Bumpers Students Byrne, Dozier Help Business Plan Teams Win Funding

Danielle Dozier and Grow.Supply.Sustain win the Global Student Business Plan Competition in Jamaica.
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Danielle Dozier and Grow.Supply.Sustain win the Global Student Business Plan Competition in Jamaica.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kristen Byrne and Danielle Dozier, a pair of students in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, helped their business plan teams earn funding and support for startups in recent collegiate entrepreneurial competitions.

Byrne is with BioBridge LLL, which is creating an online marketplace to connect researchers to suppliers of human biospecimens.

BioBridge formed in the New Venture Development graduate course taught by Carol Reeves, associate vice provost for entrepreneurship. The team includes Byrne, a doctoral student in poultry science; along with Dave Bellomy, Ben Dye and Ariel Spencer, all master in business administration students; and Bryan Loyd, a master of accountancy student.

BioBridge recently placed third at the Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge at the University of Louisville, earning a $3,000 cash prize.

Dozier is with Grow.Supply.Sustain, a sustainable food producer.

The GSS team includes Dozier, a senior horticulture, landscape and turf science major, and Charles Muturi, an international relations major. Grow.Supply.Sustain recently claimed first place in the Global Student Business Plan Competition in Montego Bay, Jamaica, earning $5,000.

BioBridge and Grow.Supply.Sustain both participated in the finals of the 15th annual Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup statewide collegiate competition. BioBridge was a finalist in the graduate and undergraduate division as well as the graduate innovation category. Grow.Supply.Sustain was a finalist in the undergraduate division.

BIOBRIDGE

Human tissues, also known as biospecimens, are some of the most sought-after research materials worldwide. According to the National Institutes of Health, "the most pressing problem facing 21st century molecular medical research [is] limited availability of carefully collected and controlled, high-quality human biospecimens."

The fragmented global market for biospecimens in human medicine is estimated to be $18.5 billion annually and is expected to continue growing. BioBridge is seeking to leverage its scientific and technical expertise to create the premier online marketplace for biospecimens, connecting medical researchers with ethical suppliers of quality specimens.

GROW.SUPPLY.SUSTAIN

Grow.Supply.Sustain provides the hospitality industry with affordable high-commodity crops, such as fruits and vegetables, for retail services. GSS uses hydroponic technology to produce top-quality vegetables to be delivered to urban areas. Hydroponic technology is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil. The technology produces a diverse and higher-quality product in half the time and space of traditional farming methods, making it efficient and sustainable, which makes it easier for businesses to purchase large or small quantities.

The mission of GSS is to address hunger and poverty in Africa through hospitality businesses by educating youth, empowering women and engaging the population in global sustainability. One of its goals is to help schools establish gardens for sustainable education through STEM-based curriculum.

GSS has plants growing in Addis Ababa with its first harvest expected soon. Dozier and Muturi are working on purchasing the necessary nutrient solution in bulk, and shipping it to Ethiopia where it is not available.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu

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