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ADA – The coronavirus pandemic has certainly slowed down daily life, but it has not curbed the competitive fire and intellect of East Central University Business students.

ECU placed four teams (five students) in the prestigious Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup finals, which instead of being cancelled is going virtual this year. The finalists will compete in an online format on April 16-17.

“We are so proud of Dr. Stacey Bolin and her students,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of the Stonecipher School of Business. “We know just how much time and effort goes into this work. Dr. Bolin and her students are helping ECU shine in a moment when it is needed most.” 

Casey Black, of Chickasha, will represent ECU in the Graduate High Growth division with her entry “WhiCount.” Representing ECU in the Undergraduate Small Business division are Tanner Jack and Halen Ogles, both of Ada, with “UBrew”; Chris McMahan, of Ardmore, with “Crop Cut”; and Cullen Edens, of Ada, with “Eco-Snap Tiles.”

“I am incredibly proud of our students and pleased they made it to the final round,” said Katricia Pierson, ECU president. “We know our students are strong and resilient and we love it when others in the state are able to experience that firsthand. Regardless of the competition’s format, our students will demonstrate that their entrepreneurial spirit is exceptional.”

The Love’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 write business plans. The competition comes when teams pitch their concepts to a panel of potential investors, much like the popular television series “Shark Tank.”

“Our ECU students have spent much time and effort preparing their business plans and presentations,” said Dr. Bolin. “We are excited the competition will continue virtually rather than be cancelled. I’m proud to assist this group and other students in their pursuits of innovation, several of which have ideas that can be of specific benefit to us during this challenging time.”

Over the competition’s 14-year history, more than 2,100 students have taken the challenge, producing more than 750 innovative ideas from 36 campuses statewide, and winning more than $1.7 million in cash, $115,000 in scholarships and $231,000 in fellowships.


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