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Ouachita’s Cole Jester wins Ouachita-Henderson State’s annual Business Plan Competition

Ouachita’s Cole Jester wins Ouachita-Henderson State’s annual Business Plan Competition.May 06, 2019 - Abby Turner

Ouachita Baptist University teams won first, second and fifth place in this year’s OBU/HSU Business Plan Competition, held on Henderson State University’s campus April 23. Senior Cole Jester earned first place in the competition for his business plan, Bone Dri, along with a $4,000 cash prize.

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First place winner Cole Jester, a senior Christian studies/biblical studies and political science double major from Benton, Ark.

The annual competition brings together the top teams from Ouachita and Henderson’s individual business plan competitions for the chance to win cash prizes. In addition to Jester’s winning plan, Ouachita’s Joey Dean, Joshua Lantzsch, Sykes Martin and Ancil Lea earned second place and $3,000 for their business plan, Immunovate, and Sam Ferguson and Chris Hayes’ team earned fifth place and $500 for their plan, Mood4Food.

The rival schools “have cooperated for nearly a decade for this really meaningful learning opportunity for our students,” said Bryan McKinney, dean of Ouachita’s Hickingbotham School of Business.

“While the Hickingbotham School of Business promotes these competitions, each year we hope students and faculty members from all majors and disciplines will consider participating,” McKinney said. “Of the students on these three teams, four were business students, and three were not. … I love seeing great ideas emerge from any and all disciplines!”

Jester, a senior Christian studies/biblical studies and political science double major from Benton, Ark., was advised by McKinney for his plan. Bone Dri also was named the overall third place winner in the statewide Governor’s Cup Business Competition earlier this spring.

Following his OBU Business Competition win in the fall 2018 semester, Jester explained that his business is based on a product designed to dry wet hunting waders and boots.

“One cold morning, I realized my duck hunting waders were always wet, and it made my feet horribly cold,” Jester said. “When our first prototype, a pouch of silica gel, first dried out my wader boot, I realized we had stumbled upon an amazing product.”

The Immunovate team presented an alternative way to produce better prostate cancer testing. Dean, a senior biology major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Lantzsch, a junior finance major from Rogers, Ark.; Martin, a senior biology major from Sheridan, Ark.; and Lea, a senior finance major from Conway, Ark., were advised by Dr. Blake Johnson, assistant professor of biology.

“Immunovate has a great potential using new diagnostic technologies and recently published research to detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages,” Dean explained. “The idea is groundbreaking in the realm of in-vitro diagnostics.”

Mood4Food was presented by Ferguson, a senior finance major from Benton, Ark., and Hayes, a senior finance major from Little Rock, Ark., and advised by Dr. Justin Keeler, assistant professor of business administration. The concept behind Mood4Food is an app that helps users answer the question, “Where do you want to eat?”

“Our app would ask a couple of questions to narrow down all the restaurants in the area to give you a better and easier choice of where to eat,” Ferguson said.

“One of the things I enjoyed most was getting to meet others with entrepreneurial minds and to hear their ideas of how to make the future better for everyone,” he added. “That is something I can really get excited about, and we were surrounded by others that were looking to push society forward through entrepreneurial ways.”

For more information on the OBU Business Plan Competition or the OBU/HSU Business Plan Competition, contact Bryan McKinney at mckinneyb@obu.edu or (870) 245-5513.


By Abby Turner

May 6, 2019