Love's Cup Archives - Collins College of Business

Love’s Cup

TU students excel in Love’s Cup

The Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup is a statewide collegiate innovative plan competition that challenges participants to think of the real-life procedures that go on behind the scenes of the business world, such as researching the market, writing a business plan and making a presentation to potential investors.

Two teams from The University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business emerged victorious this year:

  • Solar Mineralis won the first place award and $20,000 in the High Growth Undergraduate Division. In addition, Solar Mineralis was named winner of the Energy and Environmental Interview award and received a $1,000 award.
  • Library C took home third place in the Graduate Division, which included a $5,000 prize, as well as the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Healthcare Interview award and $1,000.

Solar Mineralis

three young men and a young woman standing together facing the camera
L-R: Andrew Varvara, Bryce Goswick, Suraj Vodnala, Madison Perigo

Solar Mineralis pitched technology that creates high-quality and more efficient solar cells that have the potential to accelerate the adoption of solar energy solutions. The team was led by senior business management major Suraj Vandala. His teammates were sophomore physics major Bryce Goswick, senior biology pre-med major Andrew Varvara and TU College of Law juris doctor student Madison Perigo. Professors Mike Troilo and Parameswar Harikumar served as their advisors. In addition to her team’s victory, Perigo won the $5,000 Paulsen Award scholarship from the Oklahoma Business Roundtable.

“Pitching in the Love’s Cup allows students to practice taking wonderful ideas and making sure that these ideas have a solid implementation plan in the real world,” said Vodnala. “In the real world, valuable opportunities will never be solo ones. Working well with a team is an invaluable skill to have. The better you are able to communicate and work with your team the higher your chances of success. I was lucky to have an amazing team that strove for success and nothing less”

In order to win, Solaris Mineralis constructed a plan that was well researched on both the business and environmental sides. “Dr. Troilo was the professor that offered us the most help in the general structure of the project along with how the finances worked,” said Goswick. “Professor Tom Seng guided us on current trends in the solar market and gave us information about the market. Dr. Harikumar helped in explaining what the product was, how it is formulated and applied, and how much something like this would cost. These three professors made a huge contribution to the data and plan we submitted.”

Library C

four young men standing several feet apart from each other in a room in front of a large screen on which is projected a PowerPoint slide
L-R: Eric Aplis, Chistopher Shrock, Elijah Lucas, Levi Zander

Library C used a patent-pending sulfonamide synthesis technology to manufacture novel and affordable screening compounds, facilitating a way for researchers to find safer targeted cancer treatments.

Eric Aplis led the team. He was accompanied by Elijah Lucas, Christopher Shrock and Levi Zander. Professor Troilo was their advisor.

If rolling up your sleeves and gaining the skills necessary for career success appeals to you, there’s no better academic home than TU’s Department of Management, Marketing and International Business.

TU business students triumph in Love’s Cup competition

The Love’s Cup is a statewide business plan competition for college students that simulates the real-world process of researching a market, writing a business plan and making a presentation to potential investors. This year, an undergraduate team – Novel Neuro – and a graduate team – DevCycle – from The University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business took first and third place respectively in their divisions.

Novel Neuro

Novel Neuro was led by Brittanie Whitney. Her teammates were Faith Nichols, Lena Schmenn and Sophia Zehentner. Professor Chris Wright served as their adviser.

Members and adviser of Novel Neuro team
The Novel Neuro team and their adviser

“The Love’s Cup was a great introduction to the world of entrepreneurship,” said Whitney. “The competition and Professor Cornell’s course cover every aspect of start-up ventures, from initial market definition all the way to the exit strategy. With a technical product, we were grateful to have the support of a few Tulsa entrepreneurs and TU community members on our advisory board. My teammates and I had a neuroscience 101 crash-course at our first meeting and haven’t stop learning since! As the team leader, I gained experience in project management and I am now better equipped for my career!”

Novel Neuro is a patent-pending cognitive assessment platform that enhances the confidence of providers in the medical, personal injury and insurance industries by accurately identifying falsified (malingering) claims of brain injury. The technology was developed by TU’s Neuropsychology Laboratory with the assistance of Jordan Hoffmeister, a doctoral candidate in psychology. Through their research, the team discovered that 39% of this kind of injury claims are fake or exaggerated. Neuropsychologists need to be able to detect these false claims, especially in light of the fact that related insurance claims average $100,000 each.

At the Love’s Cup competition, the team sought $1.4 million to build the software’s platform, accelerate brand relationships and continue further research and development. In return, the team offered investors a 30% stake in the company while projecting an 11.32x return on investment in three years.


DevCycle comprised Israyil Alakbarov (team leader) and Jamala Talibova. Their faculty adviser was Professor Claire Cornell.

The focus of this team’s work was innovation within the $14 billion embedded software market. Embedded software is used to control machine interface and is built into a diverse array of products, including mobile phones, robotics, electric cars and medical devices. The market is growing by 10% each year.

The DevCycle team and their adviser
The DevCycle team and their adviser

The traditional embedded software development process consists of hardware design and software design. The DevCycle technology was developed by TU alumnus Jonathan Torkelson (BEE ’03, MEE ’04). It has improved the embedded software development process by enabling users to develop software, visualize the hardware, test and debug concurrently. This leads to a 50% decrease in development costs and a 40% drop in hardware development time.

“This was a great experience because we were working with a real project, learned a lot from our mentors and improved our business understanding,” said Alakbarov, a business analytics student. “Even though my background is all about business/economics/marketing, it was still very challenging and informative.”

Similar to Novel Neuro, the DevCycle team sought $1.4 million to start building their brand recognition and to continue research and development as they expand into new markets. For a 30% stake in the firm, they projected a 16x return on investment in three years.

Undergraduate and graduate business studies at TU can lead to so many exciting futures. Discover the path that’s ideal for you.