Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Wasson Wins Social Innovation Hub’s Inaugural Competition

A panel of faculty and expert judges selected sophomore Laura Wasson, a dietetics and human nutrition major, as the winner in the first-ever Design Solution Challenge, a semester-long social entrepreneurship competition sponsored by the Social Innovation Hub and the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Continue reading Wasson Wins Social Innovation Hub’s Inaugural Competition

State Rep. Warwick Sabin to Speak on Social Entrepreneurship

Arkansas State Representative Warwick Sabin will deliver a talk on the social entrepreneurship movement in Arkansas at Willard J. Walker Hall, room 403, on the University of Arkansas campus, at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 22. The talk is free and open to the public, and no registration is required. Continue reading State Rep. Warwick Sabin to Speak on Social Entrepreneurship

University Receives Two Campaign Gifts in Support of Entrepreneurship Hub

Two University of Arkansas alumni and their wives are contributing a total of $600,000 for a new entrepreneurship hub that will support students from across campus. Jerry and Kay Brewer of Fayetteville are contributing $500,000 to create the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, and their son, Clete Brewer, and his wife, Tammy, of Rogers are contributing another $100,000. Continue reading University Receives Two Campaign Gifts in Support of Entrepreneurship Hub

Grox Industries to Compete in Rice Business Plan Competition

Grox Industries, a University of Arkansas entrepreneurship team developing a nanomaterial-based glass coating that improves the energy efficiency of windows, will compete with some of the world’s top universities for more than $1 million in prizes at the 17th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University, April 6-8, 2017.

March 16 marks the opening of the 2017 People’s Choice Competition that challenges the spirit of each university. Team members, fellow students, alumni, family and friends can vote for their favorite team via a Facebook survey. People can participate by going to https://poll.fbapp.io/2017rbpc. The winner will be announced, Saturday, April 8, at the awards banquet. More than 16,000 votes were cast in 2016.

The team includes U of A students:

  • Andrew Miles, an executive M.B.A. student in the Walton College
  • Witness Martin, a master’s degree candidate in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Ting Zheng, master’s in accounting in the Walton College
  • Willie Evans, an undergraduate chemistry major in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
  • Stonie Hopkins, who is also enrolled in the executive M.B.A. program.

The winner will take home a grand prize valued at more than $450,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ Marketsite. Judges select the winner based on the company that represents the best investment opportunity.

The teams for this year’s competition were chosen from nearly 350 entrants to compete in four categories: life sciences; information technology/Web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and other.

More than 163 former competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today and another 20 have successfully sold their ventures. Past competitors have raised in excess of $2 billion in funding and created more than 2,000 new jobs.

More than 140 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition, which includes 275 judges from the investment sector and awards more than $1 million in prizes. Top prizes include the $300,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, the $200,000+ OWL Investment Prize and the $100,000 Cisco Innovation Challenge Prize.

This year’s other prizes include the $50,000 U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Prize, the $50,000 Second Prize, the $25,000 nCourage Women Courageous Entrepreneurs Prize, the $25,000 Women’s Health and Wellness Innovation Prize and the $20,000 NASA Earth/Human Health and Human Performance Innovation Cash Award.

For more information on the 2017 Rice Business Plan Competition and past competitors’ success stories, visit www.rbpc.rice.edu.

Enactus Partners with the American Legion to Support Community Programs

Enactus, a student-led entrepreneurial organization at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, is partnering with the Shelton Tucker Craft American Legion Post #27 in Fayetteville to remodel the facility, revitalize its business operations and increase its membership.

The Enactus team will develop a sustainable business model to allow American Legion members to refocus on community outreach and education. The post operates a volunteer-staffed bar and restaurant to fund outreach and social programs that educate young people about democracy and military service and provide veterans and their families with social opportunities, career skills and other support.

The Enactus team is also developing a membership and marketing campaign to recruit members from the Gulf War, Iraqi Freedom, Desert Storm and Afghanistan conflicts to increase membership at the post. The student team created a Go Fund Me site  to support these initiatives. Enactus plans to host an official grand reopening of the post in July 2019 to coincide with the Post’s centennial celebration.

“I was inspired by the members of this American Legion Post,” said Pamela Styles, associate director of outreach for the Center for Retailing Excellence and Walton Fellow for the University of Arkansas Enactus team. “The Enactus students and I were privileged to attend their November membership meeting. I was in awe of their tremendous sense of duty to this country and to their brothers in arms. Being a witness to the reverence with which they conducted the MIA ceremony dedicated to those still missing but not forgotten, the pledge of allegiance, a prayer, and the reading of the preamble to the Constitution touched me deeply. These men and women have given the ultimate in service and continue to serve the community in which they live.”

About the Shelton Tucker Craft American Legion Post #27: The Shelton Tucker Craft American Legion Post 27 was chartered July 31, 1919. Its name honors three local servicemen, Martin Lynn Shelton, William Marion Tucker and Clarence B. Craft. The post conducts numerous programs that serve the community and fellow veterans and their families. It supports more youth attendance to American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, which highlight government and leadership skills, each year than any other post in Arkansas.

About the Center for Retailing Excellence: The Center for Retailing Excellence was established in the Walton College in 1998 with a portion of the $50 million endowment from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. The center focuses on developing future leaders and serves as a bridge between academics and the retail industry.

EPIC Spotlight: Bjorn Simmons

If you think marketing and entrepreneurship pertains only to business, guess again. Bjorn Simmons will tell you that entrepreneurial spirit and a know-how attitude can effect change in many aspects of life, whether it’s helping free a man wrongfully imprisoned or creating a tool that can benefit businesses globally. Continue reading EPIC Spotlight: Bjorn Simmons