John Brown University’s Natural State Bedding business team took second in the undergraduate division at the 2016 Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Governor’s Cup Business Plan Competition. Team members Jacob Hoskins, Calvin Huff, Walker Martin and Jeremiah Moore competed in Las Vegas this week against top business teams from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nevada vying for a cash prize pool of $104,000.
JBU’s Natural State Bedding team pitched a business plan for EcoAvia, an organic, more sustainable chicken house bedding. EcoAvia has the potential to increase flock health and quality while lowering energy, ventilation, and propane costs, and increasing a farm’s productivity per season. The spent product could also be sold as fertilizer.
“JBU business teams begin to prepare for this competition in August with extensive market research, product design, industry studies and financial analysis. Knowing how hard they work to get here makes their recognition thrilling not only for them, but also for me,” said Eva Fast, the team’s faculty advisor. “Every member of this team is exceptionally talented and a pleasure to advise. I look forward to what they will accomplish from here.”
In April, the Natural State Bedding team won second place in the undergraduate division of Reynolds Governor’s Cup in Arkansas as well as second place in the agriculture division and first place for innovation. Those top finishes earned them a spot to compete at the tri-state level where their second place finish netted them $20,000 in prize money.
The team presented their mission, marketing strategy, financials and investment opportunities for the first five years of business to judges and was evaluated on the viability of their business plan. Members of the team are currently evaluating plans to launch EcoAvia on the market.
Other universities represented in the undergraduate division were University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Sierra Nevada College, University of Oklahoma and University of Central Oklahoma, who took first place.
More information about the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup competition Business Plan competition is available at dwrgovernorscup.org.