Six teams in the NWA StartUp Cup competition were announced on Thursday (Sept. 12).
The teams faced the judges Thursday and got the nod to move on the next round which is slated for November. The next phase of judging will produce three finalists announced Nov. 20, the release said.
Tonya Nkokheli, president of Innovative Markets, which holds the NWA StartUp Cup license, is the chief event coordinator. She said all of the existing teams will receive two levels of coaching, which happens in the weeks between the judging sessions.
StartUp Cup began in Tulsa in 2007 and has become a global network of locally-driven business model competitions with 52 StartUp Cups in 44 countries.
Each competitor is paired with a mentor that helps the business owner modify and further develop the business model between each competition round. This increases the participant’s chances of winning the competition, but also increases their ability to have a successful venture after the competition.
The teams moving on include:
Turner Light Covers — Rob Turner innovated no-pest lighting covers for outdoor fixtures. These patented insect resistant covers are manufactured in Northwest Arkansas.
Umoja Soul Publications — Leora Jackson operates a publication company that produces the Black Business Directory of Northwest Arkansas and maintain a website that provides stories and events related to the African-American community.
Storage in Motion — Mike Gillespie makes a line of products for safely and responsibly storing firearms in vehicles and homes.
Your Move Managers — Kathleen Thompson operates a service business that helps senior citizens downsize and relocate.
Solgave Animal Solutions — Jared and Sunniva Ritter run a socially conscious company that offers pet sitting, house sitting, dog walking, behavior modification and a variety of other pet-related services.
Wise Custom Realty — J. Grant Wise is a new locally-owned real estate firm that focuses on residential property.