Fort Hays State University to Host Kansas Startup

HAYS, Kan. – Registration is now open for the seventh Kansas Startup Weekend at Fort Hays State University, from Friday, Nov. 9, through Sunday, Nov. 11, at the university's Robbins Center.

Led by the university’s W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Kansas Startup is an event designed for entrepreneurs to meet, share ideas and launch new businesses. This three-day event is open to anyone with a great idea – and the desire to make that idea a reality.

Henry Schwaller, instructor of management and the co-organizer of the Kansas Startup, said the weekend “is a 48-hour, hands-on experience where anyone interested in starting a business or non-profit can find out if their idea is viable.”

“Beginning with pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their teams,” he said. “Saturday and Sunday focus on developing the business idea and building a viable product. On Sunday evening, teams present their product to a panel of experts for feedback and prizes.”

Participants must register. Registration is $45 and will be open until 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, when the event begins. To register, visit the website at or contact Schwaller by email to or by phone, 785-259-0463.

The weekend concludes with the presentation of projects, beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, which is free and open to the public.

This is FHSU’s seventh Kansas Startup. The event was first hosted in 2013 and has grown from 31 participants then to over sixty in 2017, making it the largest entrepreneurial event in the state of Kansas. Schwaller said that the success of Kansas Startup is based on participants’ experiences.

“The response to all of our events has been incredible. Participants work hard, learn a lot about starting a new venture and enjoy the outcome,” said Schwaller.

“Teams work Friday evening to Sunday evening, many taking few breaks and little sleep. FHSU faculty, alumni and local business owners provide input, suggestions and advice to the teams as business plans are developed. The event is challenging – and it’s fun, too.”

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