Automotive entrepreneur wins Ivy Tech New Venture Competition

Kendall Riecken, who graduated in December with his associate degree in business administration from Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne campus, won the 2017 New Venture Competition on Thursday.

Riecken’s company, KR Designs, specializes in car detailing, restoration, custom paint and collision repair. Riecken graduated from Northrop High School in 2012 and started KR Designs shortly after. Currently, he operates out of his parents’ garage, and part of the $35,000 in startup capital he receives from the New Venture Competition will go to build his new space, which he plans to locate between Fort Wayne and Auburn, Ivy Tech reported in a news release.

“The money I won tonight will go for a paint booth, air compressor, specialty tooling, and paint equipment,” he said in the news release. “Anything left over will go toward construction costs,”

Riecken and two other New Venture Competition finalists presented their business plans to about 30 community judges. After the 15-minute presentation, judges were given 15 minutes for a question-and-answer section. They had been previously provided the finalists’ business plans for review.

Riecken is the seventh winner of the New Venture Competition.