MAY 20, 2009

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OU Students Win Top Honors at Governor’s Cup Competition

University of Oklahoma student teams won five of the six top honors at the 2009 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition in Oklahoma City on April 13.

The three tops spots in the undergraduate division were all won by OU teams, with the first-place $20,000 prize going to OU for the Renephron Pharmaceuticals business plan, which presented life-changing drug therapies for patients with polycystic kidney disease and other inflammatory diseases. Team members include John Woodson, Ben Ikard, Juan Diego Alonso and Sam Galoob.

OU teams Dust Down and Fifth Slope were awarded second- and third-place honors in the undergraduate division. Dust Down’s team members are Blaine Pinard, Steven McClung, Ryan Reber, Taylor Toth and Heather Matthews. Their business concept provides an oil polymer that, when applied to unpaved roads, reduces dust and erosion. Fifth Slope’s business plan, presented by team members Andy Nicek, Bradley Short, Justin Shofner, Doug Rains and Daniel Sposito, introduces a form-fitting, inflatable ski boot liner that provides custom ski footwear that increases both the wearer’s comfort and safety.

In the graduate division, OU’s Digital Native Learning and Bio-Oil Extraction business plans took home second- and
third-place honors. Digital Native Learning’s team includes Matt Colwell, Stafford Marquardt, Steven Watts and Glenne Whisenhunt. They presented the development of an innovative software program that provides a digital learning environment shown to be effective by the work of the K20 Center at OU. Bio-Oil Extraction brings an advanced technology to make biodiesel a viable alternative fuel. Nicholas Harrison, who also was awarded a $5,000 Oklahoma Business Roundtable Scholarship at the event, joined with Linh Do and Greg Khandogin as team members.

The teams are sponsored by OU’s Price College of Business and the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth. The Price College of Business ranks in the top 5 percent of all U.S. undergraduate business schools based on recent ranking data, with such programs as the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies serving as an example of the innovative areas of study available at Price College. OU’s Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth provides an interdisciplinary environment for researchers, entreprenuers, and students to collaborate in growing and diversify Oklahoma’s economy through the nuturing of technology-based enterprises.

The goal of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition is to encourage students of Oklahoma universities and colleges to act upon their entrepreneurial ideas and develop skills to lead tomorrow's innovative new businesses. The business plan competition is in its fifth year.