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Louisiana Tech’s TOP DAWG New Venture Championship set for April 25

Business decks for innovative and creative products and services developed by students at Louisiana Tech University will be presented during the TOP DAWG New Venture Championship, Friday, April 25 in University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus.
RUSTON, La. – Business decks for innovative and creative products and services developed by students at Louisiana Tech University will be presented during the TOP DAWG New Venture Championship, Friday, April 25 in University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus.

The competition, which is open to the public and sponsored by Bulldog Entrepreneurs, will take place between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and feature teams of students presenting their ideas to fellow students as well as faculty, staff and judges. The TOP DAWG New Venture Championship is held each spring quarter and provides an opportunity for students to create business investor decks based on their ideas pitched during the fall quarter TOP DAWG Idea Pitch.

Bulldog Entrepreneurs holds the annual TOP DAWG Idea Pitch and TOP DAWG New Venture Championship to encourage students to build innovative, creative products and services that create value in the marketplace.

“This competition is an integral part of the Enterprise Campus focus at Louisiana Tech,” said Debbie Inman, coordinator of entrepreneurial studies for Louisiana Tech. “The TOP DAWG events give Louisiana Tech students, faculty and alumni the chance to work together and develop innovative ideas into real businesses. The New Venture Championship also showcases intellectual properties developed by Louisiana Tech researchers and students. Participants promote new technologies as well as creating non-technology based ventures.”

The total prize package for the competition is $8,000. The College of Business and College of Engineering and Science funded a total of $5,000 to be awarded to first, second, and third place teams. Louisiana Tech’s Innovation Enterprise Fund is sponsoring a $1,000 award which will supplement the prize money given to the first place team. The $2000 Jones Walker Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, funded by Jones Walker, will once again be awarded to recognize the team with the most entrepreneurial spirit.

Since its inception in 1937, Jones Walker has grown over the past several decades in size and scope to become one of the largest law firms in the United States. Jones Walker serves local, regional, national, and international business interests in a wide range of markets and industries. Today, Jones Walker has more than 375 attorneys in Alabama, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Texas.

During their preparation for the competition, each team of students is mentored by business experts. Mentors devote many hours of their own time to assist the students and include Andrea Drake, associate professor of accounting; Bill Stammerjohan, George E. Breazeal Family Endowed Professor of Accounting; Davy Norris, director of Louisiana Tech’s Enterprise Center; Shane Puckett, instructor of speech and director of debate; Son Le, assistant professor of management; Tim Bisping, associate dean of graduate programs and research for Louisiana Tech’s College of Business; Jay Bennett, director of Executive MBA program; Kathy Wyatt, director of Louisiana Tech’s Technology Business Development Center and Rich Kordal, director of Intellectual Property for Louisiana Tech.

Judges for the TOP DAWG include Kiran J. Desai, visiting associate professor in Louisiana Tech’s College of Business; Bill Hogan, president of Bank of Ruston; Michael Leachman, partner at Jones Walker and Angie White, senior vice president of administration and existing business for North Louisiana Economic Partnership. Teams will be judged on the written decks, oral presentation, and business feasibility.

The schedule for the TOP DAWG New Venture Championship is as follows:

10:30 – 10:55: IAP Network - Promotes US higher education in African developing countries by connecting prospective international students to universities in the United States. Team Member: Anthony Tchakounte

11:00 – 11:25: PathoRADAR - Developing a faster and more cost effective instrument to detect disease causing germs in samples from food, water, and the environment. Team Members: Varun Lingaiah Kopparthy and Uday Bhanu

11:30 – 11:55: Gauge-Away - Offers a cellular based device which monitors oilfield tank levels and gas line pressures. Team Members: Barrett Routon and Shelby Maddox

1:00 – 1:25: No-Hurt Insert - Creating a safer, less invasive, more flexible endotracheal tube monitoring system to track possible movement of the device in patients. Team Members: Brittany Manuel, Ranjita Shrestha, Hannah Russin, and David Hyde

1:30 – 1:55: NTPure - Developing a cheaper water filtration system that will filter sediment, viruses, and bacteria. Team Members: Jwala Parajuli, Jordan Gates, and Christopher Bagwell

2:00 – 2:25 What’s Up Ruston? - Informational web resource about events happening on Tech campus, in Ruston, and in neighboring towns. Team Members: Konstantin Dolgan and Onega Ulanova

3:30: Awards Ceremony
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