Debtle Wins 2021 J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge

April 19, 2021

BATON ROUGEDebtle, cloud-based software that automates, improves, and simplifies the negotiation and settlement of overdue customer accounts, won the 2021 J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge. The first-place finish came with a $12,000 award. The annual business plan/pitch competition is open to all LSU students with existing businesses or business ideas. Three student entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas in the final round for a share of $25,000 in startup cash.

“We are honored by the recognition,” said Stephanie Hoskins, co-founder and CEO of Debtle. “It was an exciting event, and the funds will help Debtle improve our product and launch with more clients.”

The second-place finish and $10,000 award went to Split Culture, a technology that puts cell science to work smarter to answer the most pressing biological questions of today and tomorrow. Claiming third-place and a $3,000 award was Mallard Bay. Mallard Bay is an Airbnb-style experience providing a marketplace for outfitters to book hunts, access hunters, find new adventures, and plan outdoor guided hunts with real-time availability, secure payments, and quality assurance.

“By challenging students to create business plans and pitches, this competition is an important element for our strategy to foster economic development and entrepreneurship,” said Kenny Anderson, executive director of the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute. "Despite the pandemic, we had a record 53 first-round entries this year. Congratulations to all three teams and a sincere thank you to our sponsors."

Past Venture Challenge successes include Revibe in 2019, International Pumps and Parts in 2018, Performance Mods in 2017, and United Ariel and Tonal Innovation in 2016, among several others.  

The competition, which Jones Walker and GMFS Mortgage sponsored, aired live to a virtual audience on April 15, 2021. A recording of the event is available on the E. J. Ourso College of Business YouTube channel.

For more information about the J. Terrell Brown Venture Challenge, contact Kenny Anderson, Executive Director of the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute.

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 the challenges of entrepreneurship and positively impact students, the regional economy, the state of Louisiana, and the nation. A generous donation by LSU alumni Emmet and Toni Stephenson made the continued development of the college’s entrepreneurship institute possible. For more information, visit the SEI website or call 225-578-0313.

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Elizabeth Eaton
E. J. Ourso College of Business