Three University of Tulsa teams advanced to the presentation round of the 2015 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competition. Statewide winners will be announced during a gala April 16 in Oklahoma City.
The Governor’s Cup simulates the process of creating a business plan and pitching the idea to potential investors. TU team PuraDyne advanced in the High Growth Undergraduate Division, and TU teams EncrypTech and AerOcean advanced in the High Growth Graduate Division. AerOcean was also one of five interview winners in the first round.
Thirty-six teams from universities and colleges across Oklahoma submitted business plans for the first round of the competition. Twenty-three teams were selected to compete in the oral presentation rounds on April 10 and 11 in Oklahoma City. The students will have 20 minutes to present their business concepts to a panel of local investors, after which they spend 15 minutes answering questions.
PuraDyne team leader Travis Woodard has partnered with Michael Crockett and Austin Evans. Crockett and Evans worked with Justin Chalker, who served as assistant professor in TU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2014, to develop a plasticized sulfur compound that detects and extracts mercury from water and steam to reduce mercury levels in wastewater. Claire Cornell, assistant director of entrepreneurship at TU, serves as adviser for PuraDyne.
AerOcean, a product developed by TU that substantially reduces watering and irrigation costs in the agriculture industry by using the condensation of moisture already present in the atmosphere, is led by Philip McCoy and includes team members Josh Donaldson, Jared Starkweather and Gann Swan. AerOcean’s faculty adviser is Todd Otanicar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
EncrypTech provides network security management services using patented encryption technology to help companies securely store, organize and search their networks in a minimally invasive way. The team comprises leader Jordan Hunt and members Elizabeth Akin, Michael Haney, Ran Li and Cathy Zhao. John Hale, Tandy Endowed Chair in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, serves as faculty adviser.
In 2014, TU students took top honors in both the undergraduate and graduate high growth divisions for the second consecutive year. Owlpal Healthcare and Valoshade placed first and second, respectively, in the High Growth Undergraduate Division. TU team AeroHead placed first in the High Growth Graduate Division.
The Governor’s Cup is managed by technology company i2E Inc. and is underwritten by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and more than two dozen sponsors.