Mad Batter: St. Gregory’s Team Named Finalist in Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup
This year St. Gregory’s University had six teams compete in the Small Business Division of the Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup competition by submitting written business plans. One of the teams, Mad Batter, advanced to the semifinal round on April 6, where they presented their plan to a panel of judges, and then to the final round, where they did another presentation to a different panel of judges on April 7. They will attend the awards ceremony on April 13 to find out the final results of the competition.
Mad Batter consists of seniors Zachary Lemusu, Kylee Tatum, and Dani Nissen and junior Nicole Tucker. Their business plan centered on opening a 24-hour coffee and pastry shop in historic downtown Shawnee. The unique features of the café included free WiFi, low prices, and an atmosphere conducive to studying for individuals or for groups, along with special cupcakes and cookies prepared on site.
“It was exciting for us to represent St. Gregory’s in the final round of the competition,” said Tatum, a senior business management major from Bethel. “It was a challenging and rewarding experience for us as a team. We were able to work together to achieve the goals we set for ourselves going into creating the Mad Batter business plan.”
Lemusu, a senior business major from San Diego, Cal., praised the direction and advice they received in the classroom.
“Dr. Bill Crawford and Dr. Mayda Shorney created a supportive learning environment to prepare us for the competition,” he said. “Of course there were some nerves going into it, but as a team and with the support of our instructors, we were able present our business plan with confidence.”
The students all agreed that competing in the Loves’s Cup provided them with skills that they will be able to use in their future careers.
“Having the opportunity to compete in the Love’s Cup was such a rewarding experience overall,” said Tucker, a junior business management major from Sasakwa. “I feel like this experience will help us in the future when we’re looking for jobs because it gave us all an opportunity to get comfortable with talking in front of people we didn’t know on a professional level, and we gained valuable experience working on a project as team.”
Nissen, a senior marketing major from Oklahoma City, echoed the importance of learning to work as a team throughout the process of creating the business plan.
“We had to truly work together to navigate ideas and schedules to make sure we were putting together a great business plan. It was a challenging experience, but it was worth it all of the effort we put into creating the plan,” she said.
The Love’s Cup, formerly the Governor’s Cup, is a statewide collegiate business plan competition that simulates the real world process of researching a market, writing a business plan and making a presentation to potential investors. In its 12 year history, more than 1,700 college students have competed; more than $1.6 million in cash awards, $95 thousand in scholarship dollars and $250 thousand in fellowships have been awarded. The competition has produced more than 600 innovative ideas from 25 campuses statewide, and more than 35 plans have gone on to becoming i2E clients.