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School of Business Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge

Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge

Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge

The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge is a venture idea competition that is open to students from Emporia State University.

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 midnight, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Through submission of the executive summary, teams will attempt to refine their venture with the intention of advancing to subsequent rounds of the competition. More details can be found under the “Guidelines” section below.

A panel of graders will select the semifinalist teams to advance in the pitch competition. During the semifinal round, students will have several weeks to redefine their big ideas (based on graders' feedback) and students will work with faculty and local entrepreneurs to further develop their concept.

The semifinalist teams will submit a pitch virtually by midnight April 7. More details can be found under the “Guidelines” section below.

On Thursday, April 28, the semifinalist teams will present their business concepts to the community and judges at a community showcase. During this showcase, the top three teams will be chosen.


  • 1st Place: $1,500
  • 2nd Place: $1,000
  • 3rd Place: $500.00


The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge is open to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students at Emporia State University enrolled during the Spring 2022 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. The concept and venture must demonstrate student management and ownership.


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


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.


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, March 8, to A confirmation email will be sent Friday, March 11, 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 a significant step in developing a business plan. The summary, 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. The link to the executive summary is listed below.


The semifinalist teams will submit a pitch virtually by midnight April 7 to Dr. Douglass Smith at 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? Hook? Get their attention. (First part of Intro)
  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.
  • 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 Community Showcase event on April 28th. 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



Do you have what it takes to pitch your business idea? All Elevator Pitch activities will be held on the second floor of Cremer Hall on Feb. 23, 2022, starting at 6:00pm.

  • Registration will be in the Kansas Business Hall of Fame
  • The 27-second elevator pitches will be held in CH208 Conference Room
  • High School judging will be in the Roe R. Cross Conference Room

Your presentation will last 0:27 seconds ONLY. There will be a person to tell you to start and stop.

When you present: If you are part of a group, you will need to nominate one person to do the pitch. If you all want to be together, that’s fine, but you have to all be physically in the same space together and you will need to wear masks. Remember, only one person can do the pitch.

Once you have completed your presentation, you will proceed across the hall to present one more time to visiting high school entrepreneurship students. They will select the candidates that they feel have the best pitch. After you pitch in both areas, you are requested to return to the Kansas Hall of Fame until the prizes are awarded. The winners for Best Pitch, Best Idea, and Judge’s Choice will be announced in the Kansas Hall of Fame after everyone has finished pitching. Winners will be announced the following morning via the School of Business social media Twitter and Instagram accounts around 10am. Each winner will receive $100 into their student account.

Top 12 Oral Pitches for the 2021 EEC

The top 12 oral pitches have been chosen for the Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge.