The Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competition teaches students what it’s really like to take an innovative idea and build a business plan.
Students also learn, as entrepreneurs everywhere know, that being in the right place at the right time also plays a part.
Philip McCoy, team leader of the AeroHead team (first-place winner in the 2014 High Growth Graduate Division), is a certified flight instructor who is pursuing his MBA at night while he works and accrues flight hours toward piloting for United Airlines.
McCoy came on board with the Governor’s Cup pretty late in the game, and, in his words, “through a series of random events.”
He was looking for an elective to round out his first semester course load. Seeing that the Governor’s Cup class, taught by Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship Claire Cornell, had no books or tests caught his attention. When he learned that GovCup teams could earn $20,000, he was in.
Most of Professor Cornell’s teams already had formed, but over in the engineering school at the University of Tulsa, there were three freshmen engineers who were interested in developing a business plan for an innovative putter invented by TU’s Steve Tipton, Ph.D., M.E., and distinguished professor of mechanical engineering.
Coincidentally, one of the freshmen happened to be a good golfer who had caddied for five years at Southern Hills and witnessed thousands of putts.
Another teammate, a marketing major, is on the TU golf team and turning pro. The AeroHead chief financial officer is a former art major from China.
DID YOU KNOW?
The average venture capital firm reviews approximately 1,200 companies, which leads to about 500 face-to-face meetings, which lead to about 50 due diligence engagements to make about 10 investments.