Finalists selected in 3D competition

April 6, 2014

Three student teams have made the cut as finalists in 3D Emporia, a venture idea competition that stands for Dream It- Design It- Develop It. Team members will present their final pitches during a gala on April 11.

The teams and their ideas are:

  • Biker: A business pitch to bring bike rental kiosks to Emporia State University, giving the Emporia State community the ability to live healthier and consume fewer resources through a cost effective option. From Emporia State students Soojin Bae, senior management major; Jeffery Miller, senior management major, and Preston Mossman, senior business administration major;
  • Rock Creek Ostrich Ranch: A diversified ranching proposal that strives to meet the growing demand for an alternative red meat while providing good stewardship of natural resources. From Emporia State students Nakita Elwood, junior crime and delinquency studies major, and Teri Whitson, senior accounting major; and
  • Williams Web Development: Web-based service that pitches to provide software capable of managing scheduling and booking needs for educational institutions and larger corporations at a fraction of the cost of competitors. From Flint Hills Technical College student Joshua Williams, computer program design and development.

The 3D Emporia initiative, focused on cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit, is sponsored by the School of Business at Emporia State University, in partnership with the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and underwritten by ESB Financial. Students from Emporia State and Flint Hills Technical College were invited to take part in the competition, either as individuals or as part of a team.

In late February, 31 teams submitted idea proposals to a panel of judges who selected 20 finalists to advance. On April 3 and 4, the finalists each had 20 minutes to give a verbal pitch to the panel of local judges, who narrowed the competitors down to three. The teams chosen to advance to the final round of the competition were selected based on the concept of their idea, its feasibility, market potential, the business model they created, and the team’s ability to convey their idea to the panel of judges.

“The commitment from students we have seen during this competition has been truly inspiring,” said Dr. Kristie Ogilvie, dean, school of business. “Teams have spent countless hours working with faculty and reaching out to community organizations like the Small Business Development Center at Emporia State University and Emporia Main Street to develop and fine tune their business concepts.”

Dr. Nathan Woolard, director of Leadership Studies at Emporia State and 3D Emporia judge, explained, “For me, the 3D competition is a lesson in critical-thinking and creativity, and a great representation of what a college degree is all about.” Speaking to the academic component of the 3D competition, Woolard said, “The development of the student’s business plan parallels well with what we do in Leadership Studies. We encourage our students to seek multiple perspectives and look around an issue or challenge when futuring or developing a plan of action.”

The 3D competition has been possible due to the support of ESB Financial.  Jim Wayman, CEO of ESB Financial, explained, “ESB Financial is privileged to underwrite the Emporia Dream It. Design It. Develop It. Idea Competition. As a fourth-generation family owned business we believe that American intuition is the backbone of our economy. We applaud the entrepreneurship of the students of ESU and Flint Hills Technical College.  They are our future!  We would love to see their ideas grow into new businesses in Emporia and the Flint Hills — and ESB Financial will be there every step of the way!”

The top three teams will present next at the 3D Gala event on April 11 at Emporia State University. At this event the finalists will be competing for cash prizes of $4,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third. During the Gala event on April 11, the 3D committee will also be honoring an existing entrepreneur with ties to the Emporia Community. The Spirit Award focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit and the risks one has taken in building their business and creating value for our community. Nominations for the Spirit Award were submitted to the Chamber of Commerce by community members.

Jeanine McKenna, president and CEO of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, discusses her thoughts on the event, “The Spirit Award is a way for us to celebrate those business men and women who have shown tenacity and have taken risks in helping build not only their own future, but the future of others. The 3D Competition is a way to connect students with the outstanding business people in our community, in hopes of reaching our mission here at the Chamber, which is to create an environment for business and community success. We could not be more grateful for our partnership with The School of Business at Emporia State University and the support of ESB Financial.”

On April 30 the top three teams will move on to compete against teams from Kansas State University in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge, held in Manhattan, KS. This competition features the top three teams from 3D Emporia and the top three teams of the K-State Launch, a similar idea competition held at Kansas State University.

For more information on the 3D competition, please contact Jessica Buchholz at 341-5371 or



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