PITTSBURG, Kan. —
A student entrepreneur group at Pittsburg State University has received a gift that its members believe will keep on giving.
The soon-to-be dissolved Alliance for Technology Commercialization organization has given $6,000 to Enactus, and pledged another $20,000 to be earmarked for the group.
The ATC, located on the campus of PSU, was a joint project of three entities — PSU, the city of Pittsburg and the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp., which lost its state funding in 2011.
The organization’s mission was to assist entrepreneurs in getting patents filed and with investments locally and regionally.
“KTEC had put $50,000 into it, and for roughly 13 years the city had matched that, and PSU provided in-kind support with the office and phones,” said Steve Robb, chairman of the ATC board.
Last year, the city also decided to part ways with the ATC, a 501 (C)(3).
“We thought the money we had left in the bank ought to go to a place that would continue the entrepreneurship angle that ATC supported,” Robb said. “So the board invited Enactus to make a presentation, and it was unanimous that we fund them.”
The group has garnered national awards for its business-related projects, including in February helping Grace House event center in Galena with a makeover and business plan. In May, the group was named as one of eight finalists in the Sam’s Club “Step Up for Small Business” competition.
Most recently, Enactus opened Krimson Kultuur, a store at 111-A W. Fourth St. in downtown Pittsburg that sells hundreds of one-of-a-kind handmade items from artisans in developing countries.
In addition to creating and organizing the store, the students also serve as the volunteer work force and hope one day to use the store for employment opportunities for individuals in need of them.
In their presentation to ATC, Enactus requested $6,000 a year for five years. Robb said ATC funded the first year, and will transfer about $20,000 to the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas where it will be earmarked for Enactus.
Enactus adviser Suzanne Hurt said the funds would be used in three ways: for community projects, for scholarships for students in the new Innovation Engineering minor program and to supplement the group’s budget for the annual Opportunities in Business Day.
“We are extremely excited and most very grateful,” Hurt said.
Enactus is composed of students and academic and business leaders.