Conner Siblings Win Governor's Cup Agriculture Division With 'Roveround'

Cara and Grant Connor won the Agriculture Division of the Governor's Cup business plan competition with the Roveround. Cara is a human nutrition and hospitality innovation major in Bumpers College while Grant is a biology major in Fulbright College. They were advised by animal science professor Jeremy Powell.
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Cara and Grant Connor won the Agriculture Division of the Governor's Cup business plan competition with the Roveround. Cara is a human nutrition and hospitality innovation major in Bumpers College while Grant is a biology major in Fulbright College. They were advised by animal science professor Jeremy Powell.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two University of Arkansas students, a brother-sister duo, recently won the Agriculture Division of the Governor's Cup collegiate business plan competition with a dog rehabilitation cart.

Cara and Grant Conner created the Roveround, a four-wheeled cart with adjustable frame and a durable, flexible canvas sling. The Roveround can be used for dogs with hind limb paralysis due to intervertebral disc collapse and for post-surgical rehabilitation for orthopedic leg procedures. The frame is collapsible for transport, and adjusts for different height, width and length settings.

Cara is a human nutrition and hospitality innovation major in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Science's School of Human Environmental Sciences. Grant is a biology major in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

The Conners, who are from Mountain Home and won $5,000 in the contest, were advised by Jeremy Powell, professor of animal science.

Veterinarians currently use two-wheeled cart systems, but the design may place pressure on the lower back where the dog's body meets the wheelchair, leading to lumbar vertebrae issues.

The four-wheeled Roveround evenly distributes the weight.

The Governor's Cup competition is managed by Arkansas Capital Corporation through the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation. The intent of the competition is to promote and support college students in entrepreneurial endeavors and new venture creation, to encourage commercialization of promising ideas from colleges and universities, to build bridges between collegiate institutions and the entrepreneurial community, and to become one of the premier business plan competitions in the United States. Teams are judged by volunteers from Arkansas's public and private sector business, industry and government entities scoring teams on both oral and written rounds.

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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