McPherson College announced its first-ever Jump Start Kansas competition on Nov. 14. The challenge will award two grants of $5,000 to a Kansas high school student or team of students who present the best entrepreneurial idea — one in the area of commercial entrepreneurship and one for social entrepreneurship.


McPherson College announced its first-ever Jump Start Kansas competition on Nov. 14. The challenge will award two grants of $5,000 to a Kansas high school student or team of students who present the best entrepreneurial idea — one in the area of commercial entrepreneurship and one for social entrepreneurship.
The grants come with no stipulation that the high school students attend McPherson College. Ideas can be submitted until Jan. 25.
“Of course, we expect that after they visit McPherson College, these future leaders will seriously consider us for their education,” said Kori Gregg, executive director of entrepreneurship at McPherson College. “But what we care more about is helping and encouraging these young entrepreneurs in Kansas to take a risk and follow their dream, to recapture that thrilling moment of jumping out of swings and seeing where you land.”
In addition to the $10,000 in grant money, the grand prize winners will receive a $20,000, four-year scholarship to McPherson College.
Finally, every student named as one of the 10 finalists, including those in teams, will be given a $4,000, four-year scholarship to attend McPherson College. The total dollar commitment for the challenge exceeds $100,000.
“The commitment is well worth it,” Gregg said. “To develop the kind of leaders who are going to grow up and make a difference, they have to develop the creative entrepreneur’s mindset — the kind of mindset developed right here at McPherson College.”
More than 100 interested Kansas high school students attended the college’s “Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour” event at the college Nov. 14, where the challenge was announced. The event was part of the college’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Kansas high school students had the opportunity learn about what it takes to come up with an idea for an entrepreneurial venture, develop a plan and sustain it.
Students will have until Jan. 25 to submit their application, which can be found on McPherson College’s website. The applications will be judged by an independent panel of entrepreneurs, community members and McPherson College faculty.
The 10 finalists will be notified of their selection on Feb. 1. They will be required to travel to the McPherson College campus to present their ideas on Feb. 15. The two grand prize winners will be announced the same day.