Two Arkansas Tech University students were named finalists in the 2021 Arkansas Governor's Cup collegiate business plan competition.
Senior Miracle Hatchett of Dover and junior Anna Lowder of Russellville reached the final stage of the 21st annual event, which was sponsored by Dhu Thompson | Revolution of Little Rock and presented by Arkansas Capital Corporation of Little Rock.
Hatchett's business idea was named "Coffee Cauldron." The concept would combine a coffee shop with an art studio. Hatchett explained to judges that the business would seek to provide young adults in the Arkansas River Valley with a large, modern space to build community.
"I gained so much knowledge on what it takes to start a business and how to run it successfully," said Hatchett, who is majoring in management and marketing at ATU with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. "I am so grateful for this opportunity and that I was able to make it to the finals. I did not expect to. It really taught me that passion for what you love can take you far. It also taught me that you should stick to your passions and ideas. No matter what others say, someone out there will love it too."
Lowder developed and presented a concept entitled "Your Toast." Her vision would be to create a bread-focused bakery and coffee shop that would provide a comfortable environment for all personality types.
"I gained valuable hands-on experience through the Governor's Cup," said Lowder, who is majoring in management with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. "I plan on having my own bakery one day, so having to write out a business plan was great practice. Presenting in front of potential 'investors' --- the judges --- was also a great experience, especially for me as I struggle a bit with public speaking. The feedback I got from the judges on the presentation, especially about my speaking skills, will help a lot in the future if I ever pitch to investors for my own venture."
A total of 10 teams from Arkansas Tech entered the 2021 Arkansas Governor's Cup.
Dr. Stephen Jones, professor of management at ATU, served as their advisor.
Learn more about the ATU College of Business at www.atu.edu/business.