Thank You to the 2023 Sponsors!
High-Growth / Technology Division
Graduate Track Sponsor
Small Business Division Sponsor
Governor’s Cup Awards
The Arkansas Governor’s Cup is excited to share two major updates for the 2024 competition. First, there is a new Small Business track specifically for two-year and trade institutions in Arkansas. Second, the Graduate track in the High Growth/Technology division is now open to students from the following states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas! There is no cost to enter and the 2024 cash prize pool is in excess of $124,000!
Arkansas Capital launched the Governor’s Cup over two decades ago to encourage college students to be innovative and think like entrepreneurs. It’s a perfect opportunity for students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs and small business owners; who may just want to learn about entrepreneurship; or who already have a business idea, and they don’t want to wait until after college to launch!
The competition doesn’t require students to start their businesses, although nearly 30 companies operating in Arkansas today have their roots in the competition. C-Suite executives from several of them report their companies would not have launched if it hadn’t been for the Governor’s Cup.
Ultimately, students get a true entrepreneur education experience. They are fully immersed into what it takes to launch a startup from the ground up. The rigor of the work leads them to gain a much greater appreciation of the challenges real-world entrepreneurs face in the business model and customer development process.
Students also get constructive and meaningful feedback throughout the process from nearly 40 volunteer judges – most of whom are Arkansas-based entrepreneurs, small business owners, and current or former large corporation executives. Many competition alumni say they continue to benefit from the networking opportunities and relationships created through their Governor’s Cup experiences.
- January 8: Team Application Window Opens in YouNoodle
- February 2, 11:59 PM CST: Deadline to submit Round 1 Business Plan in YouNoodle
- February 23: Finalist Teams are notified
- March 1, 11:59 PM CST: Finalists confirm commitment to compete
- March 11: Finalist teams are publically announced
- April 1, 11:59 PM CST: Deadline to submit Round 2 Business Plan
- April 15 – 17, Little Rock, AR: Governor’s Cup Oral Competition
- April 17, Little Rock: Awards Luncheon
Previous Winners and
Awards Luncheon Videos
The Governor’s Cup has been around longer than some of today’s competitors! More than 3,000 students have been impacted since the first competition in 2001. Who were the winners?