The University of Arkansas' Sam M. Walton College of Business invites graduate student entrepreneurs from around the world to compete in a high-growth, start-up competition on May 28-29, 2020. UPDATE: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition will be delivered in a virtual format using Zoom.

Join us for our LIVESTREAMED events!

Announcement of Finalist Teams

Thursday, May 28
5:00-5:25pm

Finalist Presentations & Awards Ceremony

Friday, May 29
Presentations // 8:00 - 11:05am
Awards // 12:00 - 12:45pm

AWARDS

The prize pool includes:

Elevator Pitch:

*People's choice, live-streamed on Facebook

Investor Roundtable Awards:

*UPDATE: The investor roundtables have been cancelled
due to the change in competition format

WHAT TO EXPECT

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be hosting the competition in a virtual format using Zoom on May 28-29, 2020. On Thursday, May 28th, the 12 semifinalist teams will compete to determine the four finalists for the following day. The following activities will be streamed live on Facebook for a public audience:

The competition is overseen by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in partnership with the Arkansas Capital Corporation, a community development finance company that is known for the success of its annual Arkansas Governor's Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. Read the official competition rules and policies HERE.

PRE-COMPETITION TIMELINE

Feb. 1, 2020 - Applications open

Feb. 19, 2020 - Applications close

April 8, 2020 - Semifinalists submit intent to compete

April 15, 2020 - Semifinalists announced

May 21, 2020 - Full business plan due

May 27, 2020 - Competition kick-off/technology checks

May 28-29, 2020 - Competition dates

The Heartland Challenge is designed to simulate the process of raising venture capital for a high-growth venture. The competition allows graduate students to gain valuable experience and networking opportunities, while developing new ventures that may be based on their own ideas/technologies or those developed by others.

PURPOSE

The Heartland Challenge is designed to mimic the real-world process of raising capital for a high-growth venture. The competition allows graduate students to gain valuable experience and networking opportunities, while developing and building new ventures and technologies or those developed by others.  The spirit of the competition is to allow only ventures conceived and developed during the graduate school experience to participate. Competition directors and faculty advisers are responsible for ensuring and attesting that their teams meet these requirements. The teams are also responsible for ensuring their own eligibility.

ELIGIBILITY

The competition is for student-created, managed, and owned ventures. Students must play a major role in conceiving the venture by having key management roles and owning significant equity in the venture (50 percent or more of the equity allocated to the management team and key advisers). The objective of this rule is to exclude ventures formed and managed by non-students who have token student representation to compete.  

TEAM COMPOSITION

This is a competition for graduate students; however, teams with a minority of undergraduate students can also compete. Students from any graduate program (not just MBAs) are eligible to participate, including executive and evening format programs. Non-students may be members of the venture's management team and may participate in planning the venture. However, only students may participate in the competition. Any team participating in an undergraduate competition, regardless of team re-configuration, is disqualified from the competition.  To sign up for updates on competition rules and requirements, please email Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Director of Student Programs, Deb Williams, at startup@uark.edu

*Video footage by - ozarkcollective.com