Four teams advance in Shocker business challenge

  Wednesday, April 8, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Four teams advance in Shocker business challenge

Four teams of Pittsburg State University students have advanced to the second round of the Shocker New Venture Competition.

Hosted annually by Wichita State University, the contest challenges students to create a business plan that could potentially receive start-up capital in the form of prize money.

Kevin Bracker, university professor in the Kelce College of Business, said five PSU teams entered the competition, and each advanced to the second round. One team had to withdraw from the competition, however.

The business plans being developed by students range from an indoor water park in the Pittsburg area to a cell phone app that would coordinate deliveries of various products in the region.

The students involved said participating in the competition enhances their knowledge of economic and business principles.

“I learn better when I do hands-on activities,” said Jayson Stettler, who is developing a plan for the 4-State Waterways water park. “Competing in the Shocker Challenge helps us put to use the concepts we’re learning in class.”

Ian Youvan, who is part of a team developing a plan for the Gorilla Innovators delivery app, said the competition challenges students to think in different ways.

“Just by putting together the plan for this app, we’ve discussed everything from getting quotes from developers both overseas and in the U.S.,” Youvan said. “It makes you think about how to pitch this to investors and everything involved with that side of it. It’s a great challenge, and we learn a lot by being a part of it.”

Kevin Georges, who is planning the development of a social hub for students 18 years and older, said he is enjoying the challenge.

“I think it’s great to be able to have an avenue for our ideas,” he said. “I’ve thought since I got here that Pittsburg needs a place for the 18-and-over crowd, not just the 21-and-over crowd. It’s fun to actually sit down and map out a formal plan.”

The next step in the competition is for the students to complete 10-page business proposals. From there, the judges will choose the 16 teams that will advance to the trade show. That announcement is expected by April 14.

“I’m proud of the effort the students are putting into this competition,” Bracker said. “I think they have solid plans and ideas, and we’re hopeful that they’ll all advance to the next round.”



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