Business Students Take First at the Tri-State Governor’s Cup

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The Progressive Solutions team left to right is Angela Langer, Drew Cleaver, Mandy Moore, Kirena Duffel, and Clayton Anderson.

Siloam Springs, Ark. (May 29, 2009) - Students from the John Brown University business team Progressive Solutions took first place honors at the Reynolds Tri-State Governor's Cup Business Plan Competition this week in Las Vegas. The students were awarded a $25,000 cash prize for their win. JBU was the only private university competing at the undergraduate level of the competition. In April, the two JBU teams took first and second place in Arkansas’s state Governor’s Cup Competition. They then competed with the top ranking teams from the Nevada and Oklahoma state competitions for the tri-state title. “It was a great joy to be at the competition, see both JBU teams perform so well, and then celebrate Progressive Solutions victory,” said JBU President Chip Pollard. “The judges were impressed, not only with the students’ basic ideas, but with their professionalism and expertise in developing and presenting excellent business plans. JBU is proud of the quality and commitment of Professor Mandy Moore and all of the students involved in this program, and deeply grateful to the Reynolds Foundation for sponsoring this event.” For the competition, each team is required to complete a business plan that includes a mission, vision, strategy, marketing, financials and investment opportunities for the first five years of business. Judges examined the plans and watch team presentations before selecting the winners. The product presented by JBU team Progressive Solutions was the Higher Hanger. JBU student Drew Cleaver invented his product when he wanted to increase the capacity of his dorm closet. Progressive Solutions developed a plan to produce and market the innovative, space-saving, Higher Hanger. Cleaver now holds a patent on the product. The Progressive Solutions consists of recent JBU graduates Angela Langer, Kirena Duffel, Clayton Anderson and Drew Cleaver. “I am so thankful for the students who spent thousands of hours writing and re-writing their business plan, receiving a lot of criticism and feedback from their advisors, and working so hard to bring an idea to market,” said Mandy Moore, JBU business instructor and team advisor. “It has been inspiring to see Drew receive a US patent for his invention, to see him form an outstanding team to write the business plan, and to share their work with others. It is rare for a college student to invent the product that wins the competition.” Progressive Solutions also won the undergraduate elevator pitch competition and a $1,000 cash prize. Clayton Anderson presented the 90 second speech, which is designed to challenge the teams to present their idea in bite-size form. “It is inspiring to see the work of our outstanding business students at JBU,” said Moore. “Both of the JBU teams that advanced to the tri-state level definitely implement JBU's model of "head, heart, and hand". I am very thankful to the Reynolds Foundation for funding the Reynolds Governor's Cup. In a time where so many are worried about the state of the economy, it is vital that we invest in the future - students who will lead the businesses of tomorrow. Seeing the work of the students from JBU, I am convinced that with hard work, encouragement, and education our economy will be in good hands.” JBU’s other team, Creatively Mine, also did very well at the competition, but did not receive first or second place. To read more about Progressive Solutions and their first product, the Higher Hanger, please visit or More information about the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup competition Business Plan competition is available at

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