Winners announced for annual Governor’s Cup business plan competition

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 914 views 

Little Rock-based nonprofit Arkansas Capital Corp. has announced the winners of its 23rd annual Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition.

The winners were recognized at an awards luncheon on April 7 at the Fayetteville Public Library Events Center.

A product designed to give duck hunters additional support and balance while removing waders (Waderbuddy), an idea to utilize “e-paper” to turn a surface such as a car bumper or laptop into a space for advertising (AdCharta), and the development of a drug that has shown promise to protect babies from maternal opioid use disorder (Pediatrica Therapeutics) won their respective divisions.

Both students and faculty members of the winning teams shared a $114,000 cash prize pool, provided by title sponsor Dhu Thompson. The Walton Family Foundation was the competition’s Venture Sponsor. Winrock Automotive and Innovate Arkansas were other major sponsors.

The 2023 Governor’s Cup winners were:

Winrock Automotive Small Business Division:

  • First Place: Waderbuddy – Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia ($10,000)
  • Second Place: Covered by Grace – Ouachita Baptist University ($7,500)
  • Third Place: EzB – Central Baptist College, Conway ($5,000)

High-Growth / Technology Division – Undergraduate Track:

  • First Place: AdCharta – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville ($20,000)
  • Second Place: Abily – John Brown University, Siloam Springs ($10,000)
  • Third Place: MicroCures – Ouachita Baptist University ($7,500)

Innovate Arkansas High-Growth / Technology Division – Graduate Track:

  • First Place: Pediatrica Therapeutics – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville ($20,000)
  • Second Place: CareMate Technologies – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville ($10,000)
  • Third Place: Vitruvian Matrix – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville ($7,500)

Elevator Pitch – $1,000 to each winner:

  • Winner – Winrock Automotive Small Business Division: Waderbuddy
  • Winner – High-Growth / Technology Division, Undergraduate Track: CarpeDerm – Harding University, Searcy and University of Central Arkansas, Conway
  • Winner – High-Growth / Technology Division, Graduate Track: U.N.C.L. – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Click here for more information on all the finalists.

Arkansas Capital Corp. has managed the Governor’s Cup since the first competition in 2001.

Since the first Governor’s Cup in 2001, 3,165 college and university students have competed, submitting 977 business ideas. For 2023, 78 students comprising 23 teams from nine Arkansas universities entered the competition.

“Once again, we at Arkansas Capital and our judges were highly impressed with the quality of plans that we saw,” Arkansas Capital CEO Sam Walls said. “We want to congratulate all our winners as it was not an easy decision. Their hard work and great ideas were evident.”

Over its history, the Governor’s Cup has awarded $2.81 million.