FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 25, 2017) – An analytical tool that provides athletic feedback and an online marketplace for automotive repairs earned first-place honors at the 10th annual Idea State U finals competition held this past weekend in Lexington.
The statewide business plan competition encourages entrepreneurism among Kentucky’s college and university students. The top eight finishers from this year’s event – four each from the Business Plan and Business Model categories – represent five colleges and universities across the commonwealth, including three teams recognized from Morehead State University.
A record 61 teams representing 22 Kentucky colleges and universities participated in one of three regional competitions in recent weeks. The final field of 30 teams presented their business concepts to a panel of judges at the Lexington Convention Center on Saturday for an opportunity to earn a share of a $100,000 prize pool.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Kentucky Innovation Network, sponsor and organize Idea State U.
Level Lacrosse, a team representing Western Kentucky University, has developed a custom analytical tool for lacrosse players called the Feeder. The product provides analytical feedback and metrics to assist players, coaches and players to quantify player performance and growth.
Axle, a team from Berea College, has established an online marketplace where shadetree mechanics offer high-quality personalized automotive repair and maintenance services at an affordable cost. The service is designed to cater to auto owners’ hours of availability and location.
Other top finishers in the Business Plan category include:
- Meta Construction Technologies (University of Louisville) – This construction-tech firm in Louisville gives control to the asphalt industry with Blacktop, the company’s innovative Fleet Management & Dispatch software. The software pairs contractors with trucking vendors and drivers using a mobile app.
- Mechatraining (Morehead State University) – Mechatraining is revolutionizing industry learning with the creation of virtual laboratories of industrial scenarios free from the constraints of equipment availability and maintenance and safety risk related to training activities.
- StoryWood Bowties (Jefferson Community & Technical College) – StoryWood Bowties offer limited-collection bow ties created and crafted from historic wood.
Other top finishers in the Business Model division include:
- The GuardBox Co. (Morehead State University) – This company is developing disaster proof automatic local backup cloud software to help small businesses keep data safe from natural disasters and computer failure.
- Fetch and Flex (Western Kentucky University) – Fetch and Flex is developing a gym for dogs to provide an opportunity for dog owners and their pets to workout. The company has also developed a members-only app.
- A&J’s Shelter Academy (Morehead State University) – Alex and Jasper’s Sheltre Academy is a no-kill dog shelter located in Morehead. The company’s mission is to provide obedience training to each placed dog in the academy, regardless of age and size.
Student teams will continue to work with the Kentucky Innovation Network to pursue their business goals. Consisting of 13 offices throughout the state, the Kentucky Innovation Network helps entrepreneurs and small business owners at any stage – whether just starting with an idea or already operating an established business – to provide planning, guidance, access to capital, business connections and other resources.
The Idea State U competition is open to all post-secondary institutions in the Commonwealth. It identifies and supports the next generation of Kentucky innovators and entrepreneurs. This year’s list of entrants continues last year’s strong participation by students from community and technical colleges across the state.
The Office of Entrepreneurship provides an array of services, programs and initiatives to encourage small business growth across Kentucky. The Office works to coordinate the state’s focus and efforts in creating and promoting a strong culture of entrepreneurship.
For more information about Idea State U, visit www.IdeaStateU.com.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2017 totaled a state record $9.2 billion, spurring more than 17,200 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.