UPIKE Students Triumph at Idea State U Finals

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April 23, 2018
Two business plan teams from the University of Pikeville were winners in the Idea State U business plan competition finals on April 21 at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics in Lexington. Idea State U is designed to identify and support the next generation of Kentucky innovators and entrepreneurs and is sponsored and organized by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
Kaitlyn Abdon and Katelyn Simpson are the founders of K2 Medical. Their new product is the Xtra Scoop, a patented innovation in patient transport devices for the bariatric market. The novel scoop stretcher used by emergency medical services is 56 percent wider with a weight capacity two-times stronger than current products. Abdon and Simpson won first-place and $7,500 in the Business Model category, bringing their total to $13,000 in awards for the current academic year. Abdon and Simpson will graduate in May from UPIKE’s Professional MBA program.
“Idea State U was an amazing experience,” said Abdon. “We loved seeing all of the different ideas. It was such an incredible opportunity and it was an honor to win the whole thing.” 
The team of Brigitte Anderson and Andrew Reed formed the company Lifetime Learner. Their Web-U Trainer service is a web-based training platform for higher education to address sexual harassment and assault on college campuses. In comparison to current training methods, Web-U Trainer is customizable, highly interactive and less expensive. They received second-place and $15,000 in the Business Plan category, increasing their total awards for the current academic year to $17,500. Anderson and Reed will graduate from UPIKE in May with Professional MBA degrees.
“We were thrilled when after long hours of hard work, we won the regional competition at Morehead State University,” Anderson said. “Earning second-place in an even more challenging group at the state level is now a dream come true. These recognitions give us the confidence to start our company as soon as we graduate with an MBA in May.”
Other schools represented in the competition were the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Northern Kentucky University, Murray State University, Morehead State University, Asbury University, Eastern Kentucky University, Berea College, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, and Bellarmine University.
“We repeatedly prove we can perform at the highest level,” said David Snow, D.M., director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office, director of business competitions, associate professor of business and faculty advisor for the teams at UPIKE. “This truly is a testament to the dedication of these students. I am very proud of their achievements.”