Hannah Martin, a student at Ouachita Baptist University, a Conway psychology major, competed in the finals of the 2022 Arkansas Governor’s Cup college business plan competition.
The Governor’s Cup is presented by Arkansas Capital Corporation, a private, not-for-profit special projects finance company based in Little Rock.
Martin entered the small business division of Winrock Automotive with her younger sister, Tabitha Martin, a business administration student at Central Baptist College. Together they came up with a plan for a gym called Limitless Fitness.
“Limitless Fitness is a modern, smart, women-only gym focused on the minds and bodies of our members,” Martin said. “We not only provide a safe space where women can train and be active, but also a variety of services to motivate, support and encourage all women involved in our business.”
The Martins’ business plan focuses on creating a facility that allows women to train in any method they choose and feel comfortable while doing so.
“Our business plan is not particularly an idea that we never thought of,” Martin said. “There is clearly a huge need for female-only gyms, but no one has done it. Ours is an open gym that will allow women to exercise however they want.
According to the 2022 Governor’s Cup Competition Guide, the program was launched in 2001 to allow students to gain real-world experience through the challenge of planning and proposing a viable business while learning about opportunities and resources. available to them in Arkansas to help them start it, grow it and maintain it.
The Governor’s Cup consists of three legs, two of which are held virtually. The first round requires teams to submit a pitch video and a written business plan. The judges then select six teams from each division (Small Business/Lifestyle and High Growth/Tech) to advance. In the second round, teams submit a revised business plan based on feedback from the first-round judges and make an oral presentation.
The judges then choose the top three winners from each division. The final round includes a 90-second pitch during the awards luncheon, and the audience decides the winners for both divisions.
“It was really amazing to see our idea put on paper,” Martin said. “It was very stressful to balance the work for this competition and the school work. It was also difficult being just a two-member team, but we made it work. I really learned to put my business knowledge into practice.
Payouts for the Small Business/Lifestyle division are $5,000 for third place, $10,000 for second place, and $15,000 for first place.
“We didn’t make the top three in the competition,” Martin said. “However, it was a phenomenal experience to feel the support of everyone we met during the competition that week. It showed us that we really can achieve this dream and have the support of many people to do so.
Three Ouachita teams from the Hickingbotham School of Business qualified for the first round of the Governor’s Cup competition by placing in the annual Ouachita Business Plan Competition in November.