Gatton Students Earn $10,000 Prize at Idea State U

Students from the University of Kentucky’s MBA program placed third in the business plan competition at Idea State U in Lexington this past weekend.

The “Red Natural” team of four MBA students — Joanna Foresman, Andrew Wachs, Jeremy Madigan, and Qianwen Zhao — won $10,000 at the annual contest matching teams of young entrepreneurs from universities across the state. Idea State U is sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The UK foursome developed a business plan for a natural source of red food dye based on research by Seth DeBolt in UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

The "Red Natural" team has been invited to compete in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition on May 8-9 at the University of Texas in Austin. This premier worldwide competition is often referred to as the 'Super Bowl' of investment competitions.

The Gatton College of Business and Economics provides academic and experiential learning opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students interested in entrepreneurship. 

The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, also are part of the Gatton College, provide outstanding support for these students.   

MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200/; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750/