Contact: Carl Nathe or Erin Donahue
“The Idea Fair is the primary opportunity on campus for students to present their business concepts. We hope to work with these entrepreneurs to continue to evolve their concepts into real businesses."
-- Dean Harvey,
Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship,
University of Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2005) -- The University of Kentucky Entrepreneurs Club and the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the third annual Idea Fair Business Concept Competition April 15, and the event proved to be a huge success for everyone involved.
The competition is designed to encourage, showcase and support UK’s innovative student entrepreneurs, and to give professional feedback to those interested in creating a business or launching an idea. This year the Idea Fair was sponsored by the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, the Bluegrass Angels, the UK Entrepreneurs Club, and ELAN Home Systems.
The top four teams were awarded cash prizes. Nicholas Wheeler and Tyler Walters of “The Tony Steps” received $400; Lachin Hatemi, Ty McGuire, Chris Prelaz, and Byron Schneider of “Medical Equipment Exporters” received $600; Scott Burns, Mandie Creed, Brandon Rowe, and Ben Koostra of “Hunting Dog Tracking System” received $1,000; and Hormazd Kanga of “The Kanga Course: Real-World Explained Workshop” received $1,500.
Kanga, who entered the competition as an individual, won first place. His idea can be described as an interactive, half-day workshop designed to explain real-world issues to college seniors, recent college graduates, and young workers. “My company conducts a half-day workshop for people who need an introductory course into how things, such as car insurance, job benefits, cost of living difference, and 401(k) or 403(b) plans, work in the real world,” said Kanga.
Kanga is still in shock that he won, after months of preparation and time spent developing his idea. “I really have to give credit to the VentureQuest workshop, the first-round judges who gave me some good feedback, the help of everyone at the Von Allmen Center, and my family for really helping me improve my concept and clarify my presentation,” commented Kanga.
During the final round of the competition, the top four teams were each asked to 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. This round was open to the public.
Overall, 18 student teams from across the university entered the competition, and vied 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 then reviewed by local business experts. Students also had the opportunity to enter the competition by participating in the Von Allmen Center’s VentureQuest workshop series, which took place throughout the spring semester.
Past winners of the Idea Fair have gone on to represent UK in national business plan competitions. “The Idea Fair is the primary opportunity on campus for students to present their business concepts. We hope to work with these entrepreneurs to continue to evolve their concepts into real businesses,” said Dean Harvey, director of the UK Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.