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NEWS

March 27, 2006

RSU Students Advance in Statewide Business Plan Competition

A team of Rogers State University students has advanced to the semi-final round of the statewide Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition.

The RSU team is one of 12 undergraduate teams invited to give oral presentations about their business plans during the semi-final and final rounds on April 7-8 in Oklahoma City. From those presentations, three winners will be selected and announced during an April 20 event at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Event Center in Oklahoma City.

For being selected a semi-finalist in the statewide undergraduate competition, the RSU student team will receive a $1,000 cash award.

The RSU student team was comprised of business administration students. Katherine Kuehn, a senior from Wann, served as the team leader, with team members including Emily Wiswell, a junior from Bartlesville; Lindsay Muller, a senior from Wann; Syed Rizwan, a senior from Tulsa; Shelli Hunter, a junior from Claremore; and Jessica Penn, a senior from Coffeyville, Kan. Dana Gray, instructor in the RSU Department of Business, served as the faculty adviser with assistance from Jeri Koehler of RSU's Innovation Center.

The RSU business plan concept was for K&K Welding, which "positioned itself to leverage state-of- the-art technology to deliver top-quality welding and fabrication services for the oil, energy, and gas industry," according to the team's business plan. K&K Welding is owned by student Katherine Kuehn and her husband, David, who is the company's CEO. The company will be based in Wann.

Other student teams selected as semi-finalists in the undergraduate competition represent the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, the University of Tulsa, Oral Roberts University, St. Gregory's University and Oklahoma City University.

During the independent review phase of judging, which determined the undergraduate semi-finalists, each business plan was rated by at least three judges. Each business plan must have been for a seed, start-up or early-stage venture and address the entire business concept, including implementation.

In the final phase of the competition each team will have 20 minutes to present its business plan, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session between the presenting team and the panel of judges. The judges will consider the entire business concept, looking at overall feasibility, significant capital gains potential, attractive investment possibilities and actual implementation.

The winning teams in the undergraduate competition will be announced and receive $20,000 cash, the second place teams will receive $10,000 and the third place teams will receive $5,000. The faculty advisers for each of the first place teams will receive $1,500 cash, and the advisers of the second and third place teams will be awarded $1,000 each.

Three Oklahoma companies will award additional prizes. Tulsa-based Isocentric Networks, Inc. will award a prize valued up to $15,000 for the business plan that best leverages computer technology. Norman-based Nextep, Inc. will provide the first place undergraduate and graduate teams with $10,000 in human resources outsourcing services. A $2,000 cash prize will be awarded to the finalist team whose plan best exemplifies Oklahoma City-based MetaFund's mission to invest in Oklahoma companies with "double bottom-lines" of economic viability for the company and economic benefit for Oklahoma.