John Brown University teams took first and second in the undergraduate division of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup business plans competition during a ceremony held in Little Rock on Wednesday. The JBU business plans outlined enterprises in paint sample innovation and livestock hydration systems.

In addition, JBU teams won the Innovation Award in the graduate division and the Agricultural Award and the Elevator Pitch Award in the undergraduate division. JBU teams were awarded a total of $52,000 in cash prizes.

“Our students have worked exceptionally hard to develop an idea from the ground up and transform it into a viable business plan,” said Eva Fast, JBU instructor of business and team advisor. “This kind of opportunity impacts our students far beyond graduation and it’s exciting to see their work acknowledged with such prestigious awards.”

The University of Central Arkansas and Harding University were the other schools represented in the undergraduate top six. University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University and University of Arkansas-Little Rock rounded out the top six team in the graduate division.

The competition requires each team to complete a thorough business plan including a mission, vision, strategy, marketing, financials and investment opportunities for the first five years of business.

Undergraduate first place: Simpler Solutions– Brandon Knight, Shantelle Overby and Jamison Hofer.

Simpler Solutions strives to enhance and simplify the paint sampling process by becoming the leading company for paint sampling innovation. We want to inspire confidence and creativity and provide consumers and manufacturers with a simpler, more innovative and cost-effective method of sampling paint.

Undergraduate second place, Agriculture Award and Elevator Speech Award: Hydrovate– Tina Funk, Josh Garrett, Amanda Abramovitz and Rolando Ochoa.

Hydrovate offers products that aid the livestock industry by providing improved hydration systems. Hydrovate’s first product, the EcoTrough, is a self-cleaning animal watering device that maximizes animal health and almost entirely eliminates the labor and contamination associated with animal hydration.

Graduate Innovation Award: Innovative Athletic Solutions – Brittany Hopper, Matt Brooker, David Castagne and Abel Galliguez.

Innovative Athletic Solutions’ first product MudOFF is a pregame formula applied to the sole of outdoor athletic cleats which reduces mud buildup. The only product made for this purpose, MudOFF helps performance in muddy conditions and makes cleaning easier by creating a barrier which inhibits mud clinging to the cleat.

Simpler Solutions and Hydrovate will travel to Las Vegas in May to compete in the Tri-State competition.

More information about the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup competition Business Plan competition is available at dwrgovernorscup.org.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked first by “U.S. News & World Report” in the Southern Region among baccalaureate colleges. JBU enrolls more than 2,000 students from 42 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Pictured: front row, left to right: Tina Funk, Hydrovate; Shantelle Overby, Simpler Solutions; Jamison Hofer, Simpler Solutions; Matt Brooker, Innovative Athletic Solutions; C. Sam Walls, CEO of the Arkansas Capital Corporation, Brittany Hopper, Innovative Athletic Solutions; Ashleigh Dean, business programs graduate assistant and Amanda Abramovitz, Hydrovate.

Second row, left to right: David Castagne, Innovative Athletic Solutions;Abel Galliguez, Innovative Athletic Solutions; Josh Garrett, Hydrovate; Brandon Knight, Simpler Solutions; Eva Fast, JBU instructor of business and team advisor and Rolando Ochoa, Hydrovate.