Pikeville, Ky. – Through a competitive application process, a group of UPIKE business, chemistry and biology students, known as Team Rhizofeed, has gained entry into the prestigious IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition.
“This is unprecedented for the University of Pikeville to compete on this global level against some of the highest ranked universities in the country,” said David Snow, D.M., director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office, director of business competitions, associate professor of business and faculty adviser for the team.
As Canada’s premier MBA business plan event, the IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition draws entrepreneurial teams from universities throughout North America and beyond. The competition offers graduate students the opportunity to present innovative new ventures to potential investors. At the same time, investors have a chance to get a close-up look at up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
Rhizofeed will travel to London Ontario, Canada, in January to compete for a $20,000 cash award. Last year, Team Rhizofeed was undefeated winning first place in four Kentucky events and earning $23,600 in prize money.
“I could not be more proud of what these students have accomplished. This provides the University of Pikeville the opportunity to raise its national profile as a university with high performing science and business students,” said Snow.
UPIKE students Wesley Barnett of Cynthiana, Molly Frank of Greensburg, and Erica Newsome, Matthew Thacker and Justin Prater of Pikeville, make up team Rhizofeed. Frank and Newsome are biology majors and Barnett is a biology and chemistry major. Thacker and Prater are MBA students. The team has developed an organic feed additive for the poultry industry made from bloodroot grown in Eastern Kentucky. Their all-natural, patented product was created to replace antibiotic use in the poultry industry and enable farmers to raise healthier, larger chickens while also reducing their feed costs.