JBU Sweeps Reynolds Governor's Cup

Press Release Photo

Siloam Springs, Arkansas (April 20, 2011) - Business plans from John Brown University teams took first, second and third in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup competition undergraduate division at a ceremony held in Little Rock today. The JBU business plans outlined enterprises in home crafting, potted-plant container creation, food quality measurement and foreign language curriculum for children.

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

“I can’t be more proud of how these JBU business students have applied the academic excellence taught in our classrooms to create competitive, real-world business plans,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president. “The success is a testament to the hard work and God-given talent of both our students and faculty, and I congratulate them on this great achievement.”

“We have exceptionally talented young men and women who put forth an incredible amount of time and effort into the development of viable business plans,” said Mike Kennelley, JBU associate professor of business and team advisor.  “It is a faculty member’s dream to be able to work with such talented students who understand the value of hard work.”

The University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and Harding University were the other schools represented in the undergraduate top six. Hendrix College, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas-Little Rock and University of Arkansas-Fayetteville 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.

Several weeks ago, three JBU undergraduate teams were among the top 12 teams in the state competing in the semi-final round. Agricultural Food Systems, Craftistas and GardenCraft presented their plans to a panel of judges in Little Rock. All three advanced to the final round; representing half of the top six teams in the state. Graduate team Peas and Cues were also selected as a top six team.

Undergraduate first place, Agricultural Award, Innovation Award and Best Elevator Speech:

Agricultural Food Systems – Jose David Andrade, Kirk Dennison, Lawson Hembree, and Lauren Kessler Morris

 AFS is a company focused on transforming food quality measurement. It seeks to increase value and build trust among agricultural producers, processors, and consumers. The company’s first product is a new invention created to accurately assess meat tenderness.

Undergraduate second place:

Craftistas – Zac Freeman, Camille Malkiewicz, and Troy Zellers

Craftistas is a direct selling company that focuses on providing the consumer with a convenient, creative, and memorable crafting experience in an at-home setting.

Undergraduate third place:

GardenCraft – Andrius Mikutis, Bethany Kiehlbauch, and Zach Burks

GardenCraft provides do-it-yourself hypertufa kits to take advantage of the growing trend in the gardening community to create hypertufa pots for personal use.  Hypertufa is a manufactured replication of tufa rock which provides better ventilation and irrigation for plant roots.

Graduate third place:

Peas and Cues – Brock Erdman, Carine Netto, Ryland Allen and Amanda Stacy

Peas and Cues develops, markets and sells foreign language curriculum for children ages 0-9. The fun, easy-to-use and comprehensive curriculum enables parents to prepare their child for success in an increasingly global marketplace.


Craftistas and Agricultural Food Systems 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.

Share via

Share Icon:Share on FacebookShare Icon:Email this PageShare Icon:Share on Twitter