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7/31/12 - Student winners of MSU biz plan competition announced

Thirty students at Mississippi State are winners in the 2012 MSU Business Plan Competition hosted by the university's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer.

The daylong campus event in McCool Hall, home of the College of Business, saw individuals and teams in five divisions vying for almost $40,000 in awards.

Event sponsors included C Spire Wireless, Mark Dumas, Talos Energy LLC, Tellus Operating Group LLC, along with MSU's Thad Cochran Endowment for Entrepreneurship.

"Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, these student startups now have additional seed capital to jumpstart their innovative business ventures," said OETT director Gerald Nelson.

The winners (listed by contest division, hometowns, business names, and award amounts) include:

C Spire Android App Competition

1st place--John Gazzini, Birmingham, Ala.; Read Sprabery, Olive Branch; Nimbus Mobile, LLC, $4,000.

2nd place--Kellon Lawrence, Flowood, Wildgame Adventures, $3,000.

3rd place--Darrius Taylor, Ridgeland, College Shift, $2,000.

4th place--David Bupp, Sarasota, Fla., LRC Unlimited, $1,000.

Judges for the Android app competition included Latasha Bibb, Mississippi Technology Alliance; David B. Latham of Butler Snow Advisory Services; Donna Reese of MSU's Department of Computer Science and Engineering; and Ben Walton of the Mississippi Angel Fund LP.

TCEE E-Commerce Business Plan Competition

1st place--Kevin Foster, Tupelo; Melanie Greer, Clinton; Kaley James, Caledonia; Nan Wagner, Vicksburg; LodgingMatch.com, $5,000.

2nd place--Robert Sankovich, Meridian; Jonathan Ogden, Cypress, Texas; Albert Reeves, Flora; MediaSwap.com, $750.

3rd place (tie) --Chelsea Cure, Jackson; Erin Guelker, Hattiesburg; Kacha Jennings, Moss Point; Amanda Anderson, Clinton; EveryStyle, $250.

3rd place (tie) --Hiten Patel, India, Truant.us, $250.

Judges for the e-commerce competition included John Bean of Columbus Deli Inc., University Management Inc. and Sweet Peppers Franchise Systems LLC; Robert Clark of Clark Beverage Group Inc.; Jerry Toney of Cadence Bank; and Turner Wingo, MSU Foundation board of directors.

Mark Dumas Engineering Business Plan Competition

1st place--Marlon Taylor, Greenville; Nick Poborka, Starkville; Lokaliti, $5,000.

2nd place--Seth Freeman, Beaumont, Method & System for Increasing Safety in Chemical Application from an Aircraft, $750.

3rd place--Chris Brown, Biloxi, E-Direct, $250.

Judges for the engineering competition included Todd Bacastow of GeoEye Inc.; Joe Bird of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings; Martin Jue of MFJ Enterprises; and Bryan E. "Ben" Nearn III of Mulberry Ventures.

Talos Energy, LLC New Venture Challenge

1st place--Chandler Carr, Collierville, Tenn., Carr's Cords, $5,000.

2nd place--Parker Stewart, Starkville, Night & Day Vending, $750.

3rd place--Eric Boykin, Starkville, SHAWKE Therapy Products, $250.

Judges for the New Venture Challenge were Bibb, Nearn and Walton.

Tellus Operating Group, LLC Energy Business Plan Competition

1st place--Andy Lemmon, Starkville, Sanctuary Power Plus, $9,000.

2nd place--Bobby Graham, Starkville, EV Bike, $750.

3rd place--Adebola Coker, Nigeria; Sara Shields-Menard, Greeley, Colo.; Luis Gutierrez, Monterrey, Mexico; Hien Nguyen, Byram; Greenbac Biofuels, $250.

Judges for the energy competition were Bird, Jue, Latham, and Darron Case of Entergy Mississippi.

Jim Laird | University Relations

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