Four Overland Park high school students have landed cash infusions totaling more than $7,000 for their ongoing startup ventures.
Local winners of the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge — supported by Network KS, sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation, and hosted by Kansas State University — included: Drone Estate founders Austin Jones and Hunter Vasquez, Blue Valley West High School; and Hyped KC founders, Aidan Scurato and Nate Schanker, Blue Valley North High School.
Drone Estate left Manhattan with a $4,000 grand prize in the technology category while Hyped KC earned a $2,500 runner-up prize in the existing business slot. A total of $77,000 was awarded at the event.
Already gaining traction in Kansas City, HypedKC — a high-end re-sale operation dedicated to selling sneakers and streetwear through pop-up shops — has launched $5-a-play claw machines stocked with trendy sneakers, in such spots as Oak Park Mall and Independence Center.
Click here to check out the full list of winners from Tuesday’s competition.
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Check out the new Independence Center Key Master!! Same thing as always, $5 per play. You’ll find the machine right in front of the Footlocker inside the mall. When you win, get a picture in front of the machine with your prize, then the other shoe will be mailed to you. Good luck!!
“This event [Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge] is an opportunity to showcase the tremendous entrepreneurial talent we have in the state of Kansas,” said Chad Jackson, director of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. “The real-world experience of pitching a business in front of the type of business experts we have on our panel is invaluable to these students, and provides real-world feedback and support to launch companies within our state.”
The competition gave student teams — from 56 Kansas high schools the state’s major universities — real world pitch and boardroom experience, K-State explained.
Judges’ scores from each round determined the competition’s 22 winners.
Click here to read more about the spirit of the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge
A win for the Overland Park high school students is representative of a greater opportunity for young entrepreneurs, said Rick Ryan, executive vice president of the Kansas Masonic Foundation.
“I was blown away by the maturity and poise of all of the students, especially at the high school level, and was particularly impressed with the innovative ideas on display,” he said. “We see this event as an opportunity for the Kansas Masons to extend our charitable mission to help young people build businesses that are going to help the state’s economy and be beneficial to all Kansans.”