Bluegrass Student StartUp Challenge

In July of 2018, the Edward E. Ford Foundation awarded a $90,000 matching grant to Louisville Collegiate School to further outfit the Areva Center for Entrepreneurship, Engineering and Design and launch two new community-wide programs.

Please contact Clay Gahan at or call 502.479.0382 for more information.

Saturday & Sunday
September 21-22, 2019


Online registration for the 2019 Bluegrass Challenge is now closed. For questions regarding walk-up registration,
please contact Mandy Helton at or 502.292.4059. 


What it’s all about:
Whether you have a problem to solve or an idea to pitch, the urge to meet students from other schools, or you simply seek a new adventure, you will walk away from Louisville’s 20-hour Student Startup weekend with something new.  From the opening pitches to the final Shark Tank-style competition, each student will gain a network of new connections and essential knowledge of design thinking and processes to take entrepreneurial ideas from conception to reality. 

Who’s it for: 9th-12th graders
Local students of any experience level, including students asking “what is entrepreneurship?” to students who already identify as aspiring entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, and marketers (and friends of all of the above!) Good entrepreneurial teams are composed of a variety of skills. Students can register with friends or come and join a team.  No idea?  No problem. Come and join a team.

Students must provide their own transportation and have parent/guardian permission to participate.

Registration includes: 
  • Five Delicious Meals
  • Coffee, Phocus Water, and Snacks
  • T-Shirt
  • Speeches from established local entrepreneurs
  • Opportunity to compete for prizes valued at $500, $250, and $100

First Place – $500
Second Place – $250
Third Place – $100


Junior Bridgeman, food and beverage entrepreneur
Lopa Mehrotra, social entrepreneur and nonprofit founder
Sean O’Leary, co-founder of EDJ Analytics and Genscape 


Saturday, September 21
● 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
● 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Keynote, Gill Holland
● 9:30 a.m. Pitches
● 10:00 a.m. Team sorting
● 12:00 p.m. Lunch, Speaker – Tom O’Grady
● 12:30-2:00 p.m. Work sessions
● 1:45 p.m. Customer Validation Exercise
● 5:00 p.m. Check-in, snack
● 6:30 p.m. Dinner, Speaker – Brit Fitzpatrick
● 7:00-9:00 p.m. Teamwork

Sunday, September 22
● 12:30 p.m. Lunch, Cork Communications Presentation
● 1:00 p.m. Pitch-ready coaching
● 3:00 p.m. Run through, tech check
● 4:00 p.m. Pitches
● 5:00 p.m. Dinner and Judging
● 6:00 p.m. Awards & Closing

Click here to review the Judges and Speaker bios.

Past Events:
Educators in Entrepreneurship

Collegiate hosted Educators in Entrepreneurship, a workshop held in collaboration with Awesome, Inc., Cork Communications and Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs. More than 30 educators from around the region attended to learn how to incorporate entrepreneurial thinking at their schools. 

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