OKLAHOMA CITY – Students from eight Oklahoma schools were awarded $158,000 in cash prizes and scholarships during the 19th annual Entrepreneur’s Cup last week.
Forty-one teams entered this year’s competition, which culminated in 18 finalist teams across three business plan divisions: Small Business, High Growth Undergraduate and High Growth Graduate.
Winning teams were revealed at the Love’s Cup awards dinner at the Oklahoma History Center on Thursday, April 20.
In the Small Business division, the first place, $10,000 award went to Tidy Toasties from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. The Tidy Toasties concept is a non-messy option for on-the-go meals with crustless, sealed sandwiches.
For the High Growth Undergraduate division, the $20,000 first prize winner was ENDERO, a team from The University of Oklahoma. ENDERO’s mission is to improve the quality of life for women with innovative menstrual products.
High Growth Graduate winner Pherolize from Oklahoma State University also won $20,000 for their organic pest control business idea.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, the Paulsen Awards are $5,000 scholarships awarded to encourage Oklahoma students to become involved with economic development and entrepreneurship in the state. Three winners were announced.
“We are delighted to help provide college scholarship assistance to three outstanding students in the name of our former president, Donald Paulsen. We especially appreciate the work of Love’s Travel Stops and i2E to help bring about this annual statewide collegiate business competition,” Mark Funke, Oklahoma Business Roundtable president, said.
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April 26, 2023
Paulsen scholarship winners were Kaitlyn Stephens with Tidy Toasties from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in the Small Business division; Aaron Salazar Latham with PhilanMatch from The University of Oklahoma in the High Growth Undergraduate division; and Juardon Neal with Pyrol Waste Management from The University of Oklahoma in the High Growth Graduate division.
The Entrepreneur’s Cup is presented by Love’s Travel Stops. Jenny Love Meyer, Chief Culture Officer for Love’s Travel Stops, handed out trophies to each winning team and student.
“The last 19 years of this competition — and the many more to come — would not be possible without the continued support from sponsors like Love’s Travel Stops,” i2E Chief Executive Officer Scott Meacham said. “These sponsor organizations are investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs that will bring innovation and expanded economic development opportunities to our state.”
Second place awards went to WorldChef from Oral Roberts University, which received $8,000 for winning in the Small Business division. Know Your No from The University of Oklahoma (High Growth Undergraduate) and Fortis Fleet Technologies from The University of Tulsa (High Growth Graduate) were both awarded $10,000.
Third-place winner Take It Easel from East Central University received $4,000 in the Small Business division. Stop-and-Go Composites from The University of Tulsa (High Growth Undergraduate) and TruckWell from the University of Central Oklahoma (High Growth Graduate) received $5,000.
The 90-second pitch competition winners were awarded $1,000 each and were Madalyn Hess with Take It Easel from East Central University (Small Business); Mia-Lynne Smith with Know Your No from The University of Oklahoma (High Growth Undergraduate); and Eric Winscher with Yappi! from The University of Oklahoma (High Growth Graduate).
Top-ranked teams in the Interview competition were awarded $1,000. Small Business division Interview winners were: Go. Inception from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in the IT/App category (presented by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable); Backyard Bowhunter from the University of Central Oklahoma in the Product & Retail category (presented by BancFirst); and Outdoor Health Solutions from East Central University in the Service category (presented by BancFirst).
High Growth division Interview winners were: Pherolize from Oklahoma State University in the Energy & Environment category (presented by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber); Know Your No from The University of Oklahoma in the Healthcare category (presented by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology); PhilanMatch from The University of Oklahoma in the IT, Communications category (presented by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable); Stop-and-Go Composites from The University of Tulsa in the Manufacturing, Material Sciences, Transportation category (presented
by The Chickasaw Nation); and RENTertainment from The University of Oklahoma in the Student Generated Technology category (presented by i2E, Inc.). About the Entrepreneur’s Cup
The Entrepreneur’s Cup is a statewide collegiate business plan competition that simulates the real-world process of researching a market, writing a business plan and making a presentation to potential investors. Over its history, 2,700 students have participated, showcasing over 820 innovative ideas and receiving $2.45 million in awards. The program is sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops and administered by i2E, a private not-for-profit corporation focused on growing innovative small businesses in Oklahoma and making a positive impact on the state’s economy. More information is available at i2e.org.
Photos and Video from Awards Dinner: https://bit.ly/3HdmQQ8