RSU Students Advance in Statewide Business Plan Competition

A team of Rogers State University students has advanced to the semi-final round of the statewide Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition.

The RSU team is one of 12 undergraduate teams invited to give oral presentations about their business plans to a panel of judges during the semi-final and final rounds on April 13-14 in Oklahoma City. The RSU team is the only group from a regional university that was selected at the undergraduate level. 

“We are extremely proud of our student team and their faculty adviser,” said Dr. Bruce Garrison, dean of RSU’s School of Business and Technology. “Participating in this competition is one of the many ways the School of Business and Technology helps students apply their classroom skills in real life situations.”

According to i2E, the competition administrator, business plans were submitted by 21 undergraduate teams and 14 teams of graduate students from 14 campuses across Oklahoma.

From those presentations, three winners will be selected and announced during an April 24 event at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Event Center in Oklahoma City. The Governor’s Cup business plan competition offers more than $100,000 in cash prizes and about $50,000 in in-kind services. It is sponsored by i2E, the not-for-profit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based start-up companies.

As a semi-finalist in the statewide undergraduate competition, the RSU student team will receive a $1,000 cash award and the faculty adviser will receive a $500 cash prize.

The RSU student team is comprised of five students: team leader Emily Wiswell, of Bartlesville; Brandon Phillips, of Catoosa; John Losey, of Claremore; Bailei Landis of Skiatook, and Gina Casto, of Claremore.

Dana Moore Gray, instructor in the RSU Department of Business, served as the faculty adviser with assistance from Jeri Koehler of RSU’s Innovation Center.

The RSU students designed a business plan for The start-up company is a web-based business which works to match qualified students with intern opportunities around the world and the founder, Bill Bowman, is a client of the RSU Innovation Center.

During the independent review phase of judging, which determined the undergraduate semi-finalists, each business plan was rated by at least three panels of judges. Each business plan must have been for a seed, start-up or early-stage venture funding and address the entire business concept, including implementation.

The winning teams in the undergraduate competition will be announced April 24 and receive $20,000 cash, the second place teams will receive $10,000 and the third place teams will receive $5,000. The faculty advisers for each of the first place teams will receive $1,500 cash, and the advisers of the second and third place teams will be awarded $1,000 each.