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2022 Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup Awards luncheon Thursday with $61,000 in prizes

MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe and alumnus Dhu Thompson, founder and retired CEO of Delta Plastics, partnered to create the 2022 Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup to encourage students to develop innovative business ideas.

Thompson is providing $61,000 in prize money to be presented to students and faculty advisers for first place ($25,000), second place ($15,000), third place ($10,000), elevator pitch ($2,000), and $3,000 to faculty for first, second and third places.

The Awards Luncheon is 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, April 7, at Bayou Pointe Event Center. The winners will be announced at 12:45 p.m. The luncheon is open to the public, and tickets are available here.

The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup is an academic business plan competition. It was open to full- or part-time undergraduate and graduate certificate or degree-seeking students from ULM and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM).

Fifteen teams submitted a written, formal business plan judged by business owners and investors. Six finalists were chosen for in-person oral presentations. An Elevator Pitch competition with a prize of $2,000 will be held after the luncheon.

Finalist teams 

Gaea Environmental – team leader Paurava Thakore, team members Gannon Malone, Prabin Basnet and adviser Joydeep Bhattacharjee, Ph.D.; GeauxGas – team leader Luke Phillips, team members Justin Gibson, John Bardwell, Reagan Lloyd, and adviser Stacie Austin, Ph.D.; RapidReceipts – team leader Tama Washington, team members, Julia Oubre, Edwin Litolff, and advisers Vice President for Student Affairs Valerie Fields, Ed.D. Kim Shephard; Southern Green Solutions – team leader Preston Phillips, team members Michael Hollman, Kasidy King, Christopher Barton, Akriti Pant, and adviser Claudia Williams; Virtual Tour – team leader Dharmendra Sharma, team members Mai Hieu, Samir Gurung, and advisers William Barnett, Ph.D., and Jun Yu, Ph.D.

Participating teams 

BRHM Agency – team Leader Cole McKnight, team members Ryan Humeniuk, Brianna Sam, and adviser Bruce Walker, Ph.D.; Love Local Box – team leader Asja Jordan, team members Andie Lindsey, Dylan LeBoeuf, and adviser Josh Tolleson; M.A.D.R.E. – team leader Andrew McMillan, team members, Roxie Stewart, Colby Glatter, Cater Saterfiel, Adriana Brown and adviser Jennifer Whited, Ph.D., My Bistro – team leader Hanna Flynn, team members Brady McKay, William F. Bryan, and adviser Joyce Zhou, Ph.D.; Pet Safe – team leader Charlotte Fourdraine, team members Shani White, Viktar Harbachuk, and adviser Rachel Pollock; Skedgy – team leader Daylan Nailer, team members, Brian Scott, Tommy Wimbley, and adviser Elizabeth Ragland; The Pinnacles – team leader Hamid Khan, team members, Rodney Pardue, Kamana Thapa Magar, Zia Ullah Khan, and advisers Shakir Ullah, Ph.D., and Joyce Zhou, Ph.D.; Vetollo – team leader Adam Charles, team members, Nirajan Sangraula, Connor McDuffie, and adviser Arturo Rodriguez, Ph.D.; Warhawk Wellness – team leader Blake Stone, team members, Phillip Vu-Nguyen, Carolyn Cardin, Lauren Fee, and advisers Dean Don Simpson, Ph.D., and Amy Miller.

Preliminary judges  

Ash Aulds of Murphy USA, Bradley Bridges of Cross Keys Bank, Chap Breard of MOEBiz, John F. Bruscato of Bruscato Law Firm, Max Cox of Lumen Technologies, Mallory Lawrence of InterMountain Management, LLC, Dr. Toni Lowe-Fisher of Engineer Research and Development Center, Justin Mailhes Argent Advisors, Mary Linda McCann of Bank of Oak Ridge, Shane Middleton of M3 Accounting Services, Tom Nicholson of Strauss Interests, Long Nguyen of Lumen Technologies, Miguel Perez of Plondo Network, Kelly J. Shambro of Progressive Bank, and David Smith of Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program.

Final round judges  

Dixon W. Abell of Abell LLC dba Poly Processing & Ouachita Fertilizer Company, Stewart Ewing of InterMountain Management, Meryl K. Farr of Kennedy Rice Mill and 4Sisters Rice CEO Neighbors, LLC, Susan Hoffmann, retired, of JPMorganChase - Northeast Louisiana, Linda Holyfield of Specialty Management Services of Ouachita, LLC, Patrick Owen of Owen Corporation, and William Smart of Monroe Housing Authority.

Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup sponsors 

Premier Sponsor and Founder – Dhu Thompson, Expansion Sponsor – Scott Powerline & Utility Equipment, Growth Sponsors – Arkansas Capital and Mid South Extrusion, Breakthrough Sponsors – Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, InterMountain, Law Offices of John L. Luffy Jr., Monroe Chamber of Commerce, West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, Monroe Housing Authority, Marsala Beverage, Kennedy Rice Mill/4 Sisters Rice/Neighbors, John Rea Realty, Origin Bank, Homeland Bank, Abell, Influencer Sponsors – Argent Advisors Inc., Progressive Bank, Unique Trophies and Awards, Harvey Hales Shelter Insurance, and Scott Truck.