Idea Fair Scheduled April 15

Contact: Erin Donahue

 

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The Idea Fair is designed to help students learn about entrepreneurship by developing and presenting a business concept, and to potentially turn these concepts into real businesses. UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., a strong advocate of entrepreneurship among students, helped found the UK Entrepreneurs Club in early 2002.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2005) -- The University of Kentucky Entrepreneurs Club and the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship will serve as host for the third annual Idea Fair Business Concept Competition April 15.

The competition is designed to encourage, showcase and support UK’s innovative student-entrepreneurs. The 2005 Idea Fair Competition is sponsored by the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, Bluegrass Angels, the UK Entrepreneurs Club, and ELAN Home Systems.

In all, 18 student teams from across the university entered the competition, vying for cash awards totaling $3,500 plus professional assistance. The teams applied in March by submitting a five- to eight-page written business concept plan, which was reviewed by local business experts. Students also could enter the competition by participating in the Von Allmen Center’s VentureQuest workshop series.

The final round of the Idea Fair Competition is open to the public, beginning at 3:30 p.m. April 15 in the Gatton Business and Economics Building atrium and auditorium.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to attend. During the final round, the top four teams will each deliver a 10-minute presentation and answer questions about their concept to an esteemed group of judges composed of local leaders, venture capitalists, and business professionals.

Students interested in entrepreneurship who were not able to participate in this year’s Idea Fair, can get a better understanding of how to develop a successful concept by observing this year’s contestants in action.

The Idea Fair is designed to help students learn about entrepreneurship by developing and presenting a business concept, and to potentially turn these concepts into real businesses. UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., a strong advocate of entrepreneurship among students, helped found the UK Entrepreneurs Club in early 2002.

"Encouraging entrepreneurship is a priority at the University of Kentucky," Todd said. “Events such as the Idea Fair help students learn what it takes to launch a company, and I urge the university community to attend and support the students participating.”

One of this year’s teams is spearheaded by Amandine Andrade, a graduate student in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The team has developed a business concept to sell handcrafted jewelry made with Swarovski crystal beads. Andrade’s project started two years ago, in her native country of France, where making jewelry with Swarovski crystal beads is very popular.

“I have always enjoyed making my own jewelry and not seeing it on anyone else. My goal is to create jewelry to work in concert with each woman’s individual style,” said Andrade. Her collection includes everything from handcrafted rings and bracelets to watches, necklaces and earrings.

The Idea Fair has already proven to be a successful platform to help students turn their ideas into businesses. On March 1, Indi-Go, one of the winning teams from the 2004 Idea Fair, celebrated its grand opening in the Commons Market on UK’s south campus. If you have not yet tasted Indi-Go’s innovative food, you can try some during the finals of the Idea Fair Competition where they will provide refreshments.

For additional information, please contact Gabriel Wilmoth at the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship at gabriel@uky.edu or (859) 257-1536, or visit the UK Entrepreneurs Club.


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