2017 LGEC Winners
Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton awarded three winning teams from across Kentucky $80,000 in scholarships on Saturday April 29, 2017 at the first-ever Lt. Gov.’s Entrepreneurship Challenge (LGEC) Finals at the University of Kentucky. Governor Matt Bevin also attended and spoke.
“This contest illuminated the incredible talent Kentucky's young adults possess,” said Lt. Gov. Hampton. “I congratulate all the teams who competed and thank them for being role models for their generation. The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well here in Kentucky, and will continue to grow as we nurture a climate for small business.”
The panel of judges for the LGEC Finals included five notable individuals from Kentucky’s business community. Mark Erwin, founder of Mark’s Feed Store Bar-B-Q, Koleman Karleski, a veteran venture capitalist, Phoebe Wood, principal of CompaniesWood, Carey Smith, founder of Big Ass Fans, and Purna Veer, founder of V-Soft Consulting. Alli Truttmann, founder of Wicked Sheets, served as the emcee.
Each finalist team gave a 10-minute business pitch to the judges and answered their questions. After all teams had pitched their ideas, they were then scored by a combination of the following criteria: oral presentation and a written business plan.
All 10 finalist teams received medals from Lt. Gov. Hampton at the start of the competition for being the top teams to advance from the regional level competitions, which included 135 participating teams from across Kentucky. The top three teams out of the 10 finalists received scholarships for any post-secondary institution in Kentucky (e.g., two-year college, four-year college, trade school, software bootcamp).
In addition to the LGEC scholarship winnings of $80,000, the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics, Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship (VACE) awarded three $1,000 scholarships to the top three teams’ schools. The scholarships were for a daylong entrepreneurship bootcamp that took place in the summer of 2017.
Nearly 300 people registered to attend the first annual LGEC Finals. The audience included community members supporting a finalist team, business owners, venture capitalists, college recruiters, and elected officials.