University of Kentucky Venture Challenge

UK Venture Challenge will be Saturday, February 18, 2017
W.T. Young Library Auditorium

Online registration opens January 17, 2017

Take your idea to the next level and pitch at UK Venture Challenge!

Contact: Deb Weis

Overview: University of Kentucky students show off their innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and get real world experience by competing in UK Venture Challenge. Undergraduate and graduate teams develop their ideas into new ventures, prepare a marketing video and a written proposal, and pitch their venture to judges from the local entrepreneurial community. The top three teams share $3,000 in scholarship prize money. Winning teams advance to the state competition, Idea State U (see below).

Use this link to register online (click on Participate): Venture Challenge is open to all UK students who have innovation-based ideas for either a startup company, an existing business, or a nonprofit venture.

Please note: All participating students must be enrolled at the University of Kentucky in the current academic year, which begins with the summer semester immediately preceding the competition.

Online voting: The public is invited to vote for their favorite venture at Venture Challenge voting page. The team receiving the most votes wins $50!

Before competition day: Submit a 3-5 page written proposal for the judges. See Venture Challenge Proposal Guidelines for what to include in a proposal.

Competition day: Venture Challenge typically begins at 9 am. Each team has 10 minutes maximum for their presentation, followed by Q&A with the judges and judges feedback. Winners are announced following the presentations. The public is invited to attend.

Awards: The first place team receives $1,500. Second place receives $1,000. Third place receives $500. Online vote winner receives $50. Awards are distributed as scholarships.

Sponsors: Our sponsors are the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, an economic development partnership that includes the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Commerce Lexington and the University of Kentucky; the Gatton College of Business and Economics; and the College of Communication and Information. We thank each of our sponsors for their generous support of UK’s student entrepreneurs!

Idea State U is the state competition sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development Office of Entrepreneurship. UK Venture Challenge winning teams represent the University of Kentucky at ISU. Teams must meet ISU eligibility requirements, including a proposed venture should not have earned revenues, formed as a legal business entity with the Kentucky Secretary of State, or undertaken any other formal startup activities, including raising outside equity capital (sources other than student team members), prior to the current academic year.

Past UK Venture Challenge Winners

2016: Serandu Custom Riding Boots wins UK Venture Challenge

2015: New sustainable and recyclable consumer products brand wins UK Venture Challenge

2014: Student entrepreneur teams Shouter and MosquitoTech win UK Venture Challenge