Truck Stop And General Store Giant Sponsors Entrepreneurship Cup
You know the signs, the big yellow signs with the hearts on them. That means there’s a Love’s coming up on the highway. It’s going to be clean, and have every snack you could ever imagine. Like many American icon’s the Oklahoma based truck stop and general store giant, started as a small business, a startup.
As far as gas stations, and truck stops go Love’s is constantly innovating. If you visit a Love’s truck stop in June and come back the next January, chances are something is different. There may be new ways to prepare food, a new system for payments, a new kiosk to make life on the road easier. We don’t often equate truck stops to innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and startups. But they live it.
Love’s isn’t the only major truck stop brand that backs startups either.
E. Phillip Saunders, the founder of TA truck stops is the namesake partner and backer for the Young Entrepreneur’s Academy, a nationwide startup initiative and competition based in Rochester New York. The Saunders Foundation champions the scholarship program driving the competition.
The Entrepreneur’s Cup in Oklahoma is the premiere business plan competition at the collegiate level in Oklahoma. After last year’s competition Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores became the signature sponsor of the competition, christening it the “Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup”.
Earlier this month, Jenny Love Meyer, daughter of Tom and Judy Love, the founders of Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, told the group at the Entrepreneur’s Cup Gala that Love’s was founded by entrepreneurs.
“The people at Love’s will tell you that entrepreneurial spirit is the force behind their success — that and their dedication to their customers, employees and to the communities where Love’s employees and customers work and live.” she said.
The competition runs all year and begins with a day long seminar called “Who Wants To Be An Entrepreneur”. After that, students form teams and figure out an idea for a business plan. They work on the plan for the remainder of the year until the gala, all the while getting help from mentors.
Through the history of the competition 35 teams have moved onto incubate through i2E, a mentorship and incubation program backed by the Oklahoma Center For The Advancement of Science and Technology.