Students with ideas are invited to share their stories with Kaskaskia College between now and April 12. The Young Innovator Competition welcomes entries from high school students, while the Student Entrepreneur 2015 Competition invites anyone currently taking at least one three credit hour course at Kaskaskia College to enter. On-line courses can be used to meet this entry requirement.
The awards, prizes and competitions are funded by a Coleman Foundation grant that Kaskaskia College obtained. The college has selected entrepreneurial projects in order to meet the needs of a changing job market. The future “world of work” involves more freelancing, independent contracting and self-employment situations. As a result, KC regards problem solving and creative thinking to be necessary skills for students.
Steven Groner, the entrepreneurship project coordinator, explained the direction that Kaskaskia College is heading in.
“Last year we experimented with various information delivery techniques, while this year is all about identifying mentors and practitioners of the skill sets we are looking for,” Groner said.
Kaskaskia College already recognizes a local business each year with the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. And, the South Central Illinois Growth Alliance (SCIGA) recognizes an Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year. The latest two awards reach into the student ranks, both at the college and the high school level.
Competition rules and entry forms for both student competitions are available from Mr. Groner. Call 618-545-3260 or send an e-mail to [email protected] Entries are due by April 12 with awards to be presented in May.
Entries will be judged in two categories- one for ventures underway and a second for ideas not yet launched. Entries can be either for profit, or for the general “good of the community”. Ventures and ideas can be of any size. Providing services to family and friends might seem small scale, but are welcome entries. Selling goods and services to pay for gas or tuition are perfectly acceptable. Identifying larger needs and opportunities will make interesting reading for the judging panels.
A total of four prizes will be awarded at the college level and another four will go to high school entries. Further details about prizes can be found in the competition rules, but suffice it to say that they include cash plus tuition-paid college courses. Schools sponsoring winning entries will also benefit.