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Three Teams Advance to Next Round of Governor’s Cup


JONESBORO – Three teams from Arkansas State University have reached the semifinals and finals of the 2019 Delta Plastics Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The semifinals and finals will be Thursday and Friday, March 28 and 29, at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce headquarters in downtown Little Rock.

The teams have already won $3,000 in a competition that awards $154,000 in cash prizes. A-State is the only university in the state with teams advancing in both undergraduate and graduate divisions.

“Healthier Habits,” a smart phone application that tracks physical activity and healthy food purchases by awarding points, will compete in the undergraduate semifinal round of the Business Plan Category. The team members are Theresa Craigo of Ward, Anita Stevenson of Conway, Danita Hayes of Wilburn and Norma Taylor of Cabot. The team is advised by Marvin Jones and started the business plan development in his small business management class at ASU-Beebe last fall. Healthier Habits becomes the first team from the Beebe campus to reach the semifinal round at the undergraduate category.

“Lucky Cricket Snack Factory,” a company using cricket flour to develop a line of healthy snacks and shakes, will compete in the undergraduate semifinal round of the Business Plan Category and in the final round for the agriculture division. The team members are Adam Al-Dhanki, Samantha Brainard and James Riles. The team is advised by Dr. Erick PC Chang, associate professor of management at Arkansas State, and the team won third place in the 2018 A-State Innovation Elevator Pitch competition last fall.

“Cumulus Burn” is a mobile application that assists farmers in timing the burning of their croplands to minimize air pollution in population centers and other sensitive areas. Team members are MBA student Pierre Andrieux of Beauvais, France, and undergraduate students Case Hall of Walnut Ridge and Benjamin Tinsley of Jonesboro. The team is advised by Dr. Hilary Schloemer, assistant professor of management, and will participate in the agriculture division finals and three graduate finals — Business Plan, Innovation and Elevator Pitch.

Two additional A-State teams competed in the preliminary round at the undergraduate category, including “Nova” with Austin Sutton of Searcy and Russ Fulgham of Little Rock, and “Sneaker Home” with Michael Williams of Little Rock, Zexing Liang of Jonesboro and Braxton Williams of Jonesboro.

At a minimum, an Arkansas State team will earn one of the top two prizes in the agriculture division and the third participant is a team from Arkansas Tech University. In the other categories, the A-State teams will compete against teams from eight other universities in the state. The winners will be announced in April 11.

Since 2007, A-State teams competing in the Governor’s Cup have won over $70,000 in cash prizes. For more information about the Governor’s Cup, go to argovernorscup.org.