Kordate Solutions, representing the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, won the graduate division of the eighth annual Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Collegiate Business Plan Competition, held May 28, 2015, at Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
Led by Kenny Bierman and Phillip Turner, with Dr. Carol Reeves as faculty advisor, Kordate Solutions focuses on developing a therapeutic Alzheimer’s drug using the peptoid JPT1 to treat Alzheimer’s disease from early on-set to severe dementia.
Joshua Baker, representing Agricultural Innovations from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, beat out five other teams to win the graduate division of the Tri-State Elevator Pitch competition. He took the stage at Tri-State awards dinner to tell the audience – in 90 seconds – how his team’s business model offers a more efficient approach to farm irrigation with WellsVision, a sensor-driven automated irrigation system.
Other 2015 Tri-State Winners were:
Second Place – ParaNano
University of Central Oklahoma – Edmond
Team Members: Chelsea Larsen, Jordan Powers, Hitesh Munishamappa Prakash, Shreyas Shivaprakash, Paul Snow
Faculty Advisors: Robert Epstein, Maurice Haff
First Place – 3Denim
Sierra Nevada College – Incline Village, Nevada
Team Members: Kelly Benson, Evan Cook, Brendan Wheelwright
Faculty Advisors: Rick Parsons
Second Place – Raw
University of Oklahoma – Norman
Team Members: Ali Davis, Lauren Abston, Quincy Tresemer, Cici Zhou, Caitlin Zuerker
Faculty Advisor: Madison Jackson
Oral presentations were held May 28 at the Mirage Hotel with winners announced that night at the awards dinner. First-place winners took home a $30,000 cash prize, a team trophy and individual plaques. The second-place winners received a $20,000 prize, a trophy and individual plaques. The teams’ faculty advisors each earned a $3,500 cash prize.
Another $2,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the both of the winners of the Elevator Pitch competition. Ali Davis, representing the team Raw from the University of Oklahoma, won the undergraduate division.
“This year’s teams presented sophisticated and forward-thinking business plans that have the potential to become very successful companies,” said Rush Deacon, acting chief executive officer for Arkansas Capital. “It’s exactly the type of innovation we were looking for when we started this competition. This competition is an example of broad efforts Arkansas Capital has spearheaded to support entrepreneurship in Arkansas, and we are very proud of our student competitors.”
Also representing Arkansas at Tri-State were undergraduate division competitors TIRE from Harding University in Searcy; and Charlie’s Choices from John Brown University in Siloam Springs.
The Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Award is the pinnacle of Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competitions in Arkansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma.
The first- and second-place winners in the undergraduate and graduate divisions in each competition are invited Las Vegas to compete for a total cash prize pool of $118,000.
The Title Sponsor for Tri-State is the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Since 2008, the Reynolds Foundation has generously granted funding for the Tri-State cash prize pool and hotel, travel, and other competition expenses for students and judges. Since 2004, the Reynolds Foundation has annually funded the cash prize pools for the Arkansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma Governor’s Cup competitions.
The Presenting Sponsor for Tri-State is the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group (ACCG). The event is managed by the ACCG’s 501(c)(3) affiliate, the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF). AEAF works in partnership with colleagues from Innovation to Enterprise in Oklahoma and from the Nevada Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan consortium; Truckee Meadows Community College, Sierra Nevada College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and University of Nevada Reno.