MANHATTAN (KSNT) – A Manhattan start-up company has been chosen as one of two grand prize winners at the Launch party for the Kansas State University “Launch a Business” or LAB program. Fourteen entrepreneurs pitched their companies to the public as part of the event.

Liquid Art Winery & Estate in Manhattan was chosen as the grand prizewinner in the global food systems division. The business will receive a $10,000 cash prize. Additionally, Vigilias Telemedicine of Wichita was named the grand prizewinner in the open division. They too will be awarded the same amount.

The five-week lab program culminated in the the Launch Party event. LAB was a partnership between KS State Bank and the College of Business Administration’s Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. The startups received much-needed resources as part of the program. Assistance included: faculty-led courses, hands-on student research teams and access to the university’s world-class alumni mentor network.

“One of our university’s goals is to support economic development and growth in the state of Kansas,” said Chad Jackson of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. “We developed K-State LAB as a way to reach out and support the entrepreneurs in the state.”

According to K-State’s new release, Liquid Art Winery & Estate will be one of the few wineries in the Midwest to primarily focus on growing European grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. The winery will be coming to the Manhattan area later this year.

“The program has been great – the connections we’ve made through the mentors and other businesses around the state have been invaluable,” said David Tegtmeier, who along with his wife, Danielle, is the owner of Liquid Art Winery & Estate. “The LAB program really allowed us to step back from the day-to-day activities of our business and focus on the big-picture details that we don’t necessarily get to look at every day.”

K-State explains that Vigilias Telemedicine plans to improve medical services and access to care in rural communities by making tertiary-level consultants and medical providers available through telemedicine.

Other companies were also awarded prizes that included cash and in-kind donations from a pool totaling more than $90,000. Two other northeast Kansas businesses that participated were Can-Coctions and Vapor Works. Both are in Manhattan.

You can learn more about the Launch a Business program and the entrepreneurs  at