HAYS – The Center for Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University and Grow Hays will host and broadcast the Faulkner Challenge on Saturday, March 13, through a Zoom virtual platform at the W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Students across the state of Kansas are eligible to compete for $10,000 in prizes by submitting a business plan idea. The free event is open to students at universities, community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and high schools. The live-streamed event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to watch the event on multiple platforms: Facebook Live, Linked In and YouTube.
“These pitch events are impressive because they reflect the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our students and the Kansans across the state,” said Dr. Jane Talkington, interim director of The Center for Entrepreneurship. “This is meant not only to be an enjoyable event for all involved, but these kinds of exercises have potential to contribute to the economic development. The experience is a real boost for those early-stage entrepreneurs on campus and in the community.”
The Faulkner Challenge is made possible by the generosity of FHSU alum Kevin Faulkner. It is a business plan competition for new ventures in the conceptual stage, the seed stage or the startup stage. Grow Hays – a nonprofit organization aimed at advancing economic health in Ellis County – will assist the Faulkner Challenge finalists in practicing their final oral presentations. Doug Williams, executive director of Grow Hays, is committed to helping those with great ideas articulate them clearly and convincingly.
Entry deadline via email is midnight Friday, March 5. The eight best business plans will be selected as finalists who will present virtually via Zoom. Entry information rules and judging criteria can be found at www.fhsu.edu/cob/faulkner-challenge. Finalists will be notified on Monday, March 8, and invited to deliver their 10-minute presentations to a panel of judges on the 13th. The top three business projects will split the $10,000 in prize money into awards of $6,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place.
Following the live-streamed business plan presentations, the judges will deliberate privately on the merits of each presentation until the start of the public awards presentation at 1 p.m. Following the awards presentation, the judges will give each team private feedback. For more information, email FaulknerChallenge@FHSU.edu.