Partnership with the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics to support fifth annual student competition

LEXINGTON, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MiddleGround Capital, an operationally focused private equity firm that makes control investments in North American middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution companies, today announced that it will serve as the lead sponsor for The 2023 Econ Games Conference, in association with the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. The two-day student competition will take place on March 23-24, 2023.

The Econ Games was founded in 2018 by Dr. Darshak Patel, Ph.D., senior lecturer of economics and director of undergraduate studies at the Gatton College of Business and Economics and Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and director of the Center for Economic Education at Northern Kentucky University. Designed to allow students to encounter real-world business problems and postulate solutions within a truncated timeframe, the annual event introduces students to economic challenges using a dataset provided by a corporate partner. As a presenting sponsor, MiddleGround Capital will provide the business prompt to be solved, collect data and judge students’ final presentations.

“We are excited to sponsor the 2023 edition of the Econ Games as we continue to support universities, faculty, and students in creating the next generation of business leaders. At MiddleGround Capital, we embrace a culture that relies on participation, engagement, and collaboration. We look forward to helping students develop practical data skills to solve the real-world problems they will face in their professional careers,” said John Stewart, Founding Partner of MiddleGround Capital.

D. Patel added, “It’s really encouraging to see the Econ Games continue to evolve. I know firsthand how important this event can be for students and we are thrilled to have MiddleGround Capital lead the competition this year. The students will gain invaluable insights from their team, better positioning them for the future.”

The Econ Games 2023 Conference will be held on March 23 and March 24 at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics in Lexington, KY. Further information can be found at

About MiddleGround Capital

MiddleGround Capital is a private equity firm based in Lexington, KY with over $2.0 billion of Assets Under Management. MiddleGround makes control equity investments in middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution businesses. MiddleGround works with its portfolio companies to create value through a hands-on operational approach and partners with its management teams to support long-term growth strategies. For more information, please visit:

About The Econ Games

The Econ Games offers designed courses and experiential learning events to connect students with real-world opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom. Undergraduate students participate in a data analytics and research event designed to help them solve real-world problems.

About Gatton College of Business and Economics

The Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky is an AACSB accredited school offering undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. degrees in the business disciplines for Kentuckians and beyond. For more information visit us online at


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