A team of students from Northwestern State University won the Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup, for Rise and Rotate, a mobility assistance device. Matthew Gamble, CEO and team leader, along with Hayden Stanley, Chief Research and Development Officer, and Alexander Brown, Chief Information Officer, were named winner of the $25,000 prize for the device, which assists individuals with limited mobility in getting from a bed to a chair. Dr. Elizabeth Prejean is faculty advisor to the team.
The Entrepreneurship Pelican Cup is a business competition for college students intended to help students gain critical thinking, team building, presentation and other skills important to career growth.
Gamble, a graduating senior from Shelbyville, Texas, won last year’s NSU School of Business Inferno Cup, a preliminary to the Pelican Cup competition. He and his stepfather designed and developed Rise and Rotate. Gamble is a business administration major and earned $3,000 last fall for pitching a patented design and business plan for Rise and Rotate. Brown is a computer information systems major from Alexandria and Stanley is an engineering technology major from Glenmora.
“I think we all had to exercise fantastic time management skills to compete in the Pelican Cup,” Gamble said. “Every member of this team is a full-time student and employed. Having the time commitments we do made it extremely important to not only work by ourselves to ensure that, as individuals, we were ready to put our best foot forward, but to also navigate our schedules to have meetings and practices as a team.”
Gamble said the experience had a positive impact on the entire team.
“We were able to build confidence in ourselves and better understand how important it is to have a good team behind you to push you to be your best,” he said. “Our next step is to use the prize money for consulting and navigating FDA approval for customer reimbursement.”
During the awards lunch, each team put up one member to give a 90-second elevator pitch and the audience voted to select the winner.
“It was such an honor to work with this amazing group of young men and watch their dedication to the project. I wish them much success,” said Prejean, who won $3,000 as faculty sponsor.