FRANKFORT, Ky. — “G-CAN” from Trigg County High School won the top prize at the Lt. Gov.’s Entrepreneurship Challenge 3rd annual competition finals, held April 12 at the Northern Kentucky University Haile/US Bank College of Business’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Advised by Lisa Ricks, G-CAN team members Cade Bleidt and Grace Knight each won $15,000 in scholarship funds to be used at any in-state post-secondary school or program.
Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton was delighted with all 10 presentations delivered. “I started this contest to challenge young Kentuckians to look around themselves, ask questions, and find opportunities. The Next Big Thing could easily originate among today’s contestants,” Hampton said.
G-CAN pitched a prototype for a medical alert bracelet that delivers aid in the event of a medical emergency attack, even if someone is unconscious and cannot press a button, immediately notifying their emergency contact or 911. The device would be programmable to accommodate specific parameters, helping those with conditions including seizure disorders or Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Scholarships and additional prizes were also awarded to teams in 2nd place – Bass and Go (Boyle County High School); 3rd place – Lock Box (South Warren High School) and 4th place – Hang Handy (Greenwood High School). The Northern Kentucky University Haile/US Bank College of Business’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship provided four $1,000 checks to individual competitors whom they saw embodied entrepreneurial spirit and potential.
University of Kentucky’s Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship presented an award of $500 to Trigg County High School to be used to support the student team’s business efforts and to underwrite the school’s entrepreneurship initiatives. The University of Pikeville also awarded a prize package to G-CAN as the winning team in healthcare innovation. The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs offered spots to the two top teams to attend the three week GSE program this summer. Union College, Asbury University provided the top team with additional scholarships if they choose to enroll at their schools.
The Kentucky Castle in Versailles offered a day for the winning team to observe the inner workings of their facility, including visiting their working farm and shadowing their chef. A special team mentor award of a one night stay was also awarded to the winning team’s mentor, Lori Ricks.
Sponsors and partners for LGEC included Kentucky Science & Technology Corp., GlowTouch Technologies, Alltech, Delta Dental, Toyota, Commonwealth Credit Union, St. Elizabeth’s Healthcare, LGE and KU Foundation, Mako Medical Laboratories, the National Christian Foundation and NKU Haile-US Bank College of Business, as well as private donors.
This year’s judge panel included Dr. Sharon Kerrick, dean of Bellarmine University’s Rubel School of Business; Dr. Brian Houillion, chief of staff and executive director of the office of financial management for the Kentucky Department of Local Government; Wendy Bellew, founder of E-Commerce business Ruffle Girl; Bill Marshall, of Jiseki Health Inc. and chairman of Frankfort Sister Cities Commission; and Chad Price, founder and CEO of Mako Medical Laboratories.
For more information on the LGEC please visit www.kylgec.com.