College innovators were recognized Tuesday in the annual Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup for Entrepreneurial Development, presented by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation. The competition, featuring undergraduate and graduate-level business plans, is designed to encourage students of Arkansas’s universities and colleges to act on their ideas to produce tomorrow’s businesses. Awards were presented at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. More than 1,100 students representing 19 Arkansas colleges and universities have participated, and over the past eight years more than $785,000 has been awarded to student teams and their faculty advisors. Orlumet, a UALR biomedical start-up and Innovate Arkansas client, won a third-place prize in the Graduate Business Plan Division. Overall winners for 2009 were (listed with cash prize):
- Undergraduate Innovation winner — Elevate Medical, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville ($5,000), focusing on improving patient mobility and transfers.
- Graduate Innovation winner — Tears For Life, UA ($5,000), developing a non-invasive kit to test women for breast cancer using proteins found in tears.
- Undergraduate Best Agriculture Related Business Plan — Earth N’ Vessels, Arkansas Tech University ($5,000), committed to creating environmentally friendly options for the nursery and garden-center industry.
- Graduate Best Agriculture Related Business Plan — Ground Up Biosolutions, UA ($5,000), recycling nutrients into a sustainable, environmentally freindly fertilizer.
Undergraduate Award winners were:
- Creatively Mine, John Brown University ($20,000), an online children’s clothing retailer that allows young girls the chance to design their own outfits.
- Progressive Solutions, JBU ($10,000), reinventing the ordinary with a new, space-saving clothes hanger.
- Elevate Medical, UA ($5,000).
Graduate Award winners were:
- Tears For Life, UA ($20,000).
- Thanks Bud, UALR ($10,000), an online social marketplace.
- Orlumet, UALR ($5,000), whose first product is a bioactive surface coating for improving the performance and longevity of various medical devices.
Orlumet students recognized were Drew Jensen, Garima Lall, Glediana Rexha and Kevin White. Faculty advisor is Mildred Holley.