The second annual #OneDayKC was held Friday, April 8 in Kansas City, Mo. The event promotes entrepreneurship and innovation among students in an effort to better the Kansas City community. The day started out at the Kauffman Foundation, and the banquet at the end of the event was held in Arrupe Hall at Rockhurst University.
In total, 60 students from 18 different high schools, colleges and universities attended, doubling the number from last year. Some of the schools that participated include William Jewell College, Rockhurst University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Liberty North High School, Clemson University and Colorado School of Mines.
16 Jewell students attend #OneDayKC. Bradley Dice, senior physics, chemistry, mathematics and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry (ACT-In) major; Trevor Nicks, senior biochemistry and ACT-In major; Macy Tush, junior physics and mathematics major; Alex Holden, junior economics, communication, philosophy and ACT-In major; and Ben Shinogle, senior English, political science and ACT-In major, were co-directors of the event.
“Organizing #OneDayKC was very time-consuming and it often included the other Fellows and I brewing coffee after 1:00 a.m. It was exciting to work with students from other schools, as well. Michael Brummett from Rockhurst University did some great work on organizing our mentors for the day, and Mike Frazzetta from Rockhurst and Tin Ho from UMKC were always willing to pitch in with whatever need to be done,” said Nicks.
University Innovation Fellows (UIF) also attended and held additional events Saturday, April 9.
“We hosted #OneDayKC as a part of our William Jewell University Innovation Fellows Meetup this year, so we invited 25 University Innovation Fellows from across the country to join us. We were able to share our experience in engaging diverse communities from higher education, local startups, city government and nonprofit organizations in order to build multilayered, interdisciplinary networks of thinkers and doers who are ready to build the city of our future,” said Dice.
Students were formed into teams that brainstormed projects that fell under six categories: energy and sustainability, transit and traffic, municipal services, health and well-being, education and workforce development and culture and recreation. The projects were judged by a panel that included Frank Jurden of TEDxKC, Tom Gerend of KC Streetcar, Lauren Krum from the Lean Lab and Dr. David Sallee, president of the College.
“The immediate goal/end-product of #OneDayKC is each team’s presentation, pitching their business or product idea to the #OneDayKC judges. However, the real purpose and product of #OneDayKC, in my opinion, is the inspiration, confidence, knowledge that we hopefully provided our participants,” said Nicks.
Projects were judged based on experiments and prototyping, evidence and pitch, creativity and impact and inclusion. The intent of this criteria was to have students not only create a project, but also present and explain why the idea is relevant and needed in the KC area.
Projects that were created included DROPLET: Clean, Cool, and Convenient Water Bottles; Literacy in KC: Improving 3rd grade reading ability; and Transverse Transit: Alternative Smart Commuting.
“My team developed a program to address financial illiteracy called EKahn Academy. We created a virtual game to teach high school students about credit and a website that allows people to learn about finances on their own time through a series of webinars,” said Cherith Parnell, first-year Oxbridge institutional and policies and physics major.
The day was filled with numerous activities for the participants. There were five different speakers who spoke on topics such as the lean process and design thinking. Participants even spent part of the day on the Plaza talking with shoppers about the projects and asking for the shoppers’ take on them.
“In 12 hours, they had to learn the lean start up process, find a problem they were passionate about, fix the problem, test it on consumers and potentially see their idea torn down or need to be abandoned. It is grueling, and because it is so difficult, the students gain a very tangible pride in overcoming these steps and having a fantastic idea not in spite but because of this process,” said Shinogle.
#OneDayKC provides an opportunity for students to innovate, create and network with some of the best leaders and students in the Kansas City community and in an environment that is hands-on.
“More people should be involved with #OneDayKC because it is more than a conference, it is an experience. Rather than trading business cards or swapping emails, I was able to build professional relationships and connect with peers from around the country. Another edge that #OneDayKC has over other conferences is one achieves learning through information sessions and experience. I was able to learn about methods for brainstorming and creating a business, then apply that information the very same day at the conference,” said Parnell.
Photos by Chandler Eaton.