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.
In addition to their presentations to a national panel of judges May 31, the 12 teams had another opportunity to promote their business ideas to a wider audience, including representatives of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, via a :90-second elevator pitch competition at the awards dinner. Arkansas teams won both categories – the undergraduate division winner was Michael Bennett, representing Easy Dam from John Brown University, and Tiffany Jarrett scored first place in the graduate division for Rejuvenics Technologies from the University of Arkansas. Both Bennett and Jarrett were presented with $2,000 cash prizes.
This is the final year of the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State competition. Since the first state competitions in 2004 (with Tri-State added in 2008), the Reynolds Foundation invested more than $9 million in grants. Arkansas Capital launched the state’s first business plan competition in 2001, which paved the way to the partnership with the Reynolds Foundation over 12 of the last 13 years.
Since the first Tri-State event in 2008, more than 1,500 teams have competed from nearly 40 colleges and universities throughout the three states, winning $6.2 million in cash awards.