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StartUp Hutch Announces Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Results

StartUp Hutch, in association with the Network Kansas E-Community Partnership, hosted the annual Reno County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, on Tuesday, Nov. 23rd using a virtual platform. Students from across Reno County high schools presented their business concepts with a written business plan, a 4-minute presentation, and a 2-minute elevator pitch to local volunteer judges – Joe Young, Jeff Eriksen, Tony Scheuler, Russell Silvey, Eric Spurgeon, and Jon Richardson. 

The winning concepts were: 

1st Place (winning $600): Dalton Estes and Riley Lusk, Hutchinson High School 

Business name: The Sweet Treat 

2nd Place (winning $500): Gabriella Voss, Haven High School 

Business name: Simpler Laundry 

3rd Place (winning $400): Braydon Blubaugh and Jacob Moore, Haven High School  Business name: JB Pro Sports 

“This is Reno County’s sixth year hosting the competition,” said Dave Dukart, Program Administrator at StartUp Hutch. “It couldn’t have been done without our volunteer judges and the work that NetWork Kansas has put into this statewide event.” 

In addition to the prize money and recognition at the Reno County competition, first-place competitors Estes and Lusk of Hutchinson High School will have the opportunity to compete in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge held at Kansas State University in Manhattan. This event will include the top young entrepreneurs from schools across the state. The other Reno County participants are invited to submit their business ideas for an at-large spot in the statewide competition. 

“This challenge is a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on entrepreneurship experience,” said Jackson Swearer, Entrepreneur Navigator and Director of StartUp Hutch. “Even if they do not go on to start this particular business, we hope this challenge encourages them to think of Reno County as a place where they could begin their future careers when the time does come.” 

For more information on StartUp Hutch resources and upcoming events, or to join their community of entrepreneurs and business owners, visit    


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