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Source: Chad Jackson, 785-341-6243, cjackson@k-state.edu
Note to editors: Alexandra Bastian and Kyle Keller are graduates of Olathe South High School; Alyssa Dickerson, Travis Tannahill and Tyler Tannahill are graduates of Olathe East High School; Kelsey Hixson-Bowles is a graduate of Olathe North High School.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

WHAT WILL BE THE NEXT BIG THING? 20 ENTREPRENEURIAL IDEAS IN THE RUNNING

MANHATTAN -- Twenty entrepreneurial ideas developed by Kansas State University students are finalists to become the Next Big Thing, K-State's entrepreneurial idea competition. The finalists will compete Thursday, April 21, for $20,000 in prize money.

The Next Big Thing competition was open to K-State undergraduate and graduate students or teams from all majors. Aspiring entrepreneurs or students with a unique entrepreneurial idea were encouraged to enter the event with a chance to win money to further their venture concept. This year's competition had registrations from 250 students.

The prize money will be awarded to the top teams in the product, service, social entrepreneurship and graduate student divisions.

Students attended a series of seminars on how to research and write a feasibility plan, students worked to perform market research, financial analysis and operational feasibility of their venture concept. The written feasibility plans were reviewed by a panel of external judges to determine the top five ideas in each of the four divisions.

The finals, at the K-State Student Union, include an elevator pitch and formal business presentations to a panel of successful K-State alumni and local entrepreneurs. The winners will be announced that evening at the K-State Celebration of Entrepreneurship banquet.

Finalists and their entrepreneurial ideas include:

Andrew Smith, junior in chemical engineering, Andover, KC Master Bioenergy; Amanda Leive, senior in hotel and restaurant management, Basehor, Pure Events; Sara McClanahan, senior in bakery science and management, Clyde, Midwest Sampling Solutions; Spencer Young, junior in entrepreneurship, Colby, HD Seating; Molly Piha, sophomore in arts and sciences-open option, Douglass, The Oasis.

From Greater Kansas City: Kayla Insogna, junior in arts and sciences-open option, Gardner, Greek Eatz; Jake Frey, junior in architecture engineering, Kansas City, Mo., KC Master Bioenergy; Kelsey Hixson-Bowles, junior in English, K-State Writing Program, and Kyle Keller, senior in bakery science and management, Domination Pest Elimination, both from Olathe; Alexandra Bastian, senior in milling science and management, Midwest Sampling Solutions, Alyssa Dickerson, sophomore in business administration, Greek Eatz, Kyle Landau, senior in accounting, marketing and finance, Uadlifu, Travis Tannahill, junior in secondary education, Crusader Mud Challenge, and Tyler Tannahill, sophomore in political science, Crusader Mud Challenge, all from Overland Park; Angela Tran, graduate student in agronomy, Prairie Village, Strong Roots Soy Company; and Nicholas Meyer, junior in milling science and management, Shawnee, Midwest Sampling Solutions.

Ashley Mueller, senior in bakery science and management, Hiawatha, Monthly Bread Bakers Club; Timothy Becker, junior in milling science and management, Lenora, Monthly Bread Bakers Club; Bethany Vosburgh, senior in food science and industry and bakery science and milling management, Macksville, Midwest Sampling Solutions.

From Manhattan: Jordan Bader, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, The Oasis; Gavin Edwards, graduate student in food service hospitality management and dietetics administration, Hybrid Hostel; Dru Hinman, graduate student in business administration, Domination Pest Elimination; Brock Ingmire, junior in communication studies, Loudspeaker; Chandler Johnson, senior in mass communications and communication studies, Loudspeaker; and Sally Oviatt, special undergraduate in geography, Strong Roots Soy Company.

Michelle Schmidt, sophomore in hotel and restaurant management, Milford, Konza Valley Farms; Clint VenJohn, senior in milling science and management, Mount Hope, Domination Pest Elimination; Tim Leitnaker, senior in hotel and restaurant management, Ottawa, Konza Valley Farms; Josey Steeples, senior in milling science and management, Palco, Monthly Bread Bakers Club; Duane Unruh, junior in entrepreneurship, Peabody, Unruh Pasture Fresh Meats; Payson Burnett, senior in management and finance, Salina, Uadlifu; Danielle Willburn, sophomore in arts and sciences-open option, Tonganoxie, The Oasis; Jack Pederson, junior in milling science and management, Topeka, Domination Pest Elimination; Brandon Hoag, senior in milling science and management, Waverly, Monthly Bread Bakers Club; and Brandon Roberts, graduate student in food service hospitality management and dietetics administration, Wichita, Ice Cubes Quick Chill.

From out of state: Jessica Thiermann, senior in marketing, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Plot Against Hunger; Caitlin Burns, senior in hotel and restaurant management, Aurora, Colo., Pure Events; Janet Dickey, graduate student in communication studies, Fort Collins, Colo., Loudspeaker; Liliana Torres, junior in architecture, Pembroke Pines, Fla., Student Farm Design; Scott Galey, sophomore in arts and sciences-open option, Bolingbrook, Ill., Greek Eatz; Jenna Surprenant, junior in communication studies, Marshall, Minn., Loudspeaker; Kimberly Mahne, graduate student in interior architecture and product design, Picnique, and Lindsey Telford, senior in architecture, Student Farm Design, both from St. Louis, Mo.; Maurianna Shelbourn, graduate student in communication studies, Lincoln, Neb., Loudspeaker; Erik Kynard, sophomore in business administration, Toledo, Ohio, HD Seating; John Hinds, senior in bakery science and management, Coppell, Texas, Domination Pest Elimination; William Hastings, graduate student in food service hospitality management and dietetics administration, Meridian, Texas, Ice Cubes Quick Chill; and Cayla Fish, sophomore in business administration, Spring, Texas, HD Seating.

From out of country: James Gregory, non-degree undergraduate in business administration, Canberra, Australia, HD Seating.