Source: Chad Jackson, 785-341-6243, cjackson@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.cba.k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Olivia Blanco, 785-532-2753, oblanco@k-state.edu

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013

Calling all winning ideas: Registration for the Next Big Thing now open

MANHATTAN -- With more than $20,000 in prizes, students in all majors and years have started registering for the Next Big Thing, Kansas Sate University's business idea competition.

A bicycle rental service, jewelry that gives back to the community, a catering company and food separators to effectively segregate toppings in a commercial kitchen line -- these are some of the past winning ideas of the Next Big Thing, the annual entrepreneurship competition of the university's Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship.

Registration for this year's competition is through Friday, March 15, when executive summaries are due. The first 300 registrants will receive a T-shirt. To register, go to:
https://ksubusiness.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_dhGzHDeTaNd4aGx.

"The competition gets more exciting every year," said Chad Jackson, associate director of the center and organizer of the Next Big Thing. "We have students from all majors entering great business ideas for everything from mobile apps, to restaurants and everything in between. It is great to see the entrepreneurial spirit that we have here at K-State."

Now in its fifth year, the Next Big Thing has invested more than $70,000 to help start more than 20 student businesses. This year students will receive $20,000 in awards plus resources to help launch their venture.

All entries are judged by local entrepreneurs and investors. Students with the top entries are invited to present their ideas in person during the final round.

This year, a crowd-favorite award will be given to the most popular video elevator pitch. Students who want to enter this part of the competition will get instructions on how to upload videos to be posted on YouTube.

"We are looking forward to this year's entries and meeting the newest K-State entrepreneurs," Jackson said.

Events leading up to the finals of the Next Big Thing include:

* Orientation and team networking, 5-7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 11, in the Big 12 Room, K-State Student Union.

* Elevator Pitch Seminar, 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, in the K-State Alumni Center Ballroom; event is in partnership with the National Strategic Selling Institute.

* YouTube Pitch Competition, video upload begins Feb. 18. 
Get details on how to upload videos at http://www.cba.k-state.edu.

* Open Workshop/Q&A, 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in 306 Seaton Hall. Bring your final questions and seek advice prior to submitting your plan.

* Executive summaries due in K-State Online drop box by 5 p.m. Friday, March 15.

* The Next Big Thing Finals and celebration of entrepreneurship social event, will start around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Union's Cottonwood Room.

More information, student resources and eligibility guidelines are available at http://www.cba.k-state.edu.