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OSU teams win at Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup

Monday, April 26, 2021

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 | terry.tush@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University’s award-winning entrepreneurship program was in the spotlight April 22 during the virtual awards ceremony recognizing winners at the 2021 Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup. OSU teams won first and third place in the graduate High Growth division of the statewide collegiate business plan competition.

The BioSeal XE team took first place and $21,000 while the OSU Aperion Solutions team captured third place and won $6,000 in the High Growth division for graduate students at the Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup.

“I’m so impressed with the passion and dedication of each of these student teams to push their learning experience beyond the classroom,” said David Thomison, advisor to both teams and associate professor of professional practice in the OSU School of Entrepreneurship. “In true entrepreneurial spirit, these students continue to pursue the creative development and commercialization of these advanced technologies.”

The BioSeal XE team also won $5,000 recently by placing fourth at the University of Arkansas Heartland Challenge, and tied for third place to earn another $2,500 this week at the University of Oregon’s New Venture Championship.

"I’m so impressed with the passion and dedication of each of these student teams to push their learning experience beyond the classroom."

- David Thomison

The winning OSU teams at the Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup are:

BioSeal XE: First place Graduate Division (High Growth).
Kevin Heupel (MBA) and Saeed Manouchehri (Ph.D., Chemical Engineering).

Advisor: David Thomison, associate professor of professional practice, George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Heidebrecht MBA Faculty Fellow, OSU School of Entrepreneurship.

BioSeal XE is developing a topical single application treatment for equine lacerations or punctures. The gel, which can be formulated with various therapeutics, quickly hardens when applied to the bleeding wound. It stops bleeding within 30 seconds, simultaneously delivering pain and anti-bacterial medications, and adheres to the wound for 2-3 weeks eliminating the need for the owner to frequently change traditional wound dressings. 

Aperion Solutions: Third place Graduate Division (High Growth).

Diako Mahmodi (Ph.D., Chemical Engineering), Bhavana Erukulla (Masters of Business Analytics and Data Science), Soumya Patra (Masters of Business Analytics and Data Science) and Nathan Neilitz (MBA).

Advisor: David Thomison, associate professor of professional practice, George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Heidebrecht MBA Faculty Fellow, OSU School of Entrepreneurship.

Aperion Solutions is developing a nano-filter polymeric membrane for environmentally cleaning targeted wastewater streams within the food and beverage and waste water treatment industries.  The nano-filter membrane can generate up to a 33 percent reduction in customer water treatment operating costs. 

“The competitive basis of these collegiate business plan competitions, corresponding in-depth evaluations and breadth of academic diversity integration, constitutes a truly valuable virtual high-tech simulated startup business experience,” Thomison said. “I applaud their commitment, competitiveness and passion.”

The Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup is the place for aspiring entrepreneurs to kick start their journey. Students from any college campus in Oklahoma are invited to write a business plan to enter in the competition that simulates the real-world process of researching a market, formulating financial projections, writing a business plan and pitching the opportunity to potential investors. In its 16-year history, nearly 2,500 college students have taken the Love’s Cup challenge, producing more than 740 innovative ideas from 36 campuses statewide and awarding more than $2.1 million in cash, $155,000 in scholarships and $250,000 in fellowships.

The competition, sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, is managed by i2E, a nationally recognized, private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 that focuses on growing innovative small businesses in Oklahoma. Its mission is investing in entrepreneurs to build successful high-growth companies in Oklahoma and making a positive impact on the state’s economy.

Visit the Love’s Cup website for more information about i2E and the Love’s Cup.

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