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News and Communications Services

Ideas for fitness video, biodiesel project win entrepreneurial competition

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

       

 

MANHATTAN -- Student entrepreneurs with ideas for a fitness video and a sustainable fuel project are the top winners in Kansas State University's The Next Big Thing, an entrepreneurship contest organized by the College of Business Administration's Center for Advancement of Entrepreneurship.

David Tierney, owner of Kansas Biodiesel Project, and Lars Hanson, owner of Breakout Sports Performance, a fitness video idea, tied for first in the competition. Each receives $2,250 in cash and $1,500 in reimbursed business expenses to start their businesses. Tierney is a senior in chemistry from Manhattan and Hanson is a sophomore in business administration from Olathe.

Now in its fifth year, The Next Big Thing attracted a record number of student entrepreneurs this year. More than 300 registered for the competition, with 17 business ideas making it to the final round.

"The Next Big Thing gives students the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship by researching and presenting an innovative business concept to a panel of successful judges," said Chad Jackson, associate director of the Center for Advancement of Entrepreneurship. "The competition gets tougher every year as we continue to see more students participate with better ideas. All of the ideas in the finals could become successful companies."

Students presented their ideas to a panel of judges made up of local entrepreneurs and finance professionals.

The finalists and their prizes include:

Leah Parsons, senior apparel and textiles, Auburn, bronze category and $100 gift card, for Antoinette; Dylan Buessing, sophomore in business administration, Axtell, bronze category and $100 gift card for DJN Guitar; Analena Simmons, senior in grain science, Barnard, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Little Apple Biscuit; Zach Laffery, senior in milling science and management, Clay Center, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Little Apple Biscuit; Mason Smith, freshman in arts and sciences-open option, Fort Riley, bronze category and $100 gift card for Neuwave Recording.

From Greater Kansas City: Mabry Keel, freshman in arts and sciences-open option, Kansas City Mo., bronze category and $100 gift card for K-State Date; Logan Davis, sophomore in business administration, bronze category and $100 gift card for the Yachts & Knots, and Tori Pedersen, sophomore in bakery science and management, bronze category and $100 gift card for K-State Date, both from Lenexa; and Nick Huber, sophomore in arts and sciences-option option, Overland Park, bronze category and $100 gift cared for DJN Guitar.

Breck Fletcher, junior in agricultural technology, Leoti, bronze category and $100 gift card for Sunflower Hills.

From Manhattan: Brian Boeckelman, senior in mass communications, gold category, $1,500 cash and $1,500 in reimbursed business expenses for Stronghold Media; Jacinda Dickinson, senior in feed science and management, silver category, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Little Apple Biscuit; Ashley Flinn, senior in fine arts, gold category, $1,500 cash and $1,500 in reimbursed business expenses for Two Crow Press; Mark Haynes, doctoral student in industrial engineering, silver category, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Free Form; Jared Hedlund, senior on kinesiology, bronze category and $100 gift card for DJN Guitar; and Eric Tabaka, senior in bakery science and management, bronze category and $100 gift card for Sunflower Hills.

Tracy Ford, senior in architecture, Nashville, silver category, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Virtuetecture; Sarah Mathe, senior in feed science and management, St. Marys, silver category, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Little Apple Biscuit; Kyle Deutscher, senior in feed science and management, Stockton, silver category, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Little Apple Biscuit; and Michelle Hill, junior in agricultural economics, Wichita, bronze category and $100 gift card for the Decision Cube.

From out of state: Ben Lopez, senior in bakery science and management, Phoenix, Ariz., bronze category and $100 gift card for Sunflower Hills; Josh Goldstein, senior in architecture, Littleton, Colo., silver category, $500 cash and $500 in reimbursed business expenses for Pivot Style; Kyle Probst, doctoral student in grain science, Bloomington, Ind., bronze category and $100 gift card for The Bitter Relief; Sam Cook, senior in feed science and management, Spirit Lake, Iowa, bronze category and $100 gift card for Sunflower Hills; and Sarah Gutkowski, master's student in grain science, Edina, Minn., bronze category and $100 gift card for The Bitter Relief.

From out of country: Jawed Samsor, master's student in business administration, Kabul Afghanistan, bronze category and $100 gift card for Zendagi.

Source

Chad Jackson
785-341-6243
cjackson@k-state.edu


Website

The Next Big Thing

News tip

Auburn, Axtell, Barnard, Clay Center, Fort Riley, Lenexa, Leoti, Manhattan, Nashville, Olathe, Overland Park, Nashville, St. Marys, Stockton and Wichita, Kan.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Littleton, Colo.; Bloomington, Ind.; Spirit Lake, Iowa; Edina, Minn.; and Kansas City, Mo.

Download a high-resolution photo of Tierney.

Tierney

David Tierney, first-place winner in The Next Big Thing.


Download a high-resolution photo of Hanson.

Hanson

Lars Hanson, first-place winner in The Next Big Thing.

Written by

Olivia Blanco
785-532-2753
oblanco@k-state.edu


At a glance

David Tierney, senior in chemistry and owner of the Kansas Biodiesel Project, and Lars Hanson, sophomore in business administration and owner of Breakout Sports Performance, are the first-place winners in The Next Big Thing competition.