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Jump Start Kansas at McPherson College Invites All Kansas High School Students to Receive Up to $500 for Great Ideas

McPherson College wants to be the angel investors for Kansas high school students’ great ideas.

With the 5th annual Jump Start Kansas competition coming soon, McPherson College is continuing its tradition of supporting an entrepreneurial mindset among young people in Kansas. Jump Start Kansas awards those who enter and are named finalists with a grant of up to $500 to pursue their idea for a product, service or social venture.
The deadline for entering the competition is Friday, Feb. 12 at and all finalists will be invited to campus on Tuesday, March 1 to present their idea to a committee that will determine the amount of their grant.

Abbey Archer-Rierson, chief of staff and head of the entrepreneurship initiative at McPherson College, said that Jump Start Kansas fits well with McPherson College’s focus on helping students discover and follow their passions.

“We believe in ideas,” Archer-Rierson said. “All ideas can have virtue. When you’re young is a good time to try out ideas. The risk is so much less.”

Jump Start Kansas finalists will also have an opportunity to tour campus, meet current McPherson College student entrepreneurs and connect with other high school entrepreneurs. They’ll also attend a mini entrepreneurship class to get a taste of what entrepreneurship education looks like at McPherson College.

Invited high school students who present on campus that day will be guaranteed a cash prize of up to $500, regardless of whether they ultimately choose to attend McPherson College. However, if they do choose to attend, they will receive an additional Horizon Fund grant of up to $500 to continue exploring their idea, once they arrive on campus as a McPherson College student.

Many students make the decision to attend MC after they see the opportunities available to entrepreneurial students. Among the finalists from last year now attending MC are Amanda Lolling, freshman, Haysville, Kan., and Blake Janes, freshman, Wichita, Kan.

Lolling said Jump Start was important in helping her make the decision to attend MC and to have some extra funds to get started in college.

“I loved getting to meet face to face with students already at the college and to fall in love with it,” she said. “Jump Start Kansas is worth the time commitment that you put into it.”

Janes said Jump Start Kansas helped him in regional idea competitions through Wichita’s Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) – which is a partner of McPherson College
“They gave me even better ideas for my plan to improve it,” Janes said. “You get their professional opinion right off the bat.”