Collegiate entrepreneurial teams from around the world will be competing in the first-ever Heartland Challenge on May 27-29. The participating graduate students will be vying for a cash prize pool totaling $95,000.
Now, the online competition has secured awards presenter – someone with an extensive resume in business and startups. Steve Case, the chief executive of investment firm Revolution and AOL co-founder, will be serving as the awards presenter.
Revolution will be playing a significant role in the Heartland Challenge. In addition to Case announcing the awards, he will be providing remarks to the winners and Anna Mason, a partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, will mentor the top four teams in one-on-one sessions.
Competition organizers have also assembled a panel of judges for both the finals and the semifinals of the competition. The judges for the finals include:
- Brian Henley, founder and managing partner, Recurring Capital Partners
- Dan Kidle, partner, Arboretum Ventures
- Chris Ladd, managing director, NewRoad Capital Partners
- MK Marsden, founder and managing partner, Touchpoint Strategies, and co-founder, Zytara Inc.
- Bobby W. Sandage Jr., managing director, Lightchain Capital; general partner, Cultivation Capital; president and chief executive officer, Euclises Pharmaceuticals Inc.
The semifinals judges include:
- Jeff Amerine, founder and managing director, Startup Junkie Consulting
- Canem Arkan, executive director, Endeavor Northwest Arkansas
- Ramsay Ball, principal broker, Cignus Real Estate
- Michael Cawthon, founder and portfolio anager, Indra Capital Partners
- Robyn Goforth, co-founder and chief scientific officer, BiologicsMD
- James Hendren, chair, The Venture Center
- Brad Henry, managing partner, Natural Capital
- Douglas Hutchings, chief executive officer, Picasolar
- Nathan Sanko, co-founder and chief executive officer, Leggera Technologies
- April Seggebruch, chief operating officer and co-founder, Movista
- Liz Slape, senior vice president of marketing, Movista
- Chris Sultemeier, operating partner, NewRoad Capital Partners
- Stan Zylowski, chief executive officer and co-founder, Movista
- Michael Artinger, executive vice president and managing director, VIC Technology Venture Development
- Tracy Black, operating partner, NewRoad Capital Partners
- Gary Dowdy, vice president of Engineering & Technology, J.B. Hunt Transport Inc.
- Spencer Jones, founder and chief technology officer, Lineus Medical
- Steve Nicolle, founding partner, Island Capital Partners
- Angelo Welihindha, global go-to-market strategy and sales for emerging hardware, Google
- Andrew Miles, southeast regional manager, Veo, and co-founder, Grox Industries
During the Heartland Challenge, the twelve participating teams will compete via Zoom, starting on May 28. Three teams will be in four semifinal tracks, and the teams will compete to win a finals spot. The finals, which includes an elevator pitch competition, and award ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook
There is one Arkansas team, hailing from the University of Arkansas. This Arkansas team will face off against teams from Johns Hopkins (two teams), Tufts University, Georgia State, Oklahoma State, the Sasin School of Management in Bangkok, Rice University and the universities of Maryland, Missouri and Tennessee.
The top winner will receive a $50,000 prize.