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Entrepreneur Competition to feature businessman Jake Jabs

Release Date: February 18, 2015

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

(719) 549-2810

PUEBLO - The finale for the 2nd Annual Pueblo Entrepreneurship Competition, "One idea changes everything. What's yours?" will occur on Friday, Feb. 27 at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, 210 North Santa Fe Avenue, featuring keynote speaker Jake Jabs, President and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse. The Pueblo Entrepreneurship Competition is a collaborative, non-profit activity coordinated by the Colorado State University-Pueblo Hasan School of Business Healy Center, Junior Achievement, and PEDCO, made possible in part by a grant from the Southern Colorado Community Foundation.

As part of the day-long event, Jabs will conduct an afternoon session for high school and college students as well as a keynote address at 6:45 p.m. The event also will feature local celebrities and business leaders as judges and emcees. The competition seeks to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and action in Pueblo County.

According to Dr. Michael W. Wakefield, professor of management and director of the Thomas V. Healy Center for Economics and Business Research and Service in CSU-Pueblo's Hasan School of Business, the morning and afternoon events are free to students, but seating is limited.

This year, prizes will be offered in three divisions Kindergarten - 8th grade ($500 top prize), High School (top prize is $1,000 cash and a $4,000 scholarship to HSB), and the Adult Venture Capital Competition. These sessions will begin at 8 a.m. for the Kindergarten-8th grade session, 9:45 a.m. for the high school session, and 7:30 p.m. for the adult competition. All student prizes, except the top high school prize, are sponsored by Southwest Motors. Thousands of dollars are available in the Adult Division with cash and cash-equivalent prizes offered by PEDCO and Little Caesar's. The adult portion of the competition resembles the popular "Shark Tank" television show, which will offer cash prizes in addition to up to $1.5 million in venture capital funding by five angel investors to launch and expand outstanding business ideas.

In last year's inaugural competition, Cindy Dou won the high school student division, taking home $1,000 cash and a $4,000 scholarship to CSU-Pueblo's Hasan School of Business. Judy Kochevar netted $1,500 offered by Pueblo Urban Renewal Association to expand her specialty business, The Hand Truck Company. Diana Hall won the $3,500 Dave Feamster/Little Caesar's Pizza Social Entrepreneurship award and the PEDCO Foundation's $5,000 office rental award to launch her business, 3DMedScan, which operates from the Business Technology Center Incubator at 3rd and Main. Her company has branched out from medical support devices such as casts to high-end golf accessories designed to improve a golfer's putting stroke.

The afternoon event is FREE for high school and university students, but tickets are required. To reserve tickets for the afternoon event, please contact Kim Wharton, 549-2142. Tickets to the evening event are $7 and may be purchased through the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center Box Office, 295-7200.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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