Seventeen teams composed of nearly 80 students and advisors from seven universities across Arkansas and the Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts have reached the semi-finals and finals of the 2019 Delta Plastics Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The semi-finals and finals will be Thursday and Friday, March 28 and 29 at the Little Rock Regional Chamber headquarters in downtown Little Rock.
Teams will be making oral presentations to six panels of volunteer judges over two days in hopes of claiming a share of the $154,000 cash prize pool. Presented by Delta Plastics of Little Rock, this cash prize pool is recognized nationally as one of the largest in the national collegiate business plan competition circuit.
The winners of the competition will be announced at the Governor’s Cup Awards Luncheon Thursday, April 11, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Wally Allen Ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
The semi-finalists and finalists are:
Undergraduate Division Semi-Finals – Thursday, March 28
Six teams will advance to the Undergraduate Division finals March 29, where judges will choose the first, second, and third place winner at the end of presentations.
Arkansas Farm Bureau Agriculture Division Finals – Thursday, March 28
A first and second place winner in this division will be decided after this round.
Innovate Arkansas Innovation Division Finals – Thursday, March 28
A first place winner in both divisions will be decided after this round.
The Winrock Group Graduate Division Finals – Friday, March 29
Judges will decide the first, second, and third place winners after this round.
Sponsorships and seats are available for the Governor’s Cup Awards Luncheon April 11. Governor Asa Hutchinson has confirmed attendance. Arkansas Economic Development Commission Director Mike Preston and his wife, Anne Imanuel Preston, will once again be co-emcees.
Congratulations to the 2019 semi-finalists and finalists!
Since 2001, the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group, through its 501(c)(3) Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), has challenged college students to bring entrepreneurial ideas and talents to life through the Arkansas Governor’s Cup. The $154,000 ALL CASH prize pool generously provided by Delta Plastics makes this competition one of the most prestigious in the country.
The Governor’s Cup was created to:
The Governor’s Cup competition experience is real-world preparation for Arkansas college students who want to be ready to seize opportunities for entrepreneurship that may come along for them either while in college or into their careers.
For questions regarding any aspects of the competition and sponsor opportunities, please contact Arkansas Capital at 501-374-9247, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Governor’s Cup is not possible without sponsors. Click here for the sponsor levels available in 2019.
Because of sponsors and donors, it costs Arkansas college students nothing to enter the Governor’s Cup!
Sponsorships and donations are terrific ways to encourage and support our collegiate entrepreneurial talent!
Please read these rules carefully. Teams will be asked to affirm they understand and will abide by these rules in their competition application.
The Governor’s Cup has moved to a new online database, YouNoodle.
Team leaders are responsible for creating the team’s YouNoodle account. The web address you’ll use to get started is: https://platform.younoodle.com/client/entry-rounds/arkansas_capital_governors_cup_2019/apply.
Bookmark this web address – it’s specific to the Governor’s Cup and will save you time as you need to get back into the account throughout the competition process. Of course, don’t forget the email address and password you used to create the account.
Please ensure your email account will accept emails from email@example.com or from any other younoodle.com address. YouNoodle will auto-generate emails regarding the status of your activity in your account (for example, whether or not something was successfully submitted).
When you click, an email will be generated from YouNoodle support, titled, “Application process started for Arkansas Capital Governor’s Cup 2019 Registration/Intent to Compete”. This is a good time to check to see if this went to your inbox instead of your junk/spam folder.
Team leaders must provide their team advisers access to the team’s YouNoodle account. Please ensure they know to set their email servers to accept messages from younoodle.com.
At the “Team Management” screen, follow the instructions to invite your adviser. He/she will then receive an email from YouNoodle titled, “You have been invited to join a team for Arkansas Capital Governor’s Cup 2019 Registration/Intent to Compete.” He/she will need to click the link in the email to create an account in YouNoodle. Once done, he/she will see a yellow flag “1” in “Notifications” under “Dashboard” in the left hand panel on the screen. In the body of the screen, he/she will see a message and an “Accept” button. Once accepted, he/she will be taken to the team’s application page and will be able to edit all information.
We strongly recommend that only you and your adviser have access to your team’s account.
If you have two advisers, giving the second adviser access to the account is optional.
Click on “Team Management” in the left panel on the screen to see if your adviser/s have accepted the invitation. If so, click “Next” at the bottom of the screen.
You’ll be taken to the next section, “Checklist”. If they’ve accepted, click “Submit Application”.
The team leader and the adviser will be able to update the team’s YouNoodle account at any time up until the deadline to upload the business plan.
FYI that for for every time you go into the account to make edits, you will be instructed to unsubmit the application. Don’t be alarmed. Once your edits are complete, click the “Submit Application” button and it will be re-submitted.
Business plans are due February 24 at 11:59 p.m. See “Submitting Your Business Plan” for instructions.
BUSINESS PLAN CONTENT
Table of Contents
Executive Summary (10 Points): Summarize how your idea was developed:
Also include a brief description of each succeeding section of the plan.
Company Overview (5 Points): Presents a vision, history, current status, strategy, goals, mission, and objectives for the business.
Products or Services (10 Points): Describes the key features and benefits, current stage of development, proprietary position, and competitive advantages of the product or service.
Market and Competitive Analysis (10 Points): Presents the growth trends and key driving forces of the industry; identifies the key characteristics and needs of the target market(s); assesses the competitive environment; demonstrates market acceptance for the product or service.
Management Team (5 Points): Backgrounds and roles of key individuals; history and ability to work as an effective team; personnel needs; organizational structure.
Operating Strategies (10 Points): Addresses the marketing, production, research and development, personnel, administrative, and financial strategies for the proposed firm.
Critical Risks (10 Points): Realistically identifies the major internal and external critical risks that could threaten the business and presents viable contingency plans to address these issues.
Cash Flow Statement (10 Points): Presents a realistic assessment of cash requirements – inflows and outflows; cash flow statement is consistent with operating and marketing strategies outlined in the body of the plan; cash flow statement information is projected annually for years 1-5.
Income Statement (10 Points): Demonstrates realistic and attractive income potential of the business; the income statement is consistent with the operating and marketing strategies outlined in the body of the plan; income statement information is projected annually for years 1-5.
Balance Sheet (10 Points): Presents a realistic assessment of the working capital and fixed asset requirements of the business; appropriately reflects the projected capital structure of the business (long-term debt and equity positions); balance sheet information is projected annually for years 1-5.
Funds Required/Used (5 Points): Clear and concise presentation of amount, timing, type, and use of funds required for venture.
Offering (5 Points): Clearly articulates the proposal/terms to investors; identifies what is being sought from investors; states how much equity will be given up in return for investment capital; presents a realistic assessment of ROI potential; presents an appropriate deal structure and possible exit scenarios.
BUSINESS PLAN FORMATTING
Business plans must be uploaded as PDFs and cannot exceed 10 MB in size.
Please ensure the name of the plan document is the same as the team name.
If plans include graphs, charts, and other elements, please ensure they fit properly into the plan document. Once uploaded, a team member or the adviser should download and review the file to ensure all contents downloaded properly and no pages are missing.
Plans are limited to a maximum of 20 pages, including the Executive Summary. The Cover Page and Table of Contents are not counted in the page limit.
Appendices are not counted as part of the page limit and should be included only when they support the findings, statements, and observations in the plan.
Plans must be typed in Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman with a 10- or 12-point font size.
Page margins must be 1 inch. Spacing between lines in a paragraph and between paragraphs must be 1.5 or double-spaced. NOTE: Font spacing, paragraph, and line spacing requirements apply to the textual content of the plan and not to titles and descriptions that accompany pictures, graphs, tables, or worksheets.
Please ensure pages are numbered.
Plans should be reviewed carefully for formatting, spelling, and grammar errors before they are uploaded. They are assigned directly to judges electronically without preview from staff. Don’t jeopardize your team’s chances with a negative first impression … get someone with new eyes to proofread your plan and make sure all text, charts, graphs, photos, etc. convert properly to the required PDF document.
Return to the Governor’s Cup link at YouNoodle and log in.
In your dashboard screen, you’ll see the large button for your team. Click on it.
Make sure all team information is correct, especially names of team members and that the “Startup Name” is the same as the name of the PDF of your business plan that you will upload.
If you need to make edits, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Unsubmit Application” button. Remember not to be alarmed – this function simply unlocks the information so you can make updates.
Once you click “Unsubmit Application”, you’ll be back into the team’s application. Make the changes you need. Scroll down until you see the header, “Business Plan Submission” and follow the instructions to upload the plan.
After the plan is uploaded, you’ll see the plan to the right of the “Browse” button. If you’re satisfied, click “Save”, then “Next”.
You’ll then be taken to the “Team Management” page. Click “Next” if you’re satisfied. Your next page is the “Checklist” page. If everything is ready to go, click on “Submit Application.” The next window will be your confirmation page.
The deadline to update team information and submit business plans is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 24.
Semi-Finalist and Finalist Teams advancing to Oral Presentations will be announced at argovernorscup.org Monday, March 11, at noon.
Below are links to previous presentations:
Apex (undergraduate) – https://vimeo.com/220806350
Actio Systems (graduate) – https://vimeo.com/170033303
Drone Surveying Solutions (undergraduate) – https://vimeo.com/169149506
Short Bow (undergraduate) – https://vimeo.com/169149495
AgCorp (undergraduate) – https://vimeo.com/169149494
Vivimmune (graduate) – https://vimeo.com/170033299
A highlight of the 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 Arkansas Capital 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.
See the 2018 Elevator Pitch finalists in action! Fast-forward to 15:50 and have fun!
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.
Discover how one of the largest ALL 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.