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A-State College of Business Announces 2014 Business Plan Finalists


JONESBORO — Finalists for the seventh annual fall 2014 Business Plan competition, hosted by Arkansas State University’s College of Business, have been announced. The business plan finalists will deliver a 10-minute oral presentation on Thursday, Nov. 6, in the executive board room located on the second floor of the Delta Center for Economic Development, 319 University Loop, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In addition, invitations were sent to teams to deliver a 60-second live elevator pitch from 12-12:30 p.m. During judging deliberations, representatives from the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group will sponsor a session to invite teams to participate in the 2015 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s cup.

The finalists in the freshman category include Air&Water Test kit, All-in-1 Disaster flotation kit, Distress Alert, FIND, Fire Glow Technologies, KRAM Communications, Ice-X, Lentuseal, Portapower and Trackie.

Finalists in the business plan category graduate division are Power Partner and Transformative Solutions.

Agriculture Innovations, AgriHealth, Grand Prairie Husk, Eyewitness, SafTech and My Mail are finalists in the business plan category undergraduate division.

Participants for the elevator pitch competition include Around the World, Fast Lane Grocery, Flash Pen, K-Power, Craft Gen, NFOP, Connect, PinPoint, S-Life and TopSpot.

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.

“This year we have the most diverse and helpful group of online judges,” said Dr. Erick Chang, chair of the entrepreneurship committee. “On one side, we had recent graduates who had the experience of winning the university competition or participating in the Governor’s Cup. We also have judges with no ties to the university but with day-to-day experience on developing a variety of businesses from small to million dollar ones who contributed with their feedback. On the other side, we can be proud of calling our judging panel global instead of just international and not every business plan competition can make such claim.”

The finalists in the freshman category will deliver a 90-second video elevator pitch of the proposal that will be sent to a panel of online judges to determine the winners.

First round judges include Luis Quinto, Carsa, Guatemala; 
Alejandro Contreras, TIM, Brazil; 
Bennerico Naivelli, I. Naivelli & Co., Fiji;
Jose Maxwell, Banco Industrial, Guatemala; former business plan competitor Jackie Dotson, A-State registrar office;
Federico Ochoa, Scotia Bank, Mexico;
Morgan Jines, former business plan winner, Cusi, Jonesboro;
Mariela Quintero, Pigmaleon, Guatemala;
Juan Jose Pratdesaba, Pigmaleon, Guatemala;
Magdy Noguera, University of Idaho;
Andrew Todd, Beall Barclay; Michael Guggenberger, former Governor's Cup participant, ABN Amro, Netherlands.

Also serving as judges are former Governor’s Cup participant Michael Reiter, Henkel, Austria;
Daniel Westerkamp, former Entrepreneurship Week chair, Medisana AG and Vintessa owner and founder, Germany;
Sarah Reiermann, former Governor's Cup participant, Siemens, Austria;
Roger Sandoval, Tigo-Milicom, Guatemala;
Esra Memili, University of North Carolina-Greensboro;
Marion Chatelin, former Governor's Cup participant, Sheikh Zayed International Academy, Pakistan.

Rounding out the first-round judging crew are
Ana Lucia Chang, Busca y Come, Guatemala;
Rafael Gordillo, Herron, Guatemala;
Carolina Uribe, Kirzner Entrepreneurship Center, FM, Guatemala;
Garrett Barnes, former business plan competitor, Bono;
Brandon French, New Wave Wireless, Jonesboro;
Summer Deprow, Williams Baptist College, Walnut Ridge;
Marvin Jones, ASU-Beebe;
Gail Hudson, Arkansas State; Philip Tew, Arkansas State;
Robert Bahn, A-State Small Business 
and Technology Development Center; Laura Miller, A-State Small Business and Technology Development Center;
Clint Vogus, Arkansas State;
Bill Hu, Arkansas State;
John Robertson, Arkansas State and the 26 master of business administration and seven undergraduate students from strategic management who judged the freshman entries.

The judges for the final presentation on Nov. 6 are 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.

Prizes totaling $1,800 will be awarded to the winners in the different categories. In the business plan categories, winners will receive $300 for first place and $200 for second. The elevator pitch winner will receive $100. An innovation award of $200 will be given to the team who can present the most innovative idea for a product or service. In the freshman category, winners receive $250, $150 goes to second place, and $100 for third-place.

Prior winners of the A-State business plan competition have successfully competed in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup where A-State students have won $11,000 since 2007.

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