C. Sam Walls Entrepreneur Educator Award

The “C. Sam Walls Entrepreneur Educator Award” was established by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to honor Sam Walls, Jr., for his relentless advocacy for entrepreneurial education in Arkansas.

Sam joined Arkansas Capital in 1989. He was promoted to CEO in 1995 and led the company until his retirement in July 2013.

With the support of the Arkansas Capital Corporation Board of Directors, Sam created the Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition, which has became one of the premier collegiate business plan competitions in the United States and has been used to spearhead Arkansas Capital’s broad effort to empower entrepreneurship in Arkansas.

Since 2001, more than 2,650 students from 20 of the state’s four-year colleges and universities have competed in the Governor’s Cup, submitting 821 business plans. Winning teams and their faculty advisors have been awarded more than $2.2 million in cash prizes.

The C. Sam Walls Entrepreneur Educator Award honored two college or university educators who worked to foster entrepreneurial education on their campuses. Each winner received $2,500 in cash to be used at his/her discretion. Their institution also received $2,500 for the furtherance of entrepreneurial education.

The awards were presented to the winners during the annual Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Awards Luncheon. The winners were:






Eligibility and Nomination Requirements:

Who is eligible for the award? 
A member of the faculty or administration of an Arkansas college/university that is currently participating, or has participated in previous years, in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Business Plan Competition.

Who can make nominations?
Any member of the faculty or administration of the nominee’s academic institution or any current or former student competitor.

Nomination format:
Nominations are to be submitted in writing, typed in 12-point Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Nominations are limited to five pages.

Nomination contents:
Please begin the nomination with a cover page, including a date and the following information for both the nominator and the nominee — name, title, institution, street address, city/state/zip, email address, and phone number. This page is not included in the five-page limit. For the nomination, please include:

  1. A statement on how the nominee meets the eligibility requirement.

  2. Why you are making the nomination.

  3. A narrative on what the nominee has done to promote entrepreneurial education on his / her campus. The narrative may include how he/she has:

    • encouraged teams to participate in the Governor’s Cup,

    • worked to integrate entrepreneurs and professionals from the local community to assist students in entrepreneurial education,

    • worked to include students from multiple disciplines (agriculture, business, hospitality/tourism, engineering, science, healthcare, etc.) to participate in business plan competitions and other entrepreneurial education activities,

    • effected changes in the curriculum and on campus to include entrepreneurship,

    • encouraged students to compete in other business plan competitions or to actually implement their business plans.

Submission of nominations

Email, mail, or fax nominations to:

AEAF – C. Sam Walls Award
200 River Market Ave., Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Attn: Marie Bruno

Email: mbruno@arcapital.com

Fax: 501-374-9425


Tuesday, April 3, 2018; 5:00 p.m. CST

Notification of Winners

The two winners and their nominators will be notified by phone by Friday, April 6. Nominees and their nominators will be provided complimentary tickets to the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Awards Luncheon.