In search of relief from achy joints? Wish you could architect the perfect vacation experience? Interested in combining your love of video games and winning big money by exploring the emerging esports industry? Student entrepreneurs from UNLV have got a business plan for that.
These ideas and more helped three student teams from UNLV emerge as winners in the 2017 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition.
Of the more than three dozen teams competing in the Governor’s Cup — which is designed to foster economic development and creative learning by encouraging multi-disciplinary student teams from Nevada universities and colleges to use their ideas and talents to create tomorrow's businesses — eight finalists came from UNLV's Lee Business School.
Ultimately, one undergraduate team from UNLV and two at the graduate level took home three of the contest's seven awards, walking away with more than $55,000 in cash and prizes to be used to bring their ideas to market. Teams RAD and Window Magic, which placed first and second in the graduate division, and GameTrainer, which placed second in the undergraduate level, will move on to the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Competition to compete against teams from Nevada, Arkansas and Oklahoma on May 31.
The Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup is the only statewide collegiate business plan competition that encourages students from Nevada's universities and colleges to consider entrepreneurship as a career option and gives students real-world experience in developing business plans. Organizers urge teams to combine members from technical and business disciplines in an effort to bring together the pieces necessary for bridging the gap between technology and the marketplace.
Student teams and their faculty advisors compete in undergraduate and graduate divisions as well as the Lt. Governor’s Award, a parallel competition for the business plan that best employs clean, renewable, or efficient energy technologies and services. Students involved in the competition gain experiences working with successful entrepreneurs, lenders and investors; team-building opportunities; business planning skills; and media exposure.
The 2017 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup award winners are:
First Place - $25,000 - RAD - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Second Place - $15,000 – Window Magic- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Third Place - $10,000 - Suitich - University of Nevada, Reno
First Place - $25,000 - LIMIT - Sierra Nevada College
Second Place - $15,000 - GameTrainer - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Third Place - $10,000 - FolloMe - University of Nevada, Reno
Lt. Governor's Award
$10,000 - LIMIT - Sierra Nevada College
Business ideas from all eight UNLV finalists represent a cross-section of topics of interest to people in Nevada and beyond, including dating, sustainable gardening, and more:
GameTrainer is an esports website where users learn how to improve at video games, and get trained and coached by top-ranking competitive players.
Collage is a social network, peer-to-peer marketplace, and dating and meet-up service exclusively for students within a single college campus, allowing students to engage with their peers.
Aftaz Growing Systems LLC
Aftaz Growing Systems LLC designs and builds aquaponic growing systems that allows individuals and organizations to grow a variety of vegetables in a sustainable way. Aftaz has designed a single-bed system called The UniStar that is perfect for home and educational use. Aftaz also has the ability to design custom systems that will fit any space, which are currently in use at Desert Bloom Eco Farm.
WaterNeat will be a retail store providing the most technologically advanced EPA-rated water efficiency devices and fixtures to homeowners and residents of Las Vegas and surrounding areas. The store will be an interactive environment for the customers to see the savings and feel the difference between efficient fixtures and non-efficient fixtures. WaterNeat will also provide solutions for water storage, filtration, and treatment.
Window Magic is a custom experience developer with a focus on the hospitality industry. Using current OLED technology, Window Magic can enhance or completely alter the view out of any resort suite window; transforming and customizing the guest experience at the same time.
Hydrophobic Plastics, Inc
Hydrophobic Plastics, Incorporated (HPI) provides low cost, state-of-the-art, and environmentally-friendly hydrophobic acrylonitrile butadine styrene (ABS) for use in 3D plastic printers. A signature product, ABS Plus, provides an innovative and customizable solution to meet the hydrophobic needs of 3D plastic printing applications. A pioneering procedure can create a contact angle of 110 degrees or more for the entire life of the product without sacrificing structural integrity or requiring a post-manufacturing treatment process that utilizes harsh chemicals.
The Resilient Arthroplasty Device (RAD) is a new and patented technology that will revolutionize how the orthopedic community treats and approaches knee pain and total knee arthroplasty (replacements).
Hostopia, a hostel to be located in downtown Las Vegas, aims to be a part of the cross-cultural understanding solution. Making it a priority to equate the hostel to a constant reminder of our connection to the whole world, Hostopia will be a proactive leader within the industry driven by good choices that foster positive impacts for future generations.