posted Feb 08, 2012 in ACADEMICS
McPherson College has named the 10 finalists in the first Jump Start Kansas competition, giving them the opportunity to receive a $5,000 grant to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas – like water bottles recycled from discarded steel or a non-profit to get sports equipment for students in need.
“We’ve been impressed with the applications we’ve received,” said Kori Gregg, executive director of entrepreneurship. “We’re looking forward to seeing how these young high school entrepreneurs do with an in-person pitch.”
The college announced Jump Start Kansas in November. The challenge will award two grand-prize grants of $5,000 to a Kansas high school student or team of students who present the best entrepreneurial idea – one in the area of commercial entrepreneurship and one for social entrepreneurship. What’s more, the grants come with no stipulation that the high school students attend McPherson College.
The 10 selected finalists will now present their ideas to a panel of area entrepreneurs and McPherson College faculty and staff in the hopes of winning the top prize. The pitches will begin at 10 a.m. in Mingenback Theatre on the McPherson College campus. Winners will be announced at noon along with a lunch (RSVP required). The public and media are invited to attend this event.
In addition to $5,000, the top winners will each be offered a $20,000, four-year scholarship to attend McPherson College. The other eight finalist will also receive a $4,000, four-year scholarship to the college, bringing the college’s total financial commitment to the competition to more than $100,000.
The challenge is part of the college’s "Freedom to Jump" entrepreneurship initiative, which officially launched in November last year. As the program has developed, McPherson College has given micro-grants of up to $500 to one out of every 10 students enrolled at McPherson College through the Horizon Fund. Also, for the last two years, the college has offered the Global Enterprise Challenge. In this competition, students are asked to come up with a sustainable solution to help those in a foreign country in just a few days – Haiti in 2010 and Panama in 2011. The winning teams receive scholarships and the opportunity to travel to the country and work on putting their ideas into effect. Also, this fall the college has offered a minor in “Transformative Entrepreneurship” for the first time, allowing students to make entrepreneurship a part of their degree, regardless of their major area of study.
The 10 finalists for McPherson College’s Jump Start Kansas competition are as follows: