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2024 Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup finalists announced; Awards Luncheon to be held Friday, April 19

Published March 20, 2024

Pelican Cup 2024

MONROE, LA – The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup competition has announced the finalist teams for the 2024 competition. Six finalist teams have been selected to compete in the oral finals, and the winners will be announced at the 3rd Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 19, at 11:30 a.m. at Bayou Pointe Event Center on the ULM campus. Tickets are on sale now for $100 for the public and $50 for students. Visit www.ulm.edu/pelicancup for ticket and sponsorship information. 

The finalists were announced in a video on March 15, 2024, by Dr. Michelle McEacharn, Dean of the ULM College of Business and Social Sciences. The video can be viewed at www.facebook.com/TheEntrepreneurshipPelicanCup See below for a detailed list of the finalist teams.  

Open to all majors, the goal of The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup is to inspire participants and the community to think entrepreneurially by rewarding creativity, professionalism, and hard work.  

The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup is open to any full- or part-time, certificate- or degree-seeking student enrolled in a four-year college or university in Louisiana.  

The competition requires a written formal business plan judged by business owners and investors.  The six finalists will compete in the oral finals on March 26 at ULM. Also, during the awards luncheon, each team will select one member to conduct a 90-second “Elevator Pitch,” and the winner will receive a $2,000 cash award.   

The 2024 Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup Competition is the largest yet, with 22 entries from universities across Louisiana. “We are thrilled to see this program expand so rapidly across the state and we welcome the visiting teams to our beautiful campus,” said ULM Director of External Initiatives Cathi Hemed.  

Prize amounts for the 2024 competition have been increased from last year.  

This year’s cash prizes include: 

First Place                      $50,000 

Second Place                  $25,000 

Third Place                      $10,000 

Elevator Pitch Winner     $2,000  

First, Second, and Third Place faculty advisors to receive $3,000.   

Finalist Teams 

Automatic AI, LLC (University of New Orleans)Team Leader: Andrew Bradford Team Members: Julien Bourgeois (non-student), Jake Compton Advisors: Dong-Jun Min (Primary), Shafin Khan (Secondary) 

Cantaloupe (Tulane University & Southeastern Louisiana University) Team Leader: Rich Simmerman Team Members: Joshua Anderson (non-student), Lane Degenhardt Advisor: Jane Cooper 

SketchMan (ULM) Team Leader: Supriya Pudasainy Team Members: Samir Gurung, Suruchi Bista, Nabin Tamang, Binit Karki Advisor: Therese Filhiol 

Tipzy (Tulane University) - Team Leader: Josh McCoy Team Members: Jake Marzullo, Tinley Gorman Advisor: Rob Lalka 

Trigworks (ULM) - Team Leader: Janet Stopka Team Members: Mackenzie King, Viktor Motov, Valeryia Trubskaya Advisor: Veronika Humphries 

WavRC (Tulane University & University of Louisiana Lafayette) - Team Leader: Samuel Liu Team Members: Maggie Lai, Ting Jiang Advisor: Evan Nicoll 

“Every team that entered should be commended,” said Hemed. “The rigor of this competition is intense and requires countless hours of the students and faculty advisors,” she added.  

Sponsorships for The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup Awards Luncheon are still available, but tables are expected to sell out. For more information about sponsorships, visit www.ulm.edu/pelicancup.  

About The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup 

Now in its third year, The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup was founded by distinguished ULM alumnus Dhu Thompson. Thompson is the founder, past owner, and former chairman of the board for Delta Plastics, producer of agricultural irrigation tubing, and the largest recycler of plastics in Arkansas. He is also the former owner and past chairman of the board for Revolution Bag that manufactures EPA-compliant trashcan liners. Thompson’s honors include 2004 Arkansas Business Executive of the Year and SBA Person of the Year. In 2019 he sold the Revolution brands to a New York private equity firm and now focuses on entrepreneurship growth in Arkansas and Louisiana.