Student entrepreneurs complete first round of competition

March 7, 2014

Twenty teams of students from Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College are moving to the second round of the 3D Emporia competition, which stands for Dream It- Design It- Develop It.

Judged selected the group of semi-finalists on Thursday from a group of 31 teams that submitted executive summaries on Feb. 27. The judges considered concept, feasibility, market potential, business model and competition.

The teams moving on are: Team Numbers do not reflect rankings

  • Team 2: Santana Reed
  • Team 4: Wookyung Lee
  • Team 5: Joohyung Yoo
  • Team 6: Steven Clark, Niwar Hamzani
  • Team 8: Sam Howard
  • Team 9: Joshua Williams
  • Team 12: Ross Phillips
  • Team 15: Wade Hanna, Carrie Kellie
  • Team 17: Jessica Brownlee, Nakita Elwood, Teri Whitson
  • Team 18: Savannah Engel, Kathryn Martin, Haley VonFeldt
  • Team 19: Aaron Freeze
  • Team 20: John Brownlee, Frances Mihulec
  • Team 21: Kelsey Bryson, Jennifer McNary
  • Team 22: Hank Osterhout
  • Team 23: Soojin Bae, Jeffrey Miller, Preston Mossman
  • Team 24: Ben Bosworth, Zahidul Karim, Gunay Miriyeva
  • Team 26: Ikbal Ben Gaied Hassine, Kaisa-Triin Karu, Nizomiddin Kuchkarov
  • Team 27: Brady Batman
  • Team 28: Ethan Hall
  • Team 29: Davian Lawrence, Demico Lockett, Oladipo Olaonipekun

The new venture idea competition is open to students from Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College. The competition capitalizes on teaching students what it takes to be an entrepreneur and is a collaborative effort between the School of Business at Emporia State University and the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, and is underwritten by ESB Financial.

The competition which began in mid-January, allowed student competitors to form teams or some students decided to embark on the experience independently. From the kickoff of the competition to late February, student teams formed and collaboration began on what idea they wanted to submit. Students were encouraged to attend several workshops hosted at Emporia State and Flint Hills Technical College to help cultivate their idea and seek input on their plans. Several members of the Emporia business community attended the workshops to offer suggestions and mentor students with during the idea development stage.

Lisa Brumbaugh, Regional Director for the Small Business Development Center at Emporia State, visited with students in and outside of the workshops.

“It has been great to see students who are bringing fresh ideas and concepts to the competition as well as a genuine interest in entrepreneurship, said Brumbaugh.

Several faculty members from Emporia State participated in the 3D workshops, and served as mentors through the process. Dr. Thomas Slocombe, professor of management in the School of Business, attended several sessions and offered suggestions to students on how to effectively build a business proposal.

“The 3D competition is an excellent way for students to learn to think like entrepreneurs,” said Slocombe. “Students get practice developing their ideas and considering all that's needed to start a business. It's great to see them working to make their proposals both creative and feasible.”

The semifinalists now move on to doing verbal pitches of their final business plans to a panel of judges in early April. The top three teams will be selected and proceed to the final round, which will consist of presenting at the 3D Gala on April 11, at Emporia State University. Here, teams will be competing for cash prizes of $4,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third. The top three teams that place in the 3D Competition will move on to compete against the top three teams of the K-State Launch — a similar competition held at Kansas State University. This competition will be held in Manhattan in late April.

“The School of Business is excited about the student participation we have had for the 3D competition. We are pleased to see submissions from students of different academic backgrounds at both Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College,” said Dr. Kristie Ogilvie, dean of the School of Business. “The support our community gave by mentoring students really enhanced the experience for the teams participating. The School of Business has enjoyed working with the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce for this event and is very thankful toward ESB Financial for being our underwriter for the competition. This is just yet another testament of the great partnership the University has with the community of Emporia.”

In addition to the final pitches on April 11, the 3D committee will be honoring an existing entrepreneur with ties to the Emporia community with the Spirit Award.  This award focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit and what risks one has taken in building their business and creating value for our community.

“The winner of the award will be selected from community based nominations that are currently being accepted by the Chamber of Commerce,” said Jeanine McKenna, president and CEO of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on the 3D competition, please contact Jessica Buchholz at 620-341-5371 or For more information on nominating a business for The Spirit Award or attending the gala on April 11, please contact Jeanine McKenna at 620-342-1600 or



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