JBU Business Teams Win Big at Tri-State Governor's Cup

Business-plan teams from John Brown University in Siloam Springs and the University of Arkansas were winners at the 2012 Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Governor's Cup competition this week.

JBU startup Hydrovate won first place overall in the undergraduate division as well as the undergrad elevator pitch competition. Another JBU team, Simpler Solutions, won second-place in undergrad, and SpatiaLink Solutions from the UA won the graduate-level elevator pitch competition.

The three-day competition in Las Vegas brought together winning teams from state competitions in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nevada -- the three primary states of the old Donrey media empire -- to compete for a top cash prize of $30,000.

Hydrovate, which developed an innovative hydration solution for cattle and other farm animals, took home $30,000 for first place. Simpler Solutions, with its home paint sampling system, won $20,000. Eva Fast is the faculty advisor to both JBU teams.

Supply-chain software provider SpatiaLink and Hydrovate each won $3,500 as pitch winners. The top two winners in the graduate division were Geyser Flow Control, a water flow restrictor for irrigation systems, and MASH Tool USA, a demolition tool, both from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Jeff Amerine, Innovate Arkansas advisor, technology licensing officer at the UA and serial entrepreneur, called the Arkansas teams' performances fantastic news for the state.

"The results are yet another indication of the quality of the startups that are being launched in Arkansas," he said. "The startup ventures being created in Arkansas are as good or better than startups coming from anywhere in the world, and the world is beginning to take notice."

JBU and UA teams took home top honors as well from the Arkansas Governor's Cup competition held in April.