Student and Academic Life

UK Teams Perform Well at 'KY Pitch' Entrepreneurial Competition

photo of UK competitors at Pitch competition
Left to right: Chris Greene, Pouch Protection; Warren Nash, VACE; LeeCarol Greenwell, Shavahn Loux and Francesca Rovera, GenomEqs (accompanied by family members); Kevin Richardson and Soroosh Torabi, HandPrint.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 2, 2019) Several teams representing University of Kentucky performed very well in the recent KY Pitch competition hosted by Centre College in Danville.

The KY Pitch Business Plan/Model Competition is designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship through engaging students from Kentucky’s postsecondary colleges and universities and providing an opportunity for them to develop and pursue their business ideas. The competition rewards business models and plans that are judged by an independent panel as most innovative, complete, and most likely to result in successful ventures that would create new jobs for Kentuckians.

UK participants emerged from Bootcamp programs conducted by the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship (VACE), part of Gatton College of Business and Economics.

GenomEqs, with team members representing the Gatton College and the Gluck Equine Research Center, earned first place in the Business Model track, bringing home a cash prize of $5,000. LeeCarol Greenwell, Shavahn Loux and Francesca Rovera all are part of GenomEqs.

A $5,000 award for second place went to HandPrint in the Business Plan track. Team members Kevin Richardson and Soroosh Torabi both are with UK College of Engineering.

Pouch Protection, with Chris Greene from the College of Engineering, brought home the third place prize of $1,500 in the Business Model track.

“VACE staff are so proud of these teams and the terrific progress which they have made over the past year,” said Warren Nash, executive director of the Von Allmen Center. “The success of these teams is a testament to the value which VACE’s Bootcamp 1.0 and 2.0 programs bring to UK and local communities.”

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.