“Shark Tank”-like competition showcased talented KC entrepreneurs and high school students
KANSAS CITY, MO – 12/15/2016 — Poe Man’s Dream Foundation is proud to announce that the winner of the first annual Poe Man’s Challenge was Kendael Amstead and Derrion Williams who pitched Jen Taylor’s The Selling Company. The winners will each receive a $500 scholarships from the Poe Man’s Dream Foundation and tickets, courtesy of Polsinelli Law Firm, to this week’s Chiefs vs. Titans game.
“I have done several Shark Tank events with students but this topped the list for being my favorite,” said Jen Taylor, Founder of The Selling Company. “The environment was what set everything apart. It was comfortable and trendy so the kids actually wanted to be there. It was a true community event and I have never seen so much glam and outreach to help support the kids. Everyone was a winner and all the kids were psyched to be there.”
Dream Big, Build Strong
The Poe Man’s Challenge was the first event that the Poe Man’s Dream foundation held in Kansas City. The challenge was also a fundraiser to raise money to support the programs the foundation will be running like the three month Dream Big, Build Strong program for middle school kids. The Poe Man’s Dream Foundation hopes to expand its programs and partnerships to give the youth of Kansas City the resources and help they need to thrive.
“These kids did a great job pitching,” said Dontari Poe, Poe Man’s Dream Foundation founder and Kansas City Chiefs Nose Tackle. “They got me thinking of some ideas for new businesses. I just might have to hit them up to come make them happen.”
The event ran from 6pm till 9pm and was emceed by radio personality Bob Fescoe of 610 AM Sports Radio and Dee Jackson of KSHB NBC 41 Action News Sports Anchor. Each team had 3 minutes to pitch their company, followed by 3 minutes of questions from judges Polsinelli’s Greg Kratofil, Think Big’s Herb Sih, Councilman Quinton Lucas, Techstars’ Lesa Mitchell, Harlem Globetrotters’ Handles Franklin, and KC Chief’s Dontari Poe. The judging criteria was skewed more towards the student’s grasp of the company rather than the idea itself since each team was randomly paired together.
Fantastic Community Support
Students from Allen Village, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Males to Men participated in the event. Entrepreneurs from local KC startups FEWDM, Idlesmart, Blooom, 2020 Adventures, Start Talking, Dreams KC, The Selling Company, PreScreend, and MADI Apparel spend half a day making their teams “founders for a day.” Organizations like C.E.E.D., Males to Men, LiveKC, ServeKC, and PREP-KC were instrumental in helping coordinate the challenge. Local sponsors included Black & Veatch, Kauffman Foundation, and Hunt Family Foundation who along with ticket sales and silent auction items, resulted in Poe Man’s Dream Foundation raising over $10,000 dollars for future initiatives.
To donate, volunteer or learn more about Poe Man’s Dream visit www.PoeMansDream.org.
ABOUT POE MAN’S DREAM
Poe Man’s Dream Foundation aims to give underserved youth opportunities to succeed by providing them with resources for personal development and tools for success. Through mentorship and hands-on learning, students build upon their knowledge as well as gain positive role models in their lives to help them pursue their dreams. Poe Man’s Dream is also dedicated to making sure students and their families have the tools they need to succeed through the donations of school supplies, food, clothing, and necessities for families during the holidays.
Distributed by JSY PR & Marketing
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Contact Person: Jane Bolander
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