LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College Business Division is holding its annual Entrepreneur Challenge and the competition on Nov. 9 at 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the college’s Williams Conference Center will be open to the public for the first time.
The event allows teams to pitch a business idea for the chance to earn money. Last year’s overall winner, LC State senior Harris Lackey, went on to place second in the Agriculture and Agriculture Tech competition in the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge in Boise and won $10,500 overall in the two competitions. He also won the Jump Start Award competing against 24 teams at the state event.
The Nov. 9 competition is open to all college and high school students, and small business entrepreneurs. There can be as many four individuals on one team. As long as there are enough competitors, the plan is to split the competition into three divisions, including college students from LC State and Walla Walla Community College, regional high school teams, and Lewis-Clark Valley small businesses. As of Friday, Oct. 25, 16 teams have entered the competition, including 11 college teams, four small businesses and one high school squad.
If more high school teams enter, the competition categories should remain the same, but if necessary, the categories could change to industry. If they remain the same, the winning college and small business divisions will receive $1,000 and the winning high school team will earn $500. The college category will pay the top three places, while the high school competition will pay the top two. The top winner from each division will then make another pitch for the $1,000 top prize. The judges will also have $500 to award at their discretion. In all, $5,000 will be awarded during the day.
During the event, teams will present to judges where they must show there is a need for a potential business and how it will provide a solution to a problem. Teams also will discuss the market opportunity and present a financial model for the potential business. In all, there are 20 judges with experience in business development.
Those helping to run the event include the LC State Business Student Organization, some players from the Warrior baseball team, and students in the college’s Business Division, including a staffing class that will help develop the protocols used for the competition and a venture creation class whose students will make presentations.
Sponsors for the event include the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge, P1FCU, Nez Perce Tribal Enterprises, Southeast Washington Economic Development Association, the Clearwater Economic Development Association’s “Dream It, Do It” project,the North Central Idaho Small Business Development Center, and LC State.
For more information on the event, contact event coordinator Jill Thomas-Jorgenson, an associate professor in the LC State Business Division, at either [email protected] or 208-792-2910.