by Mark Carter
Posted 5/22/2013 09:05 am
Updated 7 months ago
University of Arkansas startup HomeDx won the elevator pitch portion and finished second overall in the graduate-level division of the 2013 Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Governor's Cup business-plan competition Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Four Arkansas teams -- the top two winners in the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Arkansas DWR Governor's Cup -- competed against the top winners from Oklahoma and Nevada. Teams from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma took home top honors.
Picasolar, the UA graduate startup which won the Arkansas event and had experienced a successful run at national competitions this spring, didn't place in Las Vegas.
The Arkansas undergraduate teams were Catch-22 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and eScout from Ouachita Baptist University.
HomeDx team members are Calvin Smith, Will Swearingen, Max Mahler, Daniel Cherry and Audra Mazzeo. Carol Reeves is the faculy advisor. The team pocketed $20,000 for finishing second and another $2,000 for winning the elevator pitch competition at the event, in which one team member was given 90 seconds to pitch the team's product or service.
HomeDx is developing over-the-counter tests for food allergies and sexually transmitted diseases for retail distribution; Picasolar's technology increases the efficiency of solar cells; Catch-22 proposes to work with fishermen in the Mississippi River basin to turn the invasive Asian Carp into liquid fertilizer, and eScout has developed a video scouting service for college soccer coaches.
First-place winners in the undergraduate and graduate divisions received $30,000.
R2R Technologies from Oklahoma State took first place in the graduate division. It is developing "intelligent" fiber optic sensor guides. Field Focus from the University of Oklahoma took first in the undergrad division with its innovative software for the oil and gas drilling industry, and Pure Ski Experience from Sierra Nevada College in Nevada placed second. It offers advanced ski teaching methods.