NWA StartUp Cup: More Mentoring, Resources, Prizes Planned
Since 2007, The StartUp Cup events have been part of GEW celebrations both nationwide and globally. Last year, as a GEW/USA featured event, the Tulsa Community College StartUp Cup, in partnership with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, awarded $30,000 in prize money to Roger Shollmier, founder of The Galley, LLC to support his business venture. Over the last two years, StartUp Cup has licensed other regions across the globe to offer their own competitions. Northwest Arkansas and the NWA StartUp Cup, received the first license and is now part of a global network of StartUp Cup business model competitions. Tonya Nkokheli, president of Innovative Markets and organizer of the NWA StartUp Cup, said there will be several changes to this year’s competition--more mentoring, an enhanced network of resources and the introduction of prize money for the top three winners. The winners of last year’s NWA StartUp Cup won free professional service hours and additional free mentoring. Nkokheli is embracing the team approach for this year’s competition including seeking interested committee members to fill volunteer roles including project manager, website and social media support and sponsors. Several of last year’s winners have also committed to serve on the committee. By establishing a stronger list of resources in all industries, the NWA StartUp Cup can help all participants succeed even if a business does not advance into the finals, Nkokheli said. The competition begins June 4, with the application process opening and inners will be announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 18-24. Also, this year, for the first time, The StartUp Cup will be named one of GEW’s global featured events. For more information on the NWA StartUp Cup, see the full press release.