Three Youth Entrepreneurship teams qualify for State.

Congratulations to Republic County’s three qualifying teams for the state Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge at Kansas State University April 30th!

This event combines Each team automatically wins $250 for qualifying with the chance to win up to $4,000 competing in the Existing, Agriculture, Technology, or the Open division. This is the third year in a row that our county has qualified multiple teams and the first that three have done so.

With 865 students competed in 48 competitions from 40 Network Kansas local competitions, there were over 120 wild card applications that were narrowed down to the top 19 (4 local competition winners were not able to attend state so their spots allowed for 4 additional wild card entries).

The 56 businesses who have advanced to the KEC State Championship will be judged on their executive summaries and 15-minute mock board room session in an initial round. They will also present an elevator pitch. Students will compete in one of four divisions. Each division has a first place prize of $4,000. Overall, $36,000 in total prizes will be awarded to the top young entrepreneurs. There will also be an optional tradeshow competition open to the public.

40-E-Communities hosted YEC local events in 2018-2019

Only two E-Communities had three teams participating at the KEC; Norton County & Republic County. 

  • There were 6 Blue Valley (i.e. Johnson County) students — from 5 different schools. 
  • There was 1 Wyandotte County student. 
  • Of the 55 total participants, 6 are from Johnson County. Johnson County comprises 20% of the Kansas population, but only has 11% of the participants at the KEC. 
  • Norton County, on the other hand, represents less than 1% of the population (more than 100 times smaller than Johnson County) and has 5% of the KEC participants. Ditto for Republic County – whose population is even smaller than Norton County, but who also has 3 students, or 5% of the KEC participants. 
  • 12 of the 19 Wildcard spots went to E-Communities.
  • Out of all 55 participants, 48 came from an E-Community event, or 87% total.

Hartner Catering – local champions and automatic qualifier
Halle and Hunter Hartner – RCHS

Hartner Catering Company’s mission is to provide catered food services to your personal needs and preferences… We offer customizable catering services to our clients… Our services will increase community and business events, offering services to a 60-mile radius.
Otter Creek Farms – wildcard qualifier
Jena Kunc & Dylan White – RCHS

Otter Creek Farms was a business idea that was never taken seriously. But in 2018, we decided to make our dream a reality. In March of 2018 we began to purchase chickens, goats and produce fresh fruits and vegetables to sell to the community. Otter Creek Farms plans to expand greatly in the next 10 years. When visiting the future farm, you will be able to: visit our petting zoo, take hayrack rides, find your way out of a corn maze, play children’s games, shop at the farmers market, gift shop, and candy store, along with picking your own pumpkin from our 1.5 acre pumpkin patch. 

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The Bomb Lip Balm – wildcard qualifier
Cassie Strickler – PVHS

The Bomb Lip Balm is a local, all-natural, and affordable chapstick business. Not only do we sell our products to individual customers, but we also offer custom labels for businesses, fundraisers or events such as weddings… The Bomb Lip Balm production is all based in Courtland, KS. Our chapstick will be available in local businesses and gas stations, as well as at local events such as sports games

For more information, contact Amara Kniep at or visit:

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