Team Serandu Wins UK Venture Challenge

Team Serandu Wins UK Venture Challenge

Team Serandu won the UK Venture Challenge and $1,500 on Feb. 20 with their idea for custom-fitted riding boots.

Photo: University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture, Food and Environment students Caitlin Halliwell and Allison Burke of Team Serandu won the UK Venture Challenge and $1,500 on Feb. 20 with their idea for custom-fitted riding boots.

Eight student teams pitched their new business concepts to judges from the local entrepreneurial community at the fifth annual competition, held at the William T. Young Library UK Athletics Auditorium. The teams’ written proposals were judged prior to their pitches.

“Competing in Venture Challenge sparked a passion for me to continue pursuing business as a career,” said Serandu team member Allison Burke, who was a December graduate in merchandising. “I am so inspired by the ideas of other young people and the amazing support by the faculty and staff at UK.”

Team Serandu was part of the 10-week Venture Studio Bootcamp, a new program in the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, which wrapped up at the end of the fall 2015 semester. The idea for the fitted boot originated from UK faculty members Janet Kurzynske, PhD, and Scarlett Wesley, PhD. “Because of the Venture Studio Bootcamp, both of us are planning on enrolling in the Gatton MBA program next semester,” said Halliwell, a senior in equine business management.

The three sponsors were the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, an economic development partnership between UK, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and Commerce Lexington; the Gatton College of Business and Economics; and the College of Communication and Information.

The UK Venture Challenge is organized by iNET, the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking, hosted by the College of Communication and Information, with the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, Venture Studio, and the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Gail Hairston from University of Kentucky Public Relations provided this information.


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