Past event…

Event Ended

Join us for the SECOND Startup Weekend in Western Kansas! Hosted by the College of Business and Entrepreneurship on the beautiful campus of Fort Hays State University. This event is open to anyone who has an idea for a new business opportunity or curious about how to start a business. We promise a FUN, fast-paced weekend with plenty of opportunities to work and learn with others!



Apr 4
  • Registration Starts @ McCartney Hall
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Apr 5
  • Arrive @ Robbins Center, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Apr 6
  • Arrive @ Robbins Center, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Prelimary presentations & tech check
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Tier 1 Sponsors
Tier 2 Sponsors

Dr. Mark Banniser

Dean, College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Fort Hays State University

Justin McClung

Internet/Network Solutions Manager, Nex-Tech, Inc.

Myrle McNeal


Deron O'Connor

Community Bank President, Commerce Bank

Tier 3 Sponsors

Charles Wolfe

Instructor of Management, FHSU

Charles Wolfe teaches undergraduate courses in business policy (strategic management) and management principles in addition to MBA level courses in strategic management at Fort Hays State University. He also taught entrepreneurship and new venture finance at Northern Michigan University where he received the Outstanding Teacher in the College of Business Award for 2009.

Prior to his career in academia, Mr. Wolfe enjoyed a 15 year business career in management. He has experience in working for Fortune 100 firms and consulting, as well as starting two entrepreneurial ventures.

Scott Gross

Senior Graphic Designer, The Dessin Fournir Companies

Scott Gross is the Senior Graphic Designer at The Dessin Fournir Companies (DFC) in Plainville, Kansas. Scott received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Fort Hays State University and has worked in graphic design and printing for 22 years.

In addition to working for DFC, Scott owns @144 Design Co. and also does freelance work. His award-winning designs may be seen in a variety of venues, ranging from community and non-profit organizations to promotional materials for high-end consumer products.

Ronald Newman

Regional Director, FHSU SBDC

Ronald Newman is regional director for the Fort Hays State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). He has more than thirty-five years of experience in providing management training and consulting. He has worked with more than 5,000 pre-venture and existing businesses in five states. He has received state star awards from North Dakota and Kansas for SBDC work. He is recognized as a Profit Mastery Consultant, SBA Financial Counselor and completed Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of International Trade program. He received the gold medallion award from the SBA for support of small business. Ronald has served FHSU for five years.

Ronald received tenure and professorial rank as assistant professor in Small Business Management in North Dakota and served as an interim state Small Business Development Center director and regional director prior to coming to Kansas. He and his wife Ruth reside in Russell along with their dog Molly.

Shane Smith

Senior Vice President, Commerce Bank - Hays

Josh Dechant

Founder and Owner, nMile

Josh Dechant is the owner of nMile, LLC in Hays, KS as well as the Entrepreneur in Residence at Fort Hays State University. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and also a Master of Liberal Studies in Information Assurance from FHSU, which is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence by the NSA and DHS.

Dechant has been a developer and entrepreneur in Hays for 14 years having started four companies in four different industries. He currently provides strategic technology consulting and web/mobile application development services for small to medium-sized businesses at nMile.

Cole Engel, CPA

Instructor of Accounting, FHSU

Cole Engel teaches undergraduate accounting courses at FHSU. A Hays native, Cole completed undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Computer Information Systems at FHSU, as well as his MBA. He is currently completing a PhD in Accounting at Northcentral University.

Cole's fields of specialization include financial accounting and information systems and he is a Certified Public Accountant.

Emily Breit, PhD

Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Economics Finance and Accounting

Dr. Emily Breit teaches Macroeconomics, Managerial Finance, and several courses in Banking at FHSU. Dr. Breit has a PhD in Finance from Oklahoma State University, and specializes in commercial banking and small business lending.

Samuel Schreyer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Economics and Finance - FHSU

Tier 4 Sponsors
Henry Schwaller

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