Global Food Systems update: Launch a Business adds food and agriculture
emphasisK-State Communications and
|Judges applaud presentations
at the inaugural 2014 Launch a Business program. Ten spots for
entrepreneurs focusing on advancements in food and agriculture will be
added to the 2015 class. (Photo: K-State Communications and
A successful program
initiated in 2014 in Kansas State University’s College of Business
Administration as a springboard for entrepreneurs and their big ideas is taking
another step forward.
Chad Jackson, director of the Center for the
Advancement of Entrepreneurship, said that the program — Launch a Business — has
doubled the number of entrepreneurs it is accepting into the five-week course,
including 10 spots for those focusing on advancements in food and agriculture.
Launch a Business provides entrepreneurs with access to university
faculty and alumni mentors who are operating successful businesses. Up to 20
entrepreneurs will meet once a week from late May through mid-summer.
"The success of Launch a Business is in having really great entrepreneurs as
well as the support of Kansas State faculty, mentors and students," Jackson
said. "We have been able to get all of these people together working for the
same goal; they want to see entrepreneurs be successful."
emphasis on the global food system is a move that capitalizes on a trend toward
industry specialization within venture acceleration programs.
first year, our program had a broad reach for entrepreneurs, and we’ll continue
that. But the exciting thing is when you start to develop expertise for specific
industries. The impact you can have goes up a notch," Jackson said.
"Part of Kansas State University's mission is to support economic development in
the state of Kansas, and that is a big reason why we do this," Jackson said.
"What's really exciting for me is to think of this five years from now, 10 years
from now, and to see some of the economic development, job and wealth creation
Similar programs are available across the country in the
public sector, but Jackson is not aware of other universities providing this
type of support. He said that the technical expertise available on a university
campus often helps entrepreneurs beyond their business questions.
example, in 2014 one entrepreneur made a connection in the College of Human
Ecology that helped her with a business idea for custom bras.
that's where the power of an idea like this really comes to fruition," Jackson
said. "Everyone is in it for the right reason: to help."
Find out more
about Launch a Business at its website