Hosted by the Gatton College of Business and Economics, the two-day event provides students with the opportunity to learn and connect with industry leaders, as well as compete to win seed funding for their innovative business plan.
On Friday, April 24, a half-day conference will shed light on the impactful lessons learned in business innovation and development. The keynote will be presented by Nathaniel R. Morris, founder, chairman and CEO of Rubicon Global — a technology company born in the waste and recycling industry. As a Gatton College entrepreneur-in-residence, Morris is passionate about mentoring students who are developing business plans.
The conference will also include sessions presented by industry leaders:
- Sarah Sanders — Co-founder of NATIVE, an AgTech startup empowering local farmers to meet the rising demand for local, traceable food. Sanders is also Gatton College’s first recipient of the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.
- Rodney Williams — As co-founder of LISNR, he is responsible for leading all of the company’s commercial activities and strategy execution.
UK students will also put their pitching skills to the test on the final day during Wildcat Pitch. Held on Saturday, April 25, the full-day competition will allow student teams in their division, undergraduate or graduate, to compete for a chance to win $30,000 in seed money.
Wildcat Pitch offers students the chance to showcase their business ideas for ground-breaking products and services to a panel of judges — including UK alumni — who work primarily in the business sector. The competition offers an invaluable experience to bourgeoning entrepreneurs.
All current UK students are encouraged to submit their intent to compete by the March 13 deadline. For more information and to register, visit the Gatton website.
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 three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, 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 four 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.