Ten years in a row East Central University Entrepreneurship students have claimed top spots in the annual statewide Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup competition. That’s an entire decade’s worth of wins.
ECU students brought home $30,000 in prize money from the 2022 Love’s Cup contest, bringing the University’s 10-year winnings total to $184,000 – an astounding accomplishment for a school of any size. Dr. Stacey Bolin, the director of ECU’s Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship, makes sure students are more than ready for these tough competitions.
“I am proud beyond words of what these students have accomplished,” Bolin said. “This would be an amazing accomplishment on its own, but all these students were involved in many other endeavors this semester where they also excelled.”
The pageantry and excitement of the annual Love’s Cup awards ceremony was missing for a third consecutive year because of the coronavirus pandemic, with ceremonies occurring online once again.
ECU’s Faith Andrews won first place in the Small Business category, and she was the 90-second Pitch winner with “Central Paw Dog Resort.” She collected $12,000 in prize money. The idea behind the business is for Central Paw to provide customizable daycare and boarding services that includes options for basic training, interactive dinner puzzles, basic grooming and even tuck-in services.
Winning second place in the Small Business division and the Product Category Interview winner is Nathan Fountain with “Soap N’ Stuff.” He collected $10,000 for his hard work. Soap N’ Stuff is a fundraising company which specializes in highly customizable soap products for underfunded public schools and youth-based organizations
Madalyn Hess brought home the Paulsen Award and was a Small Business finalist with “The No-Waste Paste,” earning $6,000.
Logan Cosby was the Retail Category Interview winter with “Salvation Lumber,” earning $1,000. Jill Ballard and Linda Woodward, with “Soul Soupsters & The Revolving Door,” were Small Business finalists with $1,000 in prize money. Allison Edwards was a Paulsen Award finalist with “Hydro Tent.”
The Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup is a collegiate business plan competition open to students on any Oklahoma campus. Students take what they have learned in a classroom setting and apply it to real-world opportunities as they assemble teams, identify products, research markets, formulate financial projections and create business plans. The real competition comes when teams pitch their concepts to a panel of potential investors.
Wendell Godwin, dean of the ECU Stonecipher School of Business, praised the students and the continued success of the Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship.
“The Center for Entrepreneurship was created by Carol Smith to honor her late husband,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of the ECU Stonecipher School of Business. “The funding and focus of the Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship has allowed Dr. Bolin to grow our overall Entrepreneurship degree and attract amazing students from around the state. We are all very proud of this winning streak, which has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the hard work and preparation of Dr. Bolin and our incredibly bright students.”