Seniors Michael Crowe, Evan Malcolm and Alex Nelson were recently awarded first place in Ouachita Baptist University’s fifth annual OBU Business Plan Competition, hosted by OBU’s Hickingbotham School of Business. A total of $12,000 in prizes was awarded to the top three teams and their faculty advisors.
“The students who participate in the Business Plan Competition get an opportunity to develop a formal plan that addresses the entire business development process, from the original concept through implementation,” said Jeanie Curry, assistant professor of accounting. “The teams that are chosen as finalists present their plans to a panel of experienced business professionals who serve as judges and who give the students valuable feedback.” Curry served as faculty advisor to the winning team.
Crowe, a business administration/finance and management major from Donaldson, Ark.; Malcolm, a business administration/management major from Shreveport, La.; and Nelson, a business administration/finance and management major from Frisco, Texas; earned a $4,000 first prize for their business, PUREnovation. The plan emphasizes the conversion of traditional gas-powered vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
“Our primary focus is to enter small markets and provide exceptional quality and service to individuals who typically would not have access to this newer technology,” said Crowe.
“I was very proud of the team members,” said Curry. “They worked hard on the business plan and on their presentation, and they did a great job on both.”
Second place and a $3,000 cash prize was awarded to the team of Teodor Anghel, a psychology and business administration/management and marketing major from Ploiesti, Romania; Joao Faria, a senior business administration major from A’guas Claras, Brasil; and Sergiu Postolache, a senior business administration major from Heath, Texas. Their business, GlobScho, seeks to provide high school students around the globe with the opportunity to receive a college education in the United States by focusing on certain niche markets. Their faculty advisor was Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement.
“Our initial targets, Brazil and Romania, lack competitors for our business,” said Postolache. “We understand the value of experienced guidance and strongly believe that many doors may be open to those who have an international background.”
By aiding these international students, Postolache added that GlobScho also benefits the universities, “enriching the institutions with cultural diversity, international knowledge and insights that they carry with them from their experience abroad.”
Alex Young, a business administration/marketing major from Little Rock, Ark., was awarded third place and a $2,000 cash prize for his business plan, WaterPulse Technologies. His faculty advisor was Dr. Kent Faught, associate professor of management and holder of the Jay and Lynn Heflin Chair of Business.
“WaterPulse Technologies exists to offer the resort industry the means to maximize cost efficiency by preserving Earth’s most precious resource: water,” said Young. “In doing so, consumers will be taking part in a global effort that emphasizes wise stewardship of the planet’s resources while preserving the capital of hotel and resort managers.”
These three teams will go on to compete against Henderson State University’s top plans in the annual OBU/HSU Business Plan Competition in February. Each winning team’s faculty advisor also was awarded $1,000 each to support their work in the classroom.
For more information, contact Bryan McKinney, dean of the Hickingbotham School of Business, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5513.
By Taylor Tomlinson