LSU Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute Announces J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge Finalists

April 10, 2023

Three LSU student businesses have been selected to present in a live pitch competition for a share of $35,000 in the 12th annual J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge to be held on April 19 at the LSU Business Education Complex.

More than 50 student teams submitted business plans in the challenge's first round. All projects were judged and scored by a panel of faculty members and others in the entrepreneurial network.

The three finalists are MediRail, PuzzLove, and Rollin' Yoggler's Turkey Durkeys.  

  • MediRail is a device that combines a medical backboard with an automated CPR device, reducing the time that first responders spend preparing patients for transport. The founder is Mitchell Mason, an interdisciplinary studies major in the LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences.
  • PuzzLove seeks to support the autism community through innovative products, including the Shoe Sleeve, a device designed to make shoes more comfortable for children with autism. The founder is Kamryn Huggins, a digital advertising major in the Manship School of Mass Communication.
  • Rollin’ Yoggler’s Turkey Durkeys is a quick-service restaurant concept featuring fried turkey fingers from a fleet of retrofitted Volkswagen vans. The founders are brothers and E. J. Ourso College of Business students Sam Shapiro, a finance and entrepreneurship major, and Joe Shapiro, a finance major.

On April 19, these finalists will give a 10-minute investor pitch in front of a live audience. A 10-minute question and answer session follows each presentation with a group of judges made up of local business professionals and investors. The judges will determine how to divide $35,000 among the three winners based on the presentations. The maximum prize is $25,000, and the minimum is $2,500. All finalists are guaranteed cash.

The event is open to the public. To RSVP, visit by April 14.

About Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute

The mission of the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute is to promote and foster entrepreneurial practices through education, outreach, and research. An integral part of LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business, the SEI utilizes its various programs and other means to address entrepreneurial challenges and positively impact students, the regional economy, the state of Louisiana, and the nation. A generous donation by LSU alumni Emmet and the late Toni Stephenson made the continued development of the college’s entrepreneurship institute possible.

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