At least 26 competitors will participate in different categories during the finals of the 2017 Arkansas State University Fall Business Plan competition.
Seven finalists will compete in oral presentation, 11 have qualified in the live pitch competition, and eight freshman video pitch competitors advanced to the final round to be held Nov. 15, starting at 9 a.m. in the executive board room (203) of the Delta Center for Economic Development on the ASU campus.
The event is free and open to the public. The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, a unit of Arkansas Capital Corporation Group (ACCG), a privately held group of for-profit and non-profit corporations dedicated to improving the lives of Arkansans by providing capital to help businesses, sponsors the event.
Dr. Erick Chang, associate professor of management and event coordinator, said judges in the final round include Brandon French from New Wave Wireless, Bobby Lorimer from Textbook Brokers, Brock Ferguson from Centennial Bank and Ty Keller, director of the A-State Innovation System.
“In our 10th year, we received 38 entries with 141 participants that ranged from incoming freshmen to graduate students from four colleges,”Chang said. “Our first round of judging has not changed over the recent years as we are fortunate to keep the engagement of our alumni living abroad and also here in Jonesboro as well as a network of entrepreneurs, professionals and professors. This really gives consistency and improves the quality of the submissions. We are really proud that our students get virtual support and advice from individuals living in Europe, Asia and Latin America. I am not aware that similar competitions in the world can make the same statement.”
The competition awards $2,500 in cash that comes from the cumulative winnings that ASU has won in the last three Governor’s Cups. During the final round, the freshman category will record video elevator pitches that will be judged online, and the best proposal will win $250. The business plan category offers a winning prize of $750 and $250, for the most innovative idea. The live elevator pitch winner will take $250. Additional monetary prizes will be given to finalists.