By David Page
Courtesy of The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – In January, a team of six Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City students competed in the first Small Business Division at the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup.
In the past, the Governor’s Cup competition had divisions for graduate and undergraduate teams from colleges in the state. This year, the ninth year for the competition, the Small Business Division was added for teams from Oklahoma’s two-year, regional or private universities.
The OSU-OKC team prepared a business plan for RxOmni, an application that alerts pharmacists to possible adverse drug reactions from medications prescribed to patients. The software prompts pharmacists to ask patients questions about medications to ensure that new prescriptions don’t present a health risk.
Team RxOmni’s work on the project was successful. The team won $10,000 as Small Business Division first-place winner.
The OSU-OKC student team included Angela Davis, Angela Estevez, Herbert G. Foncham, Lori Hasty, Kris Monier and Mayra Tello. Assistant professor Amber Hefner served as the team’s adviser.
“I learned a great deal about team dynamics, leadership and how to maintain proper roles for each team member,” said Monier, the team leader. “Navigating the various schedules was a crazy challenge.”
A team from Rogers State University – J-Paxers – received $8,000 for finishing second in the Small Business Division. The Revolutionary Transportation team from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami received $4,000 for third place.
“This competition put our students in a position to develop a concept from start to finish,” Scott Donaldson, faculty adviser for the NEO team, said in a press release. “They gained experience in developing an idea, researching that idea, writing a business plan, and presenting to actual investors who evaluated their plan to decide if the idea would really work.”
The NEO team members included Stephanie Asher, a sophomore majoring in business and accounting; Karlee Gibson, a sophomore majoring in business management and marketing; Belinda Hunt, a sophomore majoring in business administration and accounting; and Robert Woods, a sophomore majoring in business and accounting.
The NEO Business and Technology Department created a class for the students.
The Governor’s Cup Small Business Division winning teams, along with those in the High Growth graduate and undergraduate divisions, were announced at a dinner in Oklahoma City. Gov. Mary Fallin was the speaker.
Governor’s Cup teams identify a concept, research the market, write a business plan and present the plan before a panel of judges. Winning teams are selected from two days of oral competition.
Teams from the University of Tulsa won first place in both High Growth divisions, each winning a $20,000 cash prize.
The High Growth Graduate Division team was EchoCharge from TU. EchoCharge presented a business plan for a technology that captures sound vibrations to generate electricity to charge cellphone batteries.
EchoCharge team leader was Katherine Sind, with team members Martin Green, Bingjie Ji and Reid Johnston. Faculty adviser was Claire Cornell.
In the High Growth Undergraduate Division, Code Sooq from TU was awarded first place for technology to create an online marketplace that connects software coders with projects submitted by companies seeking software development.
Team leader of Code Sooq was Ahmed El-Kishky, along with team members Marla Blum, Mark Denhoed and Stephen Macke. David Greer was the adviser.
High Growth Division teams were required to write and present business plans around concepts that show the potential for rapid job and revenue growth.
In the High Growth Graduate Division, a team from Oklahoma State University – R2R Technologies – won second place and $10,000. Third place and $5,000 was awarded to Turtle One, another team from the University of Tulsa.
In the High Growth Undergraduate Division, FieldFocus, a team from the University of Oklahoma, won second place and $10,000 and Animal Analytics, another OU team, was awarded $5,000 for third place.
The top two teams in the High Growth Graduate and Undergraduate divisions advance to compete for more than $118,000 against teams from Arkansas and Nevada in the Tri-State Competition May 20-22 in Las Vegas.
Three students were awarded $1,000 each for delivering winning pitches during the oral presentations. Winners by division were: Small Business, Bryce Hall, Rogers State University, J-Paxers; High Growth Graduate, Fash Fadaei, Oklahoma State University, Medishine; and High Growth Undergraduate, Susan Moring, University of Oklahoma, FieldFocus.
Three $5,000 Oklahoma Business Roundtable Paulsen Award scholarships were also presented at the banquet. The recipients were: Andrea McKinney, East Central University; Jerry Powers, Oklahoma State University; and Timothy Whitley, Oklahoma State University.
The Governor’s Cup is underwritten by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and more than two dozen local sponsors. It is managed by i2E Inc.