Business plan

University of Arkansas dominates Governor’s Cup business plan competition

The winners of the 2021 Arkansas Governor’s Cup college business plan competition were announced last week and the University of Arkansas topped the 21st annual awards show.

The winners of the college-level business plan competition took home a total of $ 100,000 in cash prizes, donated by title sponsor Dhu Thompson and Revolution Bag of Little Rock. Other major sponsors include the Walton Family Foundation, Innovate Arkansas, and Winrock Automotive.

The $ 100,000 prize pool includes $ 25,000 for the winner from the High-Growth / Technology division. The second place team will win $ 15,000 and the third place team will win $ 10,000.

The first place winner of the small business division takes home $ 15,000. The second place team will receive $ 10,000 and the third winner will receive $ 5,000.

Elevator pitch winners will each receive $ 2,000. The pedagogical advisors of the finalist teams will each receive a scholarship of $ 2,500.

The Governor’s Cup awards featured live pitches from each of the finalists.

This year’s winners include:
High Growth / Technology Category

The first place winner was Nivera Solutions. The team at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville was led by Angela Gardner. Nivera’s business plan used nanotechnology to create a mantle to keep ice off surfaces to reduce danger.

The second winner was ReGen Technologies from the University of Arkansas. ReGen’s business plan focused on patent-pending technology to reduce vascular transplants and surgery and healthcare costs.

The third winner was BalanceMark from Harding University. BalanceMark’s plan involved a software company whose mission was to deliver innovative medical products and services to the therapeutic industry.

The elevator winner in this category was Green Greens of the University of Arkansas.

Small business category

The first place winner was Simple + Sweet Creamery from the University of Arkansas. Simple + Sweet Creamery is a business plan for high-quality, artisanal ice cream sourced from local farmers that serves the Northwest Arkansas community through philanthropic priorities focused on food insecurity.

The second winner was Christ Light Apparel from Central Baptist College. The business plan was created around a Christian hat and clothing business.

The third winner was APOLLO from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts. APOLLO is a business plan for an interactive injury prevention newsletter for athletes.

The elevator winner in this category was Small Talks from the Arkansas School for Math, Science and the Arts.

The Arkansas Capital Corporation has managed the Governor’s Cup since the first competition in 2001. More than 2,900 Arkansas college and university students have been affected, submitting more than 900 business ideas. In 2021, 31 teams of 88 students from seven Arkansas universities competed against each other.

The competition does not force teams to start their business; instead, they are rewarded for the rigorous and real experience they gain as competitors. They are also exposed to the state’s entrepreneurial history and learn about the opportunities Arkansas has to offer for entrepreneurs looking to start businesses in the state.

“Many, probably even most, business plan competitions across the country measure their success in terms of the number of successful businesses that emerge from their competitions,” said Rush Deacon, CEO of VAC. “While we love hearing these Governor’s Cup stories, our measure of success is instead the impact the competition has had on entrepreneurship education at colleges and universities in Arkansas. “


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