UA Leads Way with 10 Finalists in 2014 DWR Governor's Cup

Eighteen teams from six Arkansas colleges and universities, including 10 from the University of Arkansas, have been named finalists in the 2014 Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup collegiate business-plan competition. 

Winners in four categories will be announced at the Governor's Cup awards luncheon on April 9 in Little Rock. The Governor's Cup is managed by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, an affiliate of The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group. Arkansas Business is a sponsor of this year's event.

The UA filled 10 of the 18 finalist spots, including a sweep of the graduate-level innovation category. Other schools represented include John Brown University, Harding University, Hendrix College, Arkansas State University and Ouachita Baptist University.

This year's finalists are: 

Graduate Finalists

  • Datavis – University of Arkansas 
  • HemaNotics – University of Arkansas 
  • LumaDrop – University of Arkansas 
  • talentt – University of Arkansas 
  • Tethystructure – Arkansas State University
  • The Argenta Center – Hendrix College

Undergraduate Finalists

  • Anova Energy – University of Arkansas 
  • Arleesa, LLC – John Brown University
  • BioBotic Solutions – University of Arkansas 
  • Funding Fathers – John Brown University
  • IDA: Inexpensive Daily Assistant – Harding University
  • TruBake Technologies – John Brown University

Graduate Innovation Finalists

  • Datavis – University of Arkansas 
  • HemaNotics – University of Arkansas 
  • LumaDrop – University of Arkansas 

Undergraduate Innovation Finalists

  • Arleesa, LLC – John Brown University
  • BioBotic Solutions – University of Arkansas 
  • PUREnovation, Inc. – Ouachita Baptist University

Last year's top winners were Picasolar from the UA in the graduate division and Catch-22 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the undergrad division. Picasolar, a solar startup, followed up its Governor's Cup success with an impressive 2013 run that included the MIT Clean Energy Prize.

This year's Governor's Cup categories with their respective cash prizes:

  • Graduate Best Business Plan ($25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third)
  • Undergraduate Best Business Plan ($25,000, $15,000 and $10,000)
  • Graduate Innovation ($5,000 for first place) 
  • Undergraduate Innovation ($5,000) 

The annual Governor's Cup elevator pitch competition held at the luncheon will award $2,000 each to graduate and undergraduate winners, each of whom will be selected through an audience text message vote. Plus, this year's event will introduce the C. Sam Walls Entrepreneur Educator Award, funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to honor the former Arkansas Capital president. 

The Walls Award will be presented to two Arkansas college or university educators to honor their efforts to further entrepreneurial education in the state. Winners and their respective institutions will receive $2,500 each. 

The top two undergrad and graduate teams from the Governor's Cup will advance to participate in the DWR Tri-State Cup, which pits the top winners from Governor's Cup competitions in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nevada. Tri-State teams will compete for cash prizes of $30,000 and $20,000.