KSU students advance to ‘Super Bowl of Investment Competitions’


Their start-up company won Georgia Bowl Business Plan Competition KENNESAW, Ga. (March 8, 2011) --…

Georgia (Mar 8, 2011)Their start-up company won Georgia Bowl Business Plan Competition

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 8, 2011) -- V-Chain Solutions Inc., a company started by Kennesaw State University MBA students, is preparing for “the Super Bowl of Investment Competitions.”

The team will compete in the Venture Labs Investment Competition May 4-7 in Austin, Texas. Forty university and college teams from more than a dozen nations will present development plans for new, independent ventures in the seed, startup or early growth stages. V-Chain will make software systems designed to streamline supply-chain processes for large companies.

V-Chain advanced to the Venture Labs Investment Competition because it won the Georgia Bowl Business Plan Competition, held in early February at KSU. KSU’s SoVerse team tied for third place in the Georgia Bowl.

“We are very proud of V-Chain’s and SoVerse’s performance,” said Charles W. Hofer, the Regents Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at KSU who created the Georgia Bowl and advised both KSU teams. “V-Chain is the first Kennesaw team to ever win the Georgia Bowl. The primary factor that led to their win was the progress that the team had made toward actually launching their business. V-Chain’s win also guaranteed Kennesaw an entry into Venture Labs for the third consecutive year.”

Georgia consultants, venture capitalists, inventors, startup founders and business executives judged students from KSU, the Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Johns Hopkins University and the universities of Florida, Louisville and Manitoba.

Members of the V-Chain team are MBA student Tom Sweeney and executive MBA students Donna Orban and Bilal Taylor, all from KSU, plus James Vinson. Vinson lives in San Francisco but takes West Georgia University undergraduate courses online.

Vinson, the president of V-Chain, said he and Sweeney started the company because the market lacked products that enable supply chain managers to proactively drive the supply chain. He said the “pre-revenue organization” has raised more than $300,000 in private investments through friends and family.

 “These funds support the research, design phase, proof of concept and pilot customer acquisition phase,” Vinson said. “We currently have two multi-billion dollar clients piloting our solution to explore the feasibility of a global deployment.”

Jay Brown and Sonya Hightower made up the SoVerse team. SoVerse helps businesses, consumers, and nonprofit organizations create rich Internet presences quickly, efficiently, and with minimal startup and maintenance costs. 




Kennesaw State University is the third largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 23,400 from 142 countries.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu