Four UNLV student teams took top prizes and collected $65,000 in prize money last night in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition, a statewide contest designed to encourage students to use their ideas and talents to create tomorrow's businesses.
UNLV students dominated the graduate category, taking all three top spots. UNLV students also received second place in the undergraduate category.
First and second place teams from the grad and undergrad categories will advance to the Tri-State Reynolds Cup competition May 23 in Las Vegas, where they will compete with teams from Oklahoma and Arkansas for $118,000 in cash awards.
First Place - Graduate Category: MASH Tool USA
MASH TOOL USA, a team of five UNLV students took first place in the graduate category, receiving $25,000 to help advance their business plan. The team created a business plan around a pogo stick shaped tool aimed at the landscaping industry. The MASH tool is designed to help dig and plow yards, is readily portable and weighs about 25 pounds.
The idea for Mash tool was conceived by UNLV engineering students, as part of a bi-annual senior class competition, design and create inventions with commercial potential that solve everyday engineering challenges.
Students in UNLV's Master of Business Administration program then teamed up with engineering undergraduate students to develop business plans for the projects. UNLV began the partnership between engineering and MBA students about two years ago and has experienced continued success in several regional competitions.
"Once again this serves as affirmation of the idea that when business students and engineering students get out of their comfort zones and start competing in these venues they experience success," said Paul Jarley, Lee Business School dean. "I knew we'd be competitive in the graduate category, but it is nice to see an across-the-board sweep."
- Angela Douglas
- Elizabeth Lewis
- Sarah Zalas
- Brandon Peters
- Peter Nazarechuck
- Faculty Advisor: Andrew Hardin
Second Place - Graduate Category: Geyser Flow Control
Geyser Flow Control placed second in the graduate category, winning $15,000 for its metal disc that can be attached to a sprinkler head and limits water flow during a device malfunction. The device reduces the flow of pressure to the sprinkler head, resulting in more concentrated water drops hitting the lawn. The team estimates the device could save as much as 10,000 gallons of water per household, per year.
UNLV students partnered with local entrepreneur Peter Maksymec to develop his business idea. Earlier this year, the team received the grand prize at the Dominic Anthony Marrocco 2012 Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition.
- Michael Ginannini
- Seth Ostrowski
- Paul Kotchka-Smith
- Erin Johnson
- Joshua Ellison
- Faculty Advisor: Andrew Hardin
Third Place - Graduate Category: Dating Brouhaha
Third place in the graduate category and $10,000 went to the Dating Brouhaha Animated Series. The cartoon will be released on the Internet as a web series tailored for use on mobile devices. The show explores the facets of current American dating life through the eyes of a multi-generational family. The team hopes to enter a partnership agreement with YouTube as a means to generate revenue and market the show through online dating sites.
- Lora Hendrickson
- Shanna Elhard
- Faculty Advisor: David Hames
Second Place - Undergraduate Category: Wire Ideas
Second place in the undergraduate category and $15,000 was awarded to Wire Ideas, a mobile application aimed at inspiring young students to discover and learn about electronics and programming in a creative and entertaining way. Wire Ideas designs and creates kits so students can create their devices such as a robot or remote control car by using a step-by-step tutorial on their phone. The product is geared toward teens to create interest in science, technology, engineering and math.
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. For more information, visit ncet.org.
- Sergio Flores
- Jorge Carrasco
- Daniel Silva
- Miguel Murillo
- Faculty Advisor: Janet Runge