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K-State Today

April 2, 2013



The Next Big Thing finalists presenting entrepreneurial ideas April 4

By Communications and Marketing

Students from majors across Kansas State University will compete against their peers for a winning spot in The Next Big Thing. Guitar lessons, a recording studio, furniture design, fitness and a clothing line are some of the business ideas that have made it to the final round.

The finalists will make their presentations in front of a panel of judges from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the K-State Student Union's Cottonwood and Flint Hills rooms. The finals are open to the public.

The Next Big Thing is an annual business idea competition open to all Kansas State University students. It is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration. The student or student team behind each winning business idea will receive funding for their business.

This year, more than 300 students registered for the competition.

Finalists and their presentation times are:

  • 1:15-1:23 p.m., Sunflower Hills in the Cottonwood Room, and Zendagi in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 1:25-1:33 p.m., Free Form in the Cottonwood Room, and The Decision Cube in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 1:35-1:43 p.m., DJN Guitar Lessons in the Cottonwood Room, and Kansas Biodiesel Project in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 1:45-1:53 p.m., K-State Date in the Cottonwood Room, and Yachts and Knots in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 1:55-2:03 p.m., Two Crow Press in the Cottonwood Room, and Pivot Style in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 2:05-2:13 p.m., Bitter Relief in the Cottonwood Room, and Little Apple Biscuit in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 2:15-2:23 p.m., Neuwave Recording in the Cottonwood Room, and Breakout Sports Performance in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 2:25-2:33 p.m., Virtutecture in the Cottonwood Room, and Antoinette in the Flint Hills Room.
  • 2:35 - 2:43 p.m., Stronghold Media in the Cottonwood Room.

Winners will be honored during the awards reception that same day at 6 p.m. in the Union's K and S ballrooms.

Student finalists and their business idea include:

Leah Parsons, senior in apparel and textiles, Auburn, Antoinette; Dylan Buessing, sophomore in business administration, Axtell, DJN Guitar Lessons; Analena Simmons, graduate student in grain science, Barnard, Little Apple Biscuit; Zach Laffery, senior in milling science and management, Clay Center, Little Apple Biscuit; Mason Smith, freshman in arts and sciences-open option, Fort Riley, Neuwave Recording.

From Greater Kansas City: Mabry Keel, freshman in arts and sciences-open option, Kansas City, Mo., K-State Date; Logan Davis, sophomore in business administration, Yachts and Knots, and Victoria Pedersen, sophomore in bakery science and management, K-State Date, both from Lenexa; Lars Hanson, sophomore in business administration, Olathe, Breakout Sports Performance; and Nicholas Huber, sophomore in arts and sciences-open option, Overland Park, DJN Guitar Lessons.

Breck Fletcher, junior in agricultural technology management, Leoti, Sunflower Hills.

From Manhattan: Brian Broeckelman, senior in mass communications, Stronghold Media; Jacinda Dickinson, senior in feed science and management, Little Apple Biscuit; Ashley Flinn, senior in fine arts, Two Crow Press; Mark Haynes, doctoral student in industrial engineering, Free Form; Jared Hedlund, senior in kinesiology, DJN Guitar Lessons; Eric Tabaka, senior in bakery science and management, Sunflower Hills; and David Tierney, senior in chemistry, Kansas Biodiesel Project.

Tracy Ford, senior in architecture, Nashville, Virtutecture; Sarah Mathe, senior in feed science and management, St. Marys, Little Apple Biscuit; Kyle Deutscher, senior in feed science and management, Stockton, Little Apple Biscuit; and Michelle Hill, junior in agricultural economics, Wichita, The Decision Cube.

From out of state: Benjamin Lopez, senior in bakery science and management, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunflower Hills; Joshua Goldstein, senior in architecture, Littleton, Colo., Pivot Style; Kyle Probst, doctoral student in grain science, Bloomington, Ind., The Bitter Relief; Sam Cook, senior in feed science and management, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Sunflower Hills; and Sarah Gutkowski, master's student in grain science, Edina, Minn., The Bitter Relief.

From out of country: Ahmad Samsor, master's student in business administration, Kabul, Afghanistan, Zendagi.