A Jefferson Community & Technical College student received a cash award to help him become one of Kentucky’s newest entrepreneurs, thanks to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
JCTC student Raymond Tri received $20,333 and finished first in the undergraduate business plan category at the seventh-annual Idea State U competition, April 11-12 in Lexington. The statewide contest is designed to identify and support the next generation of Kentucky innovators and entrepreneurs. The Cabinet hosts the competition and awards winners with a share of nearly $100,000 to start their businesses. JCTC was one of 10 colleges and universities competing in the event.
Tri pitched his idea to create a distilled spirits company, Southern Shine Co., which will sell Amendment 21 Moonshine, a high-end premium 80 proof flavored moonshine liqueur product line.
“The experience was incredible,” said Tri. “To be in the same place with so many other motivated and passionate individuals was truly humbling. It was a fantastic opportunity for networking and a great time with like-minded individuals.”
Twenty-six teams, made up of more than 80 undergraduate and graduate students from seven Kentucky public universities, the University of Pikeville and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, participated in Idea State U. With the help of faculty advisors, students spent months developing business concepts or formal business plans, which were presented to panels of business experts serving as volunteer judges.
The emphasis on readiness to compete in the marketplace maximizes the opportunity to earn a return on the state’s investment by creating real companies that provide real jobs for Kentuckians. Most of the money can be only claimed as reimbursements for specified business expenses after the team forms a legal company in Kentucky.
The Cabinet hosts the Idea State U competition to encourage a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will help sustain Kentucky’s future economy in the global marketplace. The $100,000 in awards makes Idea State U one of the top state-sponsored business plan competitions in the country.
For more information on Idea State U, visit www.IdeaStateU.com. To learn more about Jefferson's Small Business & Entrepreneurship Center, click here.