UA’s Tears of Life Business Plan Earns More Accolades

Tears for Life, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville  Team Members - Chris Elizer, Jared Greer, Jordan Greer, Bessie Williams

Tears for Life – University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
Team Members – Chris Elizer, Jared Greer, Jordan Greer, Bessie Williams

The Tears of Life business-plan team at the University of Arkansas’ Walton College of Business has been awarded the 2009 John A. White Award for Faculty-Student Collaboration. The partnership between the team and faculty member Carol Reeves won or placed in five business-plan competitions across the country, earning more than $85,000. The students’ company, Tears for Life LLC, is a medical diagnostic equipment company that is licensing technology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science. The UAMS diagnostic equipment tests for proteins found in tears to detect breast cancer. UAMS BioVentures, an Innovate Arkansas research partner, as well as more than 15 business people, advised the team on its plan. The team includes three students pursuing a managerial M.B.A. – Jared Greer, Bessie Williams and Chris Elizer – and an honors undergraduate student, Jordan Greer. Reeves is an associate professor of management and holder of the Cecil and Gwendolyn Cupp Applied Professorship in Entrepreneurship. The John A. White Award for Faculty-Student Collaboration was established in 2006 and named in honor of the former chancellor in 2008. This prestigious award is designed to highlight for first year students the academic research/projects that can be done via collaboration between faculty and students and to excite students about out-of-classroom experiences such as team research. “The committee had a very tough decision this year as we had 17 highly competitive submissions to review,” said Shelia Burkhalter, director of the First Year Experience at UA. The students and Reeves will receive $1,000 grant and be recognized at the 2009 Academic Convocation on Aug. 23 in Bud Walton Arena. This spring, the Tears of Life team won first place and $25,000 in the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Cup and $1,000 for graduate elevator pitch in Las Vegas; first runner-up and $5,000 and first place for best presentation in the Super Bowl of business plan competitions, the Global Moot Corp Competition at the University of Texas; first place and $10,000 and second place in trade show at University of Cincinnati Spirit of Enterprise MBA Business Plan Competition; first place and $20,000 at Tulane University Business Plan Competition; and first place graduate, $20,000 and $5,000 innovation award at the 2009 Arkansas Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup.