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2018 Arkansas Governor’s Cup Finalists

Arkansas Governor's Cup

The Arkansas Governor’s Cup was established to help educate college students to the role and process of entrepreneurship in the state’s economy. Over the years, it has developed into a key element of business education for its participants.

“Before we started this thing, there was not one college in the state of Arkansas that had an entrepreneurial program,” Sam Walls, president and COO of sponsor Arkansas Capital, said. “You go look now and multiple universities have those types of programs, either as a formal degree or as a program.”

Since the first event in 2001, more than 2,500 students from 20 of the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities have taken part in the competition, submitting a total of 839 business plans. Winning competitors have been awarded more than $2 million in cash prizes, which winners can spend at their own discretion.

Additionally, about 900 Arkansans from the business, education, civic and nonprofit sectors have volunteered as judges in the preliminary written and semi-finalist/finalist oral presentation rounds of the competition.

Related: Arkansas Capital »

A sample of companies that had their roots in the Arkansas Governor’s Cup include Ascendant Dx, Boston Mountain Biotech, iProv, Movista, Orlumet, Picasolar (now Silicon Solar Solutions) and Sharp Hue.

“The students who go through [the competition] come out the other end almost in the same voice saying, ‘Hey I learned so much from this thing. We get so much value from it,’” Walls said. “Whether they start their own business or they go work for someone else, the appreciation for that thought process makes them a better employee or employer.”

Cash awards are presented to the top three place winners in the graduate and undergraduate divisions ($25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, at each level). The top elevator pitch at the undergraduate and graduate level receive $2,000 each. Top business plans in the agricultural and innovation categories at the graduate and undergraduate level, receive $5,000 each. In addition, 12 undergraduate semifinalists and six graduate semifinalists receive $1,000 for advancing to the oral presentation round.

Semi-finalist and finalist oral presentations were held March 29-30 at the Statehouse Convention Center. Awards are held at a luncheon April 18, also at the convention center. For full details and contest rules, please visit argovernorscup.org.

Related: Funding the Governor’s Cup » 

This year’s finalists are as follows:

Undergraduate Division Finalists

Ti-Fix – Harding University
My 401K – Ouachita Baptist University
Trovo Tester – Harding University
Winterterm.com – Ouachita Baptist University
Monity – Harding University
Spiritum Solutions – University of Arkansas Little Rock

Graduate Division Finals Begin

Arthur Dents – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Ozark Microheater Systems – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
uChooze Lunchbox – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Lapovations – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Mederi Sciences – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Facilities Network Commissioning, UA Little Rock and Pine Bluff

Innovation Division Finalists – Undergrad

TiFix – Harding University, Searcy
Trovo Tester – Harding University, Searcy
DitchBlaster 2020 – Arkansas Tech University, Russellville
Head-2-Head – Harding University, Searcy

Innovation Division Finalists – Grad

Facilities Network Commissioning – UA Little Rock and UA Pine Bluff
Fetch – John Brown University, Siloam Springs
Ozark Microheater Systems – Univerity of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Agriculture Division Finalists

DitchBlaster 2020 – Arkansas Tech University, Russellville
Connor Innovations Roveround – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
SCAN AG – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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