Skip to main content

School of Business Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge

Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge

The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge

The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge is a venture idea competition that is open to students from Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College.

The framework for the Challenge begins with participants, either individuals or teams up to four members, submitting a 3-page (maximum) executive summary and registration form to the competition by Tuesday, February 18th, 2020. Through submission of the executive summary, teams will attempt to refine their venture with the intention of advancing to subsequent rounds of the competition.

By March 5th, a panel of graders will select up to 20 semifinalist teams to advance in the competition. During the semifinal round, students will have one month to redefine their big ideas (based on graders' feedback) and students will work with faculty and local entrepreneurs in class to further develop their concept.

On March 17th and 18th, semifinalists will have 15 minutes to pitch their final business plans to a panel of professional judges and go through a series of questions and answers.

On March 25th, the semifinalist teams will present their business concepts to the community and judges at a community showcase in the Memorial Union. During this showcase, the top three teams will be chosen and asked to make a 3-5 minute business pitch to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place!

March 27th, 2020 is the deadline to submit the top two teams to Kansas State University's Entrepreneur Challenge.

April 28th, 2020: Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge at Kansas State University. The top two teams of the EEC will travel to Kansas State University to represent Emporia in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Product development should take place in early spring, with the initial deadline to enter the competition being February 18th. The subsequent stages of the competition will take place throughout the duration of the spring semester with a culminating presentation on March 25th.

Teams will be competing for cash prizes.

1st Place: $2,500.00

2nd Place: $1,500.00

3rd Place: $500.00

Student Qualifications

The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge is open to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students at Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College enrolled during the spring 2020 semester. Students from all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Non-students may advise the team; however, only students may present the plan to the judges during the competition on campus. The concept and venture must demonstrate student management and ownership.

Team Qualifications

Individuals may submit a concept. However, entrepreneurship teams are encouraged. Student teams should not exceed four students.

Concept Qualifications

The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge welcomes independent student ventures in the concept stage or seed stage. Generally excluded from entry are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndication, tax shelters, franchises, and licensing agreements for distribution in the local market. Plagiarism of patents or copyrights will result in disqualification.

Limit on Ideas

Teams or individuals may submit up to two different business concept ideas. However, only one concept per person/group may qualify for the semifinal round.


Written Executive Summary:

The written executive summary must be submitted in electronic, PDF format, by midnight, Tuesday, February 18th, to A confirmation email will be sent Thursday, February 20th, at noon. If students do not receive an email, they need to contact Beth Ginter at 620-341-5371 or

The 3-page executive summary presents the idea for initial evaluation in a short and compelling form. This is not a research report. It is a sales pitch! The effort involved in preparing the concept requires the team to carefully and realistically assess the opportunity. This action is the first step in developing a business plan. The idea feasibility, when completed, will present the key information needed to evaluate the opportunity, without going into the depth that a full business plan requires. The completed executive summary should be no more than three pages. Click here for the executive summary.

Oral Pitch Presentations

Your visual aid should cover the information outlined in the written executive summary. You should assume that the judges will not have read your written concept, so the visual aid should provide a complete explanation of the concept. A suggested outline is:

  1. Intro: What's your idea?
  2. Management: Who's on your team?
  3. Market Need: Who are your customers?
  4. Value Proposition: Why will they buy?
  5. Competition: Who's your competition?
  6. Strategy: How do you generate sales?
  7. Financial: How many will you sell? At what cost?
  8. Plan: What are your next steps?
  • Time limits for the oral presentations will be 10-15 minutes, with 15 minutes allotted for question and answers.
  • During the semifinals, teams will present in front of only the judges and assistants for the Emporia Entrepreneur competition. No general audience or other teams are allowed to hear the presentation.
  • A laptop and projector/screen will be provided.
  • Remember oral presentation should be compelling and persuasive! This is not a research report, where you demonstrate that you did the work, but a sales pitch where you convince the judges that you and/or your team can succeed.
  • The winners of the competition will be named at the event on March 25th. Awards will be given to the top three places.
  • If students compete in teams, prize monies will be divided equally among team members.
  • Placing in the competition does not guarantee that teams will have investors.

For more information on the Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge; please contact Dr. Douglass Smith at or Beth Ginter at the School of Business at 620-341-5371 or

Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge Competition Documents

The EEC Elevator Challenge & High School Entrepreneurial Tussle

Do you have what it takes to pitch your business idea? Ride the Cremer Hall elevator from 1st to 5th floor and pitch your business idea in 27 seconds! At the end of the night, three winners will be announced (you must be in attendance to receive the prize). Win one of three $100 prizes: Best Pitch, Best Idea, and Judge's Choice! Pizza and prizes will be provided. Several high schools will bring their entrepreneurship students to compete against one another. You will give your pitch a second time to these teams in the Roe Cross Room after you get off the elevator. Meet local entrepreneurs to discuss your business plan for EEC! No reservations, just show up! The Challenge starts at 6pm on Tuesday, February 11, on first floor of Cremer Hall.