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A-State College of Business Announces Business Plan Competition Results


JONESBORO — Winners of Arkansas State University’s Business Plan Competition have been announced by Dr. Erick Chang, associate professor of management and chair of the Delta Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business. Prizes totaling $1,800 were awarded to the winners in the different categories.

The finalists for the seventh annual event delivered a 10-minute oral presentation in the executive boardroom located on the second floor of the Delta Center for Economic Development. In addition, invitations were sent to teams to deliver a 60-second live elevator pitch. During judging deliberations, representatives from the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group sponsored a session to invite teams to participate in the 2015 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s cup.

“This has been the largest competition so far and the goal is to make it the premier business plan competition in Northeast Arkansas and include the other campuses in the system as well as other colleges and universities,” said Dr. Chang who organizes the annual Business Plan Competition and serves as academic advisor for the A-State teams who compete in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup. “There is room to grow in the new freshman category to double the number of participants and the live pitch to capture more participants at the individual level.”

A record number of students from different Arkansas State colleges and campuses entered into the first round of competition. Teams formed from 165 incoming freshmen submitted a total of 65 proposals for businesses that can assist in emergency situations. The proposals were displayed in the Zeitoun Fair Oct. 8 along with the other activities that are part of the First-Year Experience.

In the business plan category, 21 graduate students submitted five plans, and 97 undergraduate participants submitted 23 plans to arrive at a new record of 28 plans for the first round of judging.

Participants enrolled from the College of Agriculture and Technology, College of Business, College of Media and Communication, College of Engineering, the Honors College, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics and University College.

The first round of the business plans was judged by 31 judges comprised of local alumni, entrepreneurs, senior managers and faculty as well as from other cities in the United States, and in eight countries including Austria, Brazil, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, the Netherlands and Pakistan. Also, a panel of 35 current graduate and senior undergraduates served as judges for the freshman category.

The judges for the final presentation on Nov. 6 were Mark Duckworth, CEO Optus; Brandon French, New Wave Wireless; Bobby Larimer, Textbook Brokers; Brian Rogers, Catalyst/astate; Steve Schrantz, Schrantz Law Firm, PLLC; and Cari White, COO Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Here are the entire list of winners, names, and ideas:

Business Plan Graduate Category
Winner ($300): Power Partners
Inna Mukhametova, Chad Lacy, Jacob Vickery, Serigne Diop
Product Developed: Electricity tracking system that allows saving money and energy at the same time

Second Place ($200): Transformative Solutions
Shuai Ma, Sarah Panhorst, Gretchen Burns, Dung Vu
Product Developed: Multi-Faucet: a multi-functional pull-down faucet with various attachments specially designed for bathroom sinks

Business Plan Undergraduate Category
Winner ($300): Agriculture Innovations
Joshua Baker, Dirk Tanner, Kenneth Rains, Franklin Kelley, Justin Bagley
Product Developed: WellsVision: a sensor driven automated irrigation system that can be monitored from a smart phone

Second Place ($200): Saf Tech
Dustin Lavender, Lillian Bryant, Amanda Barton-Smith, and Pam English
Product Developed: Guardian: a device that blocks the use of smart devices while operating a motor vehicle

Innovation Award ($200): Grand Prairie Husk
Lindsey Cole, Jason Doyle, Alex Reid, Herschel Combs
Product Developed: A tobacco-less energy pouch made of natural ingredients

Live Pitch Winner ($100): Critical Connections
Elizabeth Patchell, Korey Speaight, Megan Geisser, Victoria Childress, Rachel Bjornestad
Service Developed: Connecting patent holders with companies to commercialize their inventions

Freshman Video Pitch Category
Winner: Trackie
Brett Anderson, Cole Jenkins, Daniel Jurney, Krystal Puente
Idea: a bracelet that can be used to localize persons during emergency situations

Second Place: Lentuseal
Quinn Smith
Idea: a product that can be used to protect roofs against weather damages

Third Place: KRAM Communications
Angela Willbanks, Kalista Holloway, Miranda Perry, Robert Morris
Idea: Trucks that can be sent to disaster areas to provide telecommunications services.

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