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.

Bear State Bank Supports Fleischer Spirit Scholars Program

Bear State Bank of Little Rock is making a gift of $50,000 to the Fleischer Spirit Scholars Program at the University of Arkansas. The program fosters commitment and entrepreneurial growth for Arkansas communities. It was established by Morton H. Fleischer, co-founder and chair of STORE Capital Corp., to reach low-income, first-generation college students living in Arkansas who are interested in pursuing degrees in business.

“We are thrilled that Bear State Bank is sponsoring an academic program that gives back to the community, creates local pride and supports individual growth for bright, promising students,” said Barbara Lofton, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “By investing in our students, Bear State is investing in Arkansas.”

The Fleischer Spirit Scholars Program enables high school juniors and seniors in Arkansas to attend a week-long summer bridge program while living in residence halls on campus. Those who enroll in Walton College also receive tuition support and mentorship for four years. Walton College hosts this program and provides programmatic support during the students’ summer stay and one-on-one partnership with student and faculty mentors during their undergraduate studies.

Read the entire story at Arkansas Newswire.

 

Ridge Co-Authors Harvard Business Review Article Looking at Conflicts of Interest in Congress

From 2005 to 2010, the average S&P 500 firm had seven members of Congress who owned stock in the firm, and some companies had closer to 100 members owning stock, according to a new study co-authored by a Walton College assistant professor of management. Continue reading Ridge Co-Authors Harvard Business Review Article Looking at Conflicts of Interest in Congress