JONESBORO — Creative students from Arkansas State University continue to churn out innovative ideas and earn monetary prizes for their efforts in the ninth annual 2016 Business Plan Competition. The winners were announced by the College of Business.
“We improved this year,” said Dr. Erick Chang, event coordinator and associate professor of management. “Our competition had 49 judges in total, our first elevator pitch presented in Mandarin, and thanks to the ASU Foundation for giving us the chance to give real cash to our winners. It was exciting to see all the teams leaving with an envelope with real money to distribute among themselves.”
The competition is open to all students, undergraduate and graduate. To enter, students wrote an innovative business idea and plan and documented it in no more than two pages. Entrants were allowed to work in teams of up to six people.
In the freshman category, the winner of $600 is “Path Pack,” consisting of students Sarah Handloser, Deanna Rigdon, Timi Killian and Rylee Marsh. The group proposed selling tents to benefit the homeless. Second place is “Mosquito Lancets,” a compact glucose tester. Tyler Graham, Wade Hulett and Clayton Smith picked up $300. The winners for “SafeLine” earned $150 for third place. Madelyn Cossit, Monica Lieving and Kafayat Sulaiman developed an alert system to prevent assaults.
In the B-plan competition, the $1,000 winner is Nathan Bailey from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Technology. Bailey has a patent-pending “Bailey Patch,” designed to solve polytube blowouts in farms’ irrigation systems. Lauren Patterson, Jeffrey Kevin Garner, Hunter Travis and Andrew Roach received $500 for second place and their “Pasture Parent” system that alerts farmers to control calves’ births. The $300 third place finish is “JBJ,” a system for communicating information to doctors about patients’ vital signs. The winning group includes Jodi Lewis, Jessica Lane and Beth Hiaumet.
“Quick Med” captured the live elevator pitch with a prize of $250. The idea features a ring with a QR code to record patients’ information for emergencies. The winning group includes Riley Talbut, Jansenn Wiedower, Paxton Washington and Megan Holloway.
First place ($250) for the most innovative idea went to “APC,” an automatic bowling pin cleaning system. Students include Kevin Page, Tomomi Hosoi, Terry Poole and Yasmine King. “Pasture Parent” finished second with a prize of $150.
Senior judge and College of Business alumnus Brandon French commented, “Every year, we see the level of competition improving. But, this year I was surprised with the level for all teams in terms of ideas, oral presentation skills and the live pitches.”
Ty Keller, director of A-State’s Innovation System, also commented, “I have set appointments with two of the teams to start working on potential prototypes.”
“We are now finding sponsors for our 2017 competition so companies can sponsor particular categories,” concluded Chang. “We really want other colleges in Arkansas to come and join us.”
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