Innovative Food Truck Concept Wins 2023 J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge
April 20, 2023
BATON ROUGE - Rollin’ Yöggler’s Turkey Durkeys won first place in the 2023 J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge for their quick-service food concept featuring fried turkey fingers and stuffing fries to be served from a fleet of vibrant food trucks. Their first-place finish came with a $20,000 award.
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.
The J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge, held by the LSU Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute, is an annual business plan pitch competition open to all on-campus students in the LSU system. Students must submit an application and a two-minute pitch video explaining their existing business or idea for a new venture. Entrants selected as semi-finalists prepare an executive business plan. Plans are evaluated, and three finalists are chosen to pitch live to a panel of judges. This year the total prize pool was $35,000.
Second place and $10,000 went to Mitchell Mason, an interdisciplinary studies major in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. Mason created MediRail, a device designed to reduce the time first responders spend preparing patients for transport by combining a backboard and an automated CPR device.
In third place was Kamryn Huggins, a digital advertising major in the Manship School of Mass Communication. She won $5,000 for PuzzLove, a business that seeks to support the autism community through innovative products, including the Shoe Sleeve, which makes shoes more comfortable for children with autism.
“The J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge highlights the creativity of student founders,” said Jared J. Llorens, dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business. “We are proud of the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute’s work to coach students through the process and appreciate those who support this competition. Small businesses account for 99.5 percent of Louisiana’s businesses. LSU leads the way in supporting the state’s economic vitality through entrepreneurial programs and business education.”
Past Venture Challenge successes include Guise Medical in 2022, Debtle in 2021, Revibe in 2019, International Pumps and Parts in 2018, and Performance Mods in 2017, among several others.
The competition was made possible thanks to the generous support of the J Terrell Brown family.
For more information about the competition, visit lsu.edu/business/venture.
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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