University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Walton MBA Students Participate in Business Plan Competitions

Heartland challenge display
April 27, 2022  |  By Ontario West

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Arkansas Governor’s Cup

Degree-seeking Arkansas college students presented business plans and learned about entrepreneurship in the Arkansas Governor’s Cup business plan competition held in March. Six teams from the University of Arkansas took home a combined $77,000 in cash prizes. Walton undergraduate students Toma Tomonari and Olivia Pledger with Bento placed 2nd in the small business division winning $10,000. Walton MBA students Wesley Jackson, Brianna Jones and Natalie Akers with Orange Otter Toys placed 2nd in the small business division winning $5,000.

Walton Executive MBA student Brett Littlejohn with GammaVet placed 1st in the high-growth/technology division winning $25,000. Walton Executive MBA students Hailey Cole and Drake Harrison with CiphrX placed 2nd in the high-growth/technology division winning $15,000. Walton Executive MBA students Caleb Carman and Madison McKim with SHOCK placed 3rd in the high-growth/technology division winning $10,000. Walton Executive MBA students Amy Hopper and Joshua Walker with Horizon Health Solutions placed 1st in the elevator pitch for the high growth/ technology division winning $2,000.

Heartland Challenge Business Competition

The Heartland Challenge business plan competition is a regional pitching competition hosted by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Twelve student teams from across North America were invited to Bentonville, Ark., to compete for cash prizes totaling over $100,000 April 14-16. Founder of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Alice Walton, the Sequoia Capital Partner Jim Goetz and Founder of Carbon Inc Steve Nelson were keynote speakers at Crystal Bridges’ Great Hall. First place prize of $100,000 was awarded to KLAW Industries, Binghamton University: Jacob Kumpon, Nicholas Walling. Second place prize of $25,000 was awarded to EpiSLS, University of Michigan: Parker Martin, Cory Cooney. Third place prize of $10,000 was awarded to Beam Commerce, University of Waterloo: Dhruv Patel, Armon Shokravi, Varun Kundra, Landon Fhur. Fourth place prize of $5,000 was awarded to CiphrX Biotechnologies, University of Arkansas: Stephanie Gannon, PhD, Landon Burcham, Hailey Cole, Drake Harrison, Emilie Darrigues.

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Ontario WestOntario is from Little Rock, AR and graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in business administration. He is pursuing his MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship and works as a student advisory board program manager in the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI). His favorite hobbies include sports, family time and reading.

Walton College

Walton College of Business

Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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