Over the past few months, the entrepreneurial spirit has been celebrated with a competition unlike any other in Emporia's history. Now the 3D Challenge -- Dream It, Design It, Develop It -- will culminate with the 3D Gala at Emporia State's Memorial Union on Friday night.
The three finalists were named Monday after 20 semifinalists made their presentations late last week:
*Biker, a business pitch to bring bike rental kiosks to Emporia State University. Emporia State students Soojin Bae, Jeffery Miller and Preston Mossman are involved.
*Rock Creek Ostrich Ranch, a ranching proposal trying to balance the growing demand for alternative red meat with good stewardship of natural resources. ESU students Nakita Elwood and Teri Whitson spearheaded that project.
*Williams Web Development, a web-based service to provide software managing low-cost scheduling and booking needs for education and corporations. Flint Hills Technical College student Joshua Williams pitched that idea.
On KVOE's Newsmaker segment Monday, judge and ESU Teachers College Director of Leadership Studies Nathan Woolard said depth of vision helped these projects stand out in a quality field.
ESU Business Dean Dr. Kristie Ogilvie says a lot of the projects were deserving of a business launch.
ESB Financial President Jim Wayman says this highlights what it takes to get a business started.
The finalists will now make their pitches to the public at the 3D Gala on Friday at ESU, and $50 tickets are still available by calling the Chamber at 342-1600. Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jeanine McKenna says this will also see the presentation of the first Spirit Award to a local entrepreneur.
The Dream It-Design It-Develop It Competition is a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce, ESB Financial, Emporia State, ESU School of Business and Flint Hills Technical College.
Finalists are competing for cash prizes -- $4,000 for first, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third -- and they are also going up against a contingent from Kansas State University on April 30.