Governor's Cup lights entrepreneurial flame in Oklahoma

The Governor’s Cup has awarded more than $1.4 million in cash and $65,000 in scholarships. Students produced more than 450 innovative ideas along with business plans to commercialize those ideas, and 20 emerging Oklahoma small businesses have started up.
by Scott Meacham Published: April 22, 2014
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We’ve just completed the 10th annual Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competition. Since inception, more than 1,350 students have taken the GovCup challenge.

The Governor’s Cup has awarded more than $1.4 million in cash and $65,000 in scholarships. Students produced more than 450 innovative ideas along with business plans to commercialize those ideas, and 20 emerging Oklahoma small businesses have started up.

But the Governor’s Cup isn’t really about how many companies get started. It’s about applied education.

Claire Cornell, assistant director of entrepreneurship at the University of Tulsa, has been a faculty adviser with the Governor’s Cup since 2005. Claire teaches a class in entrepreneurship built around the Governor’s Cup.

“This class and the Governor’s Cup can be a life-changing event for students,” she said. “They gain so much confidence in their own abilities. They take all the excellent education that they’ve received in their other classes and apply it to a real life business. It’s exciting for students to apply all those years of study to produce a tangible business plan.”

Instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in students has always been at the heart of what i2E has tried to achieve with the Governor’s Cup.

It takes a strong pipeline of human beings with entrepreneurial spirit to build an innovation economy, and our students will be the future architects of that economy.

No matter what position GovCup students take after graduation — whether they become entrepreneurs (and we hope a lot of them will) or whether they join a large corporation, the Governor’s Cup teaches our young people about recognizing opportunities and how business works.

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by Scott Meacham
President and CEO of i2E Inc.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology....
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DID YOU KNOW?

Students from 31 schools across Oklahoma have competed on Governor’s Cup teams since 2005. For the last two years, there have been two tracks, one for high growth companies, and one for small businesses.

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