Undergraduate Division Semi-Finals – Thursday, March 30
Six of these teams will advance to the finals on Friday, March 31. A first, second, and third place winner will be decided after presentations March 31.
Agriculture Division Finals – Thursday, March 30
A first and second place winner will be decided after this round.
Innovation Division Finals – Thursday, March 30
A first place winner in both the Undergraduate and Graduate Divisions will be decided after this round.
Graduate Division Finals – Friday, March 31
A first, second, and third place winner will be decided after presentations March 31.
All Oral Presentations will be at the Doubletree Hotel in Little Rock.
Since 2001, the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), a 501(c)(3) affiliate of Arkansas Capital, has challenged students with ideas for new or better products or services to see if they could be profitable by putting it through a rigorous and real-world entrepreneurial process — while at the same time having the chance to win big cash awards! Thanks to the generosity of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the cash prize pool is once again $154,000, one of the largest collegiate business plan prize pools in the United States.
There is nothing to lose and much to gain by competing in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup. In addition to the real-world entrepreneurial experience, competitors also get a unique advantage in future job interviews because they can use their Governor’s Cup experience as a talking point during interviews with potential employers. Competitors also became much more appreciative of the entrepreneurial process and have applied what they learned in their professional careers in businesses throughout the state and the country.
There is no cost to enter the Governor’s Cup. It is open to degree-seeking students in any program of study enrolled at any Arkansas college or university during the summer and/or fall 2016 or spring 2017 semesters.
Join the ranks of more than 2,100 competitors and their advisors, who have been part of the proud history of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup! Follow the links at the bottom of this page for more information.
To register for the 2017 competition, go to dwrgc2017.startupcompete.co.
Click the “Create User Account” blue button. A page, “Register for a new StartupCompete User Profile” will appear.
Please fill out only the information marked with an asterisk:
Remember your email address and password. This will be the login information for your account from this point forward.
In the “Roles and Communications” box, the first statement is the onlystatement you need to answer for the purpose of the competition. It asks, “Select one or more role/s to describe your relationship with Startup Compete.” Check any box — the competition has no preference as to which box should be checked.
At the bottom of this box, uncheck the box for “Notify me via email on … New Competitions,” unless you want to receive email from Startup Compete and the Global Entrepreneurship Network.
Click “I agree” in the Terms and Conditions.
Type the letters shown in the image, and click “Save.”
Go to dwrgc2017.startupcompete.co and click the orange “Log In / Register” button on the left side of the page.
A box with an orange-gold strip across the top will appear. Under “Returning to Startup Compete,” enter your email address and your password.
If you need to use a new email address — or if you’ve forgotten the email address used previously, you will need to create a new account. See above, “New to Startup Compete.”
If you’ve forgotten your password, click on “Forgot Password?” and follow the prompts.
Next Step — Submitting Intents to Compete
The next step for the team is to submit an “Intent to Compete” at this link. Intents are due by 11:59 p.m. Friday, February 3, 2017. Teams that are still undecided about competing by February 3 should still submit an intent to compete. If a team does not submit a business plan in the competition by the February 26 deadline, the intent to compete is dropped from its Startup Compete account.
Teams who are either certain they will be submitting business plans for the competition — or teams who are still undecided — need to submit an Intent to Compete via Startup Compete by 11:59 p.m. Friday, February 3, 2017.
If business plans are not submitted by the February 26 deadline, the intent is dropped from the team’s Startup Compete account.
The next step in the competition is to prepare your business plan for uploading to Startup Compete by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 26.
Business plans are due at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 26. Plans are to be uploaded to the teams’ Startup Compete accounts at dwrgc2017.startupcompete.co.
Semi-Finalist and Finalist Teams advancing to Oral Presentations will be announced at dwrgovernorscup.org Monday, March 13, at 1:30 p.m.
A highlight of the annual Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Awards Luncheon is the Elevator Pitch Competition, where one representative from each of the undergraduate and graduate finalist teams has 90 seconds to pitch his or her team’s business plan to the audience.
The Elevator Pitch Competition is a challenging opportunity for students to shape a statement about their business plan into one that is concise, attention-getting, and can be shared when an unexpected opportunity arises to, literally, “make a pitch.” They could find themselves on the same elevator with a well-known investor and have a 90-second ride together. What do they say?
During the luncheon, competitors will meet AEAF staff in a pre-designated area to be fitted with wireless microphones, allowing them to move freely during their pitches. When the competition begins, the emcee will call the first competitor to the stage. A time clock is provided and a cue will be given to start the pitch. At 90 seconds, a buzzer will sound, and the competitor leaves the stage. The audience is then prompted to rate the pitch by text vote. Votes are tallied and an undergraduate and graduate winner is announced before the end of the luncheon. Each winner receives a $2,000 cash prize.
As pitches are being prepared, teams should consider the following for content:
Practice is key. Competitors need to get the pitches down in 90 seconds or less — and make sense while doing so. They should practice extensively with other team members and also try their pitches on others,
Learn more about how the Governor’s Cup came to be and the amazing impact it has had on entrepreneurship.
Learn the story behind this prestigious educator’s award, and how you nominate someone who deserves it.
Discover how one of the largest cash prize pools in the United States is distributed by category and winner.
View the names and business ideas of teams that have previously left the Governor’s Cup victorious.
Learn more about how you can invest in our future entrepreneurs through by becoming a sponsor here.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
AT & T
Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc.
Rose Law Firm