The 2015 Idea State U competition has raised the bar once again as the annual competition received “intent to compete” forms from 18 colleges and universities across the state, a great improvement from the seven participating institutions last year. This year, 49 teams representing those colleges and universities will vie for the $130K in prize money to get their dreams of starting their own business off the ground.
New schools competing this year include Hazard CTC, Gateway CTC, Lindsey Wilson College, Owensboro CTC, Asbury University, Berea College, Georgetown College, Brescia University and Union College. This expansion is a part of Idea State U’s growth to include all universities and colleges in the state.
In order to accommodate the growing number of participants, this year there will be three regional events hosted in Hazard, Florence, and Owensboro. Winners from the regional events will advance to the Finals, which will take place at the end of April.
The competing teams are spread throughout the state, which is something that the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Innovation Network see as a huge opportunity to help promote local economies both inside and outside of the major cities in the Commonwealth.
“The interest from student entrepreneurs has been enormous,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development for the Cabinet. “More and more students are learning that they can become the next great innovators, and we’re pleased to offer them this opportunity.”
The increased participation this year is just one more step forward in the process of boosting local economies.
Berea College will be represented by four teams. “For today’s college students to give up weekends to work collaboratively on their Idea State U teams and deepen their entrepreneurial skill sets is a testimonial of how important the contest is on this campus. Entrepreneurship is a learned skill which can be honed through crisp execution,” said Dr. Peter Hackbert, Director of the Entrepreneurship for the Public Good Program, Berea College.
In South Central Kentucky, Lindsey Wilson College of Business Administration is sending three teams to compete this year. “We have tremendous potential here, and thanks to the Innovation Network and Idea State U we will be able to help these young entrepreneurs build the local economy,” said Linda Grider, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Lindsey Wilson College.
KCTCS President Jay Box said, “The expansion of Idea State U has allowed all of our 16 campuses the opportunity to find and encourage the entrepreneurial minded among us to move ahead with starting their businesses. We are proud to host all three of the preliminary events for this year’s competition.”
Come join us at any three of our regional events which will be held in Owensboro, KY on March 24th, Hazard, KY on March 26th, and Florence, KY on March 28th; the final event will be held in Lexington, KY on April 24th and 25th. For detailed information about event locations and times feel free to visit the Idea State U website here.