Arkansas Capital, through its affiliate, the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, (AEAF) is pleased to announce that Kordate Solutions, representing the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, has won the graduate division of the eighth annual Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Collegiate Business Plan Competition. Led by Kenny Bierman and Phillip Turner, with Dr. Carol Reeves as faculty advisor, Kordate Solutions focuses on developing a therapeutic Alzheimer’s drug using the peptoid JPT1 to treat Alzheimer’s disease from early on-set to severe dementia. Joshua Baker, representing Agricultural Innovations from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, beat out five other teams to win the graduate division of the Tri-State Elevator Pitch competition. He took the stage at the Tri-State awards dinner to tell the audience – in 90 seconds – how his team’s business model offers a more efficient approach to farm irrigation with WellsVision, a sensor-driven automated irrigation system.
Other 2015 Tri-State Winners are:
Second Place – Graduate Division: ParaNano – University of Central Oklahoma – Edmond Team Members: Chelsea Larsen, Jordan Powers, Hitesh Munishamappa Prakash, Shreyas Shivaprakash, Paul Snow Faculty Advisors: Robert Epstein, Maurice Haff Undergraduate Division: First Place – 3Denim Sierra Nevada College – Incline Village, Nevada Team Members: Kelly Benson, Evan Cook, Brendan Wheelwright Faculty Advisors: Rick Parsons Second Place – Raw University of Oklahoma – Norman Team Members: Ali Davis, Lauren Abston, Quincy Tresemer, Cici Zhou, Caitlin Zuerker Faculty Advisor: Madison Jackson Oral presentations were held at the Mirage Hotel with winners announced at the awards dinner. First place winners took home a $30,000 cash prize, a team trophy and individual plaques. The second place winners received a $20,000 prize, a trophy and individual plaques. The teams’ faculty advisors each earned a $3,500 cash prize. Another $2,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the both of the winners of the Elevator Pitch competition. Ali Davis, representing the team Raw from the University of Oklahoma, won the undergraduate division. “This year’s teams presented sophisticated and forward-thinking business plans that have the potential to become very successful companies,” said Rush Deacon, acting chief executive officer for Arkansas Capital. “It’s exactly the type of innovation we were looking for when we started this competition. This competition is an example of broad efforts Arkansas Capital has spearheaded to support entrepreneurship in Arkansas, and we are very proud of our student competitors.” The Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Award Competition is an invitation-only event. Invitations were extended to the first and second place winners of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup in Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma, the states in which Reynolds built his media empire. Now in its eighth year as a multi-state competition, the Tri-State Award business plan competition is the pinnacle of three statewide business plan competitions in which the top two undergraduate and graduate teams from each state compete for cash awards totaling $118,000. Also representing Arkansas at Tri-State were undergraduate division competitors TIRE from Harding University, Searcy; and Charlie’s Choices, John Brown University, Siloam Springs. The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group of companies empower entrepreneurs by providing capital in conjunction with community banks to businesses through its capital availability products and advocating for entrepreneurs through capital, educational, and technological improvements. Arkansas Capital serves as the platform from which new opportunities are launched. In addition to the flagship company, Arkansas Capital Corporation, there are seven affiliate and partner companies, including, Six Bridges Capital Corporation, Arkansas Capital Relending Corporation, Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, Heartland Renaissance Fund, Connect Arkansas, Pine State Regional Center, and SouthWind Analytics. To learn more, visit www.arcapital.com. AEAF was established in 1999 as a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to education-based initiatives that promote and foster the development of innovation and entrepreneurship within Arkansas. With broad support from the state’s business community, AEAF’s purpose is to nurture people and ideas to generate future Arkansas entrepreneurs.