The second annual FHSU Entrepreneurship Challenge wrapped up earlier this month and proved to be even more successful than the previous year. The output from the event was excellent with each team putting in great effort to ensure that they got the most from their startup experience.
This year’s event was put together by Andres Torres, Entrepreneurship Coordinator; Dmitry Gimon, Informatics Professor; and Mark Schneweis, Informatics Graduate Assistant. 17 students participated in this year’s challenge, where they were given the opportunity to expand their knowledge about the process of starting a business.
Andres Torres believes one aspect that made the event particularly unique this year was the amount of diversity that was present throughout the challenge. “There were a total of 6 different nationalities involved in the development of the competition between participants and mentors. This shows the diversity and wide range of mentalities and experiences coming together to bring very unique ideas.”
Torres added that the diversity went beyond just nationalities, students also came from a wide variety of majors. “There were students from web development, computer science, graphic design, biology, and marketing between others. The combination of all these minds together brought a great output.”
Six teams competed in the challenge each one providing their own idea for a product, event, or app. The ideas varied from video translation services and 5K events to CO2 emission trackers and medical record organizers. The winner of the challenge was the team CO2LLECT, which presented a product that allowed for the testing of CO2 in the air. The product’s purpose would be to test the quality of air in households, and use the data collected to find ways to improve it. The team consisted of members Cory McCurry (Biology), Camille Caron-Bedard (Graphic Design), Marcos Silva (Informatics), and Michaela Diericks (Marketing).
The competition this year gave away a total of $1,750 in cash prizes distributed as follows $1,000, $500, and $250 for the top three teams respectively.The winning team in the challenge is automatically selected to represent FHSU at the state competition, and Torres has high hopes for this year’s team. “Last year during our first participation at this event we came in second place so we have big expectations to win it this year.”
Overall, the second annual Fort Hays State University Entrepreneurship Challenge was a great success. Participants were able to work together with a diverse group of individuals to come up with innovative ideas and gain valuable skills to use in their future business endeavors. The event will continue to take place at the university for many years to come. “The entrepreneurial footprint keeps growing and we want more students from more departments to keep getting involved in this competition.”