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Contest offers cash for best economic plan for E. Kentucky

A leading Kentucky-based entrepreneur has started a contest among three of the state’s universities to develop the best plan to foster innovation, economic development and entrepreneurship in Letcher County and eight other eastern Kentucky coalfield counties high poverty rates: Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Magoffin, Martin and Pike.

Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech, a global animal health and nutrition company, announced the competition last week during his company’s annual international symposium in Lexington. He is offering a $20,000 prize for the business school with best plan among those developed by the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and the University of Pikeville, a private school headed by former Gov. Paul Patton.

“Teams will be chosen by university officials and are expected to be made up primarily of MBA students and a select number of undergraduates,” an Alltech press release said.

The competition will start in November 2012 and end in January 2013, “when the students will present their final plans to a panel of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

Source: Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.

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