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Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship

Securing bicycles helps UNCL Co. secures first place at Ivey Business Plan Competition

Jan 21, 2023


MBA Students from the University of Arkansas won the 25th edition of the Ivey Business Plan Competition with their venture, UNCL Co.; an app-based security and monitoring system for bicycles that retrofits to existing bike racks.

Represented at the competition by MBA Candidates Michael Burton, Payton Lenz, and Clayton Woodruff, UNCL Co. (Universal Network Controlled Lock Company) addresses the rising problem of bicycle theft across North America, where more than 2 million bikes (a total value of $350 million) are stolen every year. Despite these statistics, only 10% of cyclists carry a bike lock due to a number of reasons, ranging from convenience and effectiveness. UNCL Co. is hoping to change that by providing consumers with an option that offers both security and mobility.

With a first-place prize of $20,000, UNCL Co. will be developing its venture this spring through the University of Arkansas’ Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) and has already secured key partnerships in Bentonville, Arkansas; the mountain bike capital of the U.S. The win also marked the third time a venture from the University of Arkansas has won the Ivey Business Plan Competition, joining the cloud-based eLearning program, Learning DifferentiatED (2012), and solar power venture, Picasolar (2013).

Team Singla listening to judges' questions

The second-place prize of $7,500 was won by SINGLA, an innovative all-lace intimate brand launched by Rubaina Singla, HBA ’24 Candidate. Singla, together with team member Katie Ko, presented the venture that is challenging the myth that sustainable fashion must compromise on design and quality by providing a product that bridges the gap between attainable luxury in fashion, comfort, and sustainability.

Mathieu Bournival answers questions at the Ivey Business Plan Competition

Mathieu Bournival, MBA ’23 candidate secured the third place prize of $2,500 for MF Analytics, a finance analytics platform to help prepare dentists for important financial decisions on the growth, efficiency and stability of their practices. While dentists can spend up to 8 years studying dentistry, many only have access to a few optional hours on how to manage their practice as a business.

Since 1998, the Ivey Business Plan Competition has brought together student teams and aspiring entrepreneurs from across North America and beyond, to help test their ideas, sharpen their entrepreneurial instincts and skills, and create an invaluable network of like-minded peers and mentors.

Throughout the past 25 years, the competition has witnessed a number of rising entrepreneurs, including the Founder of SAXX Underwear, Trent Kitsch, MBA ’07, and CBC Dragon Michele Romanow.

The competition included a pitch workshop with serial entrepreneur Ash Singh, HBA '04, mentoring and feedback sessions, and a gala event with a panel discussion on preparing student entrepreneurs for the next step of their journey. The panel, hosted by Morrissette Entrepreneurship's Executive Director Eric Morse, included insights from Albert Behr of Behr & Associates, Jacoline Loewen from Loewen Capital Ltd. And Mark Mauleesan, MBA '16, of Mauleesan Corporation.

Judges from competition finals

The panel of judges and mentors for the 2023 edition included Nicole Baranowski, BA’19, MSc ’21, Albert Behr (Behr & Associates Inc.), David Berg (Strainprint Technologies Ltd.), Marvin Bishnoi, MBA ’22, Deniz Edwards, MBA ’12, Grant Fraser, MBA ’91 (Golf Management Institute of Canada), Rob Hunter, HBA ’07 (HigherMe, Ivey Business School), Thomas Kalafatis, HBA '97, MBA '02 (KalNes Capital Partners), Sarah Landstreet, MBA ’13 (Ivey Business School), Andrew Leest (TechAlliance), Rajah Lehal, MBA ’06 (Clausehound Inc.), Jacoline Loewen (Loewen Capital Ltd.), Mark Mauleesan, MBA ’16 (Mauleesan Corporation), Shay Nulman, MBA ’12 (Mantaro Capital Corp), Morgan Rosenberg, HBA ’15 (University Health Network), Ash Singh, HBA ’04 (Hyper Accelerator), Martin Smith (TechAlliance), Steve Suske, MBA ’77 (Suske Capital), Shari Walczak, HBA ’94 (The Garden), Bruce Lamb, HBA ’85 (Avalanche Search Marketing Inc.), Tori Lamb, HBA ’14 (GoodLife Fitness), Melissa Sariffodeen, HBA ’10 (Canada Learning Code).