It’s a high school Shark Tank with scholarships as the prize.
Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton has created a new program called the Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, a contest similar to the Shark Tank television show.
But instead of winning money to invest in a business as happens on the show, high school students will get postsecondary scholarships.
“I want Kentucky to raise home-grown entrepreneurs,” Hampton said last week at a news conference at the Capitol building in Frankfort.
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“The Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge is a Shark Tank of sorts for high school students with the main prizes being scholarships for post-secondary institutions in Kentucky,” Hampton said “The ultimate goal is to get entrepreneurship in front of students for the educational experience of practical business analysis and the inspirational value of bringing an idea to life.”
Prizes include over $80,000 from the state Cabinet for Economic Development and private industry. The money will be split among the top three teams at a state competition into scholarships for post-secondary institutions in Kentucky, cash winnings for adult advisers, in-kind business services from entrepreneurs across Kentucky and more. Fundraising is ongoing, said Cody Patterson, relations manager for Hampton’s office, so the scholarship money could grow.
Hampton will be promoting the program and encouraging students to get involved, Patterson said. She “wants students to realize that they have the power to become entrepreneurs,” he said.
The challenge consists of a business plan proposal and live pitch competition. It will include two components: a regional competition and a state competition. Student teams will be required to work with two adult advisers such as a teacher or a business owner who can help coach and guide the team as they develop their business idea. Teams will be evaluated on both their written business plans and pitch presentations by a panel of judges at the regional competition.
The state competition will follow the same format but with only ten teams — the top two winners from each regional competition. Locations for the regional competitions will be determined and announced in early 2017. The state competition will take place on April 29, 2017, at the Gatton College of Business and Economics’ Kincaid Auditorium at the University of Kentucky. The challenge will be conducted in partnership with Junior Achievement and is supported by the Kentucky Innovation Network, a state sponsored program that specializes in economic development and entrepreneurship, a news release said.
All high school students from public, private and home-school settings are eligible to participate. The deadline to submit intent to compete forms is February 1, 2017, and all business plans are due on March 1, 2017. Teams will then do a presentation at their regional competition during the week of April 10-13, 2017, with the top two teams advancing to the state competition.
Additional information can be found at: Kylgec.com