OBU junior has winning business plan

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published February 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated February 27, 2013 at 10:46 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Lindsey Fowler won the Ouachita Baptist University/Henderson State University Business Plan Competition for her business plan for TrustedWills.com, which would help customers put together wills, living wills and powers of attorney.

Lindsey Fowler means business.

Fowler, a junior a Ouachita Baptist University, took first place in the 2012 OBU Business Plan Competition and was recently the first-place winner of the Business Plan Battle of the Ravine against Henderson State University.

At this competition, the top three business-plan teams from each university faced off against each other with written business plans that students have created. Fowler has a triple major at the university: business, political science and history.

Each team has a faculty adviser who is paired with the students.

Bryan McKinney, the dean of OBU’s Hickingbotham School of Business, is Fowler’s faculty adviser for this project.

“We can provide counsel and guidance along the way,” McKinney said. “We’re there to offer help.”

Fowler’s winning business plan is a web-based company targeted at young families to set up their last will and testament, titled Trustedwills.com.

“In a matter of minutes [clients] can create a last will and testament, living will and a power of attorney,” Fowler said.

This idea developed from McKinney being approached by young families in his Sunday School class who were having their first child and were concerned with guardianship. McKinney said he wondered if this could potentially be a business; then Fowler developed this business plan.

“Families can have that guardianship question answered and that peace of mind that their children will be taken care of, no matter what happens,” Fowler said.

TrustedWills takes the process of going to see a lawyer out of the equation.

The website was created by Terry Sergeant, a former professor at OBU.

Fowler has submitted her Trustedwills business plan to the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup, the statewide business-plan competition.

Her plan was submitted to the Governor’s Cup on Feb. 22, and the semifinalists and finalists will be announced March 13.

McKinney said the Ouachita and Henderson competitions give students the opportunity to practice for the statewide competition on a smaller scale.

“This gives our students a trial run,” McKinney said. “All of the stuff that happens at the Governor’s Cup happens here.”

Trustedwills.com is ready to go at the push of a button, Fowler said.

“The website isn’t live yet, but we have a tentative launch date of June 1,” Fowler said.

McKinney said he has enjoyed working with Fowler on this project.

“It’s been a fun experience for me to see the potential of our students,” McKinney said.

Fowler has a Facebook page set up for her business plan at facebook.com/Trustedwills and on Twitter, @TrustedWills.

Fowler said this business competition has been a good experience for her.

“It’s been great to see all of the support from the OBU community, and everyone’s been really encouraging,” Fowler said.

Fowler plans on continuing her education after she graduates from OBU by pursuing a law degree.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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