health is a partnership between Filippe Scortegagna, senior in pre-veterinary medicine, and Marcos Cortopassi, special undergraduate in industrial Engineering, both from New York, N.Y. Their plan to develop new technology for dairy cow producers to identify unhealthy animals, predict amount of food consumption and improve milk production was good for second place and a $4,000 prize.

Juedo Social, an idea of Hayley Kenner, senior in marketing, Ellsworth; Cameron Kietzman, sophomore in mass communications, Lenexa; and Brandon Painter, senior in marketing, and Drew Martens, senior in fine arts, both from Shawnee, won $2,000 collectively for third place. Their pitch revolved around the creation of a complete digital advertising agency to educate and advocate social media in both professional and personal use.

The remaining 13 prize-winning business ideas were awarded checks ranging from $500-$1,000.

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