by Kelly Rogge
Limited spots are still available to pre-qualify for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s 2014 Innovation Summit.
The KCKCC version of the popular series “Shark Tank,” the Innovation Summit is one of the premiere start-up pitch competitions in the region. The event, which is in its third year, is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 4 in Upper Jewell on the KCKCC campus, 7250 State Ave.
The purpose of the summit is to inspire entrepreneurs, individuals and educators to innovate; connect people and organizations; mentor and promote Kansas City’s entrepreneurial spirit and engage and facilitate community leaders so that they can promote entrepreneurship as a vital part of the culture and economic health.
Innovation Summit partners include KCKCC, State Street, the Kansas Small Business Development Center, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, KCSourceLink, the KCK Women’s Chamber, the KCK Chamber of Commerce, the KCK Black Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Business Center, the Central Avenue Betterment Association, the Leavenworth County Development Council, Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas, Emporia State University-KC and SCORE.
“This event is our local ‘shark tank,’ but at a different level,” said Marisa Gray, business development liaison for Workforce Development at KCKCC. “The excitement around this event is contagious. We get to bring the idea makers, the financial supporters and the testers all in the same room at the same time. In addition, you will be inspired by those that are willing to share their journey of entrepreneurship.”
After a keynote address and presentation from Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland, participants will have a chance to walk through the Elevator Pitch Exhibit. This is an opportunity for selected entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas in front of investors, other entrepreneurs, business leaders and venture capitalists for a chance to win a portion of the $10,000 State Street Perfect Pitch Award. After a short break, exhibit winners will be announced, and the top six earners in each division qualify for the three-minute pitch competition.
There are two divisions in the perfect pitch competition – the general division, for those 19 and above and the high school division, for those who are 14 to 18-years-old. Three chances are available to qualify for the State Street Perfect Pitch competition. Each pitch person will be given three minutes to pitch an idea, followed by three minutes for questions from the judges.
There are three final qualifying dates for the summit. All are on the KCKCC campus. These dates:
• March 18
• March 20
• March 26
Those who qualify for the perfect pitch competition are then allowed to set up an exhibit and share their ideas during the Elevator Pitch Exhibit at the Innovation Summit. Exhibitors will give a 30 second elevator pitch and attendees will invest their Monopoly money in those ideas that interest them. The top six earners (three from the general division and three from the high school division) move onto the State Street Perfect Pitch Competition. First place in each division receives $2,500; second place, $1,500 and third place, $500.
For more information on the Innovation Summit or to register for one of the qualifying dates, call 913-288-7284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>. Information can also be found online at www.kckcc.edu<http://www.kckcc.edu>. Select Workforce Development and then Innovation Summit.