Two Pike Valley Teams Qualify for State Entrepreneurship Challenge

This is the second year Republic County Economic Development has hosted a county-wide business plan competition. Growing the event from 2017 with 11 teams and 19 students to 2018 with 30 teams and 68 students.

And for the second year, Republic County will have two teams qualify for the State Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. In 2017 Republic County had one team from Pike Valley High School and one from Republic County Junior High.  Both state qualifying teams this year worked on their projects with Pike Valley Ag Teacher Katie Carlgren. This is Mrs. Carlgren’s first year working with students in the event.

Republican Valley Agritourism – McKenzie Ehlers, Shea Mikesell, and Samuel Johnson automatically qualified by winning the county-wide competition March 5th.

Carlgren’s Coop – Brailynn Carlgren qualified through the wildcard business plan application.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, 709 students from 35 Kansas communities participated in 31 local entrepreneurship competitions. In total 44 teams qualified for the State Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Only four schools qualified multiple teams those are: 3 | Baldwin, 2 | Pike Valley High School, 2 | Salina High School South, and 2 | Winfield High School.

Republican Valley Agritourism specializes in tourism packages that allow people to experience firsthand and become well versed in aspects of rural life. We will develop partnerships with local farmers to host the experiences we offer. Residential accomodation is another very important component in our business, so we will be partnering as well with local residing options such as bed and breakfasts, cabins, lodges, and Our mission is to educate people to better understand where the food they eat stems from, the importance of it, and also give them the opportunity to better relate to a life they haven’t experienced. Packages could include visits to farms and ranches in our area, and also trips to popular destinations for recreation, including information and guidance from each or any of the RVA co-owners. They can also be tailored to specific interests of those who wish to partake in them. A simple call or email to us at least a couple weeks before the planned visit can help an interested person create a custom package that includes everything they are interested in doing and learning about, and nothing they aren’t.


Carlgren’s Coop specializes in farm fresh egg from high-quality hens. Our flock consists of 25 production hens, 15 Rhode Island Red and 10 Barred Rock. I selected these breeds based egg size and high production rate. These breeds will be easy to handle because of their good temperments. We take pride in raising our hens using a free-range production system. In our opinion, a free-range system is the most beneficial way to produce high-quality eggs. Our location is 3.5 miles south of Courtland, Kansas. I will have one acre on our family’s headquarters dedicated to our hens. There they will also have a comfortable laying facility as well as protection from predators.




Contact: Amara Kniep, Product Manager, E-Community Programs, NetWork Kansas

Phone: 316-425-8832


Wichita, Kan. – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the conclusion of the 2017-2018 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. During the 2017-2018 academic year, 709 students from 35 Kansas communities participated in 31 local entrepreneurship competitions.

The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. Local YEC Series events require students to prepare an executive summary and a 4-minute presentation, and often feature interactive tradeshows or elevator pitches. Students work in teams or individually to represent a business concept and compete for awards and prizes. Students’ work is judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, and other community members.

The 2017-2018 academic year marks the fifth annual YEC series coordinated by NetWork Kansas and the E-Community Partnership. The YEC Series was created in 2013 to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship and help them to begin thinking entrepreneurially. The 61-community E-Community Partnership is dedicated to increasing entrepreneurial activity and developing self-sustaining ecosystems favorable to long-term entrepreneurial growth.

Each winning business concept earned the chance to participate at the 2018 Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) State Championship. The competition will be held on April 24th at Kansas State University, hosted by The Kansas State University Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship and sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation. Students won a berth at the state championship by winning a sanctioned YEC Series competition. Up to 15 wildcard applicants may be selected by April 13th by having their executive summary win out in a competitive qualifying round. These business ideas are represented by 46 students from 29 schools across Kansas.

The 31 businesses who have advanced to the KEC State Championship will be judged on their executive summaries and 4-minute presentations in an initial round. The top four teams will advance to a finalist presentation round. $18,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top young entrepreneurs. There will also be an optional tradeshow competition open to the public.

The Kansas communities who hosted a local YEC series event include Bird City, Chase County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Cowley County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ford County, Kansas City, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Lyon County, Marion County, Montgomery County, Norton County, Phillips County, Rawlins County, Reno County, Republic County, Rice County, Riley County, Rooks County, Salina (Fall and Spring competitions), Scott County, Sherman County, Thomas County, Wichita, and Wichita County. Additional communities were invited to participate.

Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge High School Finalists

Business Name High School
Bee Happy Honey Clay Center Community High School
Bee Safe Hodgeman County High School
BM Welding Baldwin
Bridge Digital Marketing Gloria Deo Academy
Built My Way Eudora High School
Carlgren’s Coop Pike Valley High School
CheckoutSmart Buhler High School
Cole’s Cards Centre USD 397
Comfy Chair Salina High School South
Craving Crushers Plainville High School
Dart’s Free Range Eggs and Poultry Products Cheylin USD 103
Dogs Unleashed Baldwin
FacePrint Shawnee Mission West High School
Farmdrone Dodge City High School
First Place Protein Emporia High School
Food Allergen Scanner Salina Central High School
Heavenly Hues Video Productions Scott Community High School
J Engravings Sedan High School
Java Generators Lincoln High School
JK’s Sportcards Chase County JR SR High School
K & A Designs Phillipsburg High
Katie’s Bath Essentials Baldwin
Kestrel Aerial LLC Wichita East High School
Lakin Rose Colby Middle School
LauriFit Shawnee Mission Northwest
Live Oriental Southeast High School
Logic Co Salina High School South
Made by Jade Goodland High School
Match.Cow St. John Junior High
Oh Rats! Labette County High School
Out Of The Woods Parsons High School
Pete’s Seats Leavenworth High School
PointeWick’s Center for Advanced Professinal Studies (CAPS)
Purely Simple Rawlins County Jr/Sr High School
Re-Treads Premium Footwear Manhattan High School
Republican Valley Agritourism Pike Valley High School
Sweet Meg’s Winfield High School
Tech Haven Wichita County Junior Senior High School
The Babysitters’ Club Sterling High School
The Strut Line Paola High School
Valkyree Tactical Winfield High School
Varsity Clothing Salina Central
Worth It? Blue Valley West
Yummoo! Cherryvale Middle/High School

For more information, contact Amara Kniep at or visit: