Launch a Business program helps entrepreneurs

K-State Division of Communications and Marketing

The Launch a Business, or LAB, program is specifically intended for early-stage companies and provides the building blocks for turning a concept into a successful venture. (Photo: K-State Communications and Marketing)

Entrepreneurs, mentors and Kansas State University College of Business Administration faculty and students recently came together to stimulate the Kansas startup economy with the second K-State Launch a Business program. The Launch a Business, or LAB, program is specifically intended for early-stage companies and provides the building blocks for turning a concept into a successful venture.

This year’s program, sponsored by KS State Bank and the college's Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship, started with the selection of 14 high-potential startup ventures. These startups were invited to take part in a five-session summer program from May 28 through June 25 that included faculty-led courses, hands-on student research teams and access to the university's alumni mentor network. 

"It is great to see so many of our stakeholders invested in the success of these entrepreneurs," said Chad Jackson, director of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. "Our alumni network, faculty, students and business community have really come together to provide an innovative program that will support small business owners and help to create jobs in Kansas."

Criteria for selection included identifying a real problem and an innovative solution, demonstrating the drive to succeed and ability to incorporate feedback, and showing commitment to the idea and the Launch a Business program. 

Some of the projects selected this year included the world’s first digital dietitian; a shared-use licensed commercial kitchen to provide an incubator environment for food entrepreneurs looking to grow their business and for community partners providing food preparation and preservation education; and a dementia-specific home to create a family-like atmosphere for residents. 

One of the participants was Danielle Tegtmeier, who, along with her husband, David, is the owner of Liquid Art Winery and Estate, Manhattan, Kansas. Liquid Art will be one of the few wineries in the Midwest to primarily focus on growing European grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. 

"The networking that we have been able to do so far has been great,” she said. "Being able to talk to mentors who have started businesses in the past and gaining some of their knowledge and insight is invaluable in this early stage of our company."

To view the list of the 14 startup ventures, click here
 

K-State Alumni Association
100 Alumni Center, 1720 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506-1001  |  800-600-ALUM (2586) | 785-532-6260 
Alumni@K-State.com  |  http://www.k-state.com/s/1173/start.aspx  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram