On Thursday, the graduate and undergraduate winners of the 2010 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition will be announced at the sixth annual Governor’s Cup awards dinner. The dinner, always a gala event, caps months of work by hundreds of entrepreneurial Oklahoma college students. The teams submitted their written business plans in early March. The plans were evaluated through an independent review process, and the competition was narrowed to 12 undergraduate division semifinalists and seven graduate division finalists. These students gave their oral presentations on Friday and Saturday to judging panels of Oklahoma business people. It was an exciting two days, and the pressure on these student teams was intense. After all, they are competing for nearly $200,000 in cash awards in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup and next month’s Tri-State competition in Las Vegas. The top two Oklahoma teams in each division will go on to compete with winners from Arkansas and Nevada. After the oral competition, I had a conversation with Timothy Harlin, a graduating senior at Oklahoma City University who has competed in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup three years in a row. In 2008, after taking third place in the undergraduate division, Harlin and his teammates from OCU entered the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition in Singapore. In a field of 212 teams from 15 countries and 70 universities, with judges from around the globe, the OCU team captured second place in the world, bringing home another $7,500 plus the experience of meeting business leaders and other young entrepreneurs from around the world. If it hadn’t been for the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup, Harlin told me, the team would not have even considered entering an international event. And this is the point of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup. The benefits of this program don’t end with the annual awards dinner. The Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup is a catalyst. This competition attracts many of our best and brightest potential entrepreneurs and propels them on to do great things — whether it is placing in an international competition, earning a graduate degree, or carrying out their entrepreneurial dreams.