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YE Alum Sets Stage for YE Summit Success

If two heads are better than one, dozens of bright students collaborating is best.

The Youth Entrepreneurs Summit took place between June 19-21 in Wichita and played host to students from across the country. The event fostered peer-to-peer interaction while students gleaned from professional businessmen and women. One of those professionals was Seth Konkel who played a big role in facilitating Summit.

“I was a YE student in high school, and finished that curriculum in 2001,” says Konkel, “I took the business plan I wrote in that class and used it to secure funding for a new business after high school called Ilusion Productions. I then got involved with the YE Biz Bang fundraiser and was on their planning committee for years. Two years ago (2016) YE commissioned my business to help plan Biz Bang, and now we help with Summit as well.”

Konkel wanted YE Summit to be collaborative, productive and informative. The event took place on Wichita State’s campus where students slept in dorm rooms and experienced a slice of college living.

“We kept things laid back when everyone arrived and got to know one another. We had food and they checked into their rooms. But we soon got Summit rolling, that first night, with our inaugural Big Idea Finals Competition. We had 17 students present ideas based off the Business Model Canvas YE explained to them throughout the year.”

The Big Idea competition represents months of hard work by student participants to develop their boldest and most innovative business ideas. The Big Idea Finals was a national stage for students to pitch their business proposals and put their entrepreneurial skills on display before expert judges.

“The two days following the competition were focused on education surrounding YE’s Foundational Values. We had individual, group and team activities throughout the conference to help foster relationship and encouragement of YE’s core beliefs.”

The collaborative environment provided a great place for students to meet and dream with one another.

“None of the students really knew each other coming in, so it was great to see bonds form over big ideas. Earlier this year, we knew we wanted to do the Big Idea competition. But we thought if students from all over were coming to Wichita, we might as well make it a two to three day event. In the end, we were really glad we did.”

Ideally, the Summit would be a launching pad for students throughout the year. Although it’s easy to get excited after a productive conference, YE is looking to keep momentum going.

“We heard a ton of great feedback on our small group dinners. Throughout Summit, we had students break off with business leaders and make connections with professionals that will build their personal network. YE will continue to engage students through online curriculum, and hopefully they feel comfortable reaching out to new mentors. YE wants to serve as the connector between bright students and professionals who have gone down the business path.”

 

YE Summit students are now linking arms across the country, and dreams will continue to build communities. Thanks to Konkel and his committed team, those students will pursue goals with YE’s Foundational Values in mind.