U of A Entrepreneurship Team Wins Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition

Corey Coston, Andrew McKinnon, Carol Reeves and Sean Smith
Submitted Photo

Corey Coston, Andrew McKinnon, Carol Reeves and Sean Smith

A University of Arkansas entrepreneurship team focused on transforming bladder cancer therapy won the grand prize at one of the premier graduate student business plan competitions.

The VivImmune team took the top honor on Feb. 13 at the Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge, a business plan competition at the University of Louisville. VivImmune won $15,000 in cash plus $100,000 in in-kind prizes if it relocates to Louisville.

The team is made up of Corey Coston, a graduate student in the Sam M. Walton College of Business; Andrew McKinnon, an executive M.B.A. student in Walton College; and Sean Smith, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering at the U of A.

The team's biotechnology company is focused on transforming bladder cancer therapy by way of a new class of cancer treatments called immunotherapies.

David Zaharoff, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the U of A, is the primary inventor of the technology, which was co-invented by Smith and Bhanu Koppolu, a postdoctoral research associate in biomedical engineering at the U of A and a recipient of a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship from the university in 2011.

"The team was able to answer incredibly challenging questions from the judges, most of whom are health care venture capitalists," said faculty adviser Carol Reeves, management professor and U of A associate vice provost for entrepreneurship.

Georgia Tech took second place in the Cardinal Challenge, Purdue was third and Rice was fourth.

The Cardinal Challenge offers students an opportunity to present innovative business plans to potential investors, while providing investors with an advance look at up-and-coming entrepreneurs and new ventures.

Contacts

Carol Reeves, associate vice provost for entrepreneurship
Department of Management
(479) 575-6220, creeves@uark.edu

David Speer, director of communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business
479-575-2539, dlspeer@uark.edu

Headlines

'Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda' Wins Award From Design Research Group

The book Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda was published by the University of Arkansas Press in collaboration with the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

Projects Led by Fay Jones School Faculty Selected for New York Events in May and Into Summer

Visiting professor Cory Olsen’s interior design class and two faculty members — Jessica Colangelo and Charles Sharpless — will have projects on display in New York.

Fifth Annual Play Therapy Conference to Feature Keynote Speaker Bonnie Badenoch

The keynote speaker for the Play Therapy Conference will speak about the play can help heal trauma. The conference will be June 21-22.

Human Development and Family Sciences Students Help Parents Interact With Their Children

U of A students from the School of Human Environmental Sciences recently connected with families in Fayetteville Public Schools to help parents better interact with their children.

Board of Trustees Approves Changes to U of A Tuition and Fees

A 2.5% increase in tuition will go into effect for the fall 2019 semester.

Newswire Daily