Lt. Gov. Hampton: Teen entrepreneurs invited to compete for more than $80,000 in prizes

Students learning about entrepreneurship at Collegiate | From the LGEC website

Students learning about entrepreneurship at Collegiate | From the LGEC website

Enterprising high school students from across the state are encouraged to enter the inaugural Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton announced Tuesday in Frankfort.

The challenge consists of a business plan proposal and live pitch competition to be held in five regional locations. The finals will be held at the University of Kentucky in April 2017, with prizes worth $80,000.

Locations for the regional components have yet to be announced.

The challenge will be conducted in partnership with Junior Achievement and is supported by the Kentucky Innovation Network.

Students teams will be required to work with two adult mentors who can coach them through the development of their business idea. Teams must have at least two students but no more than four.

At the regional competitions, teams will be judged on both their written business plan and their pitches by a team of local entrepreneurs. Two teams from each region will advance to the finals in Lexington.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 12.44.37 PMLt. Gov. Hampton said, “The goal of the LGEC is to get entrepreneurship in front of students as an exciting educational experience and as a viable path to a rewarding career.”

On the website for the competition, Lt. Gov. Hampton said she marveled at seeing young people embrace similar competitions statewide over the years and that inspired her to start her own competition.

Two years ago, a high school startup team, Team ShoeLife, from Jeffersontown High School advanced to nationals in Washington, D.C., in a Junior Achievement pitch competition, JA Startup.

There is no national component to the LGEC, but the $80,000 in prizes will be split between the top three teams with scholarship money for the students, cash prizes for the adults and business services from partners across the state.

Students must file an “intent to compete” online by Feb. 1 and submit the completed business plan and application by March 1. Students who successfully do so will be notified about their regional competition. Startup pitches will be 10 minutes long and judges then have 10 minutes for Q&A.

For more information, including a long list of resources for young entrepreneurs, visit