Award US

Emporia State University Award for Bioplastics

Emporia State University student Mitchell DeWalt claimed the top prize in the 2020 Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge. 

DeWalt, a junior business administration student at Emporia State University, took first place in the challenge with his company Overland Camping Equipment which he started three years ago.

According to DeWalt via a news release, the company offers a wide range of “innovative camping supplies aimed to make your weekend getaway more enjoyable.”

The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge is a “venture idea competition” which is open to students from both Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College.

This year’s competition began on Jan. 28 with judges grading 42 executive summaries and narrowing the competition field down to the top 21 who then submitted their oral pitches.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing all classes to move online, the competition also shifted to a virtual format for the first time in its history with all teams submitting their oral pitches electronically.

Along with claiming first place, DeWalt also received $2,500 to invest in his company.

DeWalt says “The Entrepreneurship Challenge allowed me to truly test my innovative abilities and challenge myself on bringing a product from an idea to reality.

I appreciate the opportunity to not only compete but learn from the mentorship in the program.”

Second place and $1,500 went to ESU business administration sophomore Aren Trost and his company Falls Craft Furniture which provides custom welded furniture for homeowners.

ESU seniors Hayden Schaeffer and Brigham Mooney claimed third place and $500 with Bioplastic Solutions a single-use biodegradable plastic product.

Normally the challenge’s top two placers advance to compete at the State Entrepreneur Challenge at Kansas State University.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s state competition was canceled.


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Emporia State University student claims first place in 2020 Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge

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