SUU students soared above the rest of the region’s entrepreneurs in the Best Business Idea competition for entrepreneurs across the tri-county area of Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.
In its fourth year, the Best Business Idea competition was designed to provide financial backing for aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors through the development of business concepts.
Of the five winning ideas in this year’s competition, three of them are credited to Thunderbird students and will now be carried into development.
This year’s honorees covered a wide range of business possibilities, representing very practical and innovative ideas with bright prospects for the future. According to Craig Isom, director of the SUU Business Resource Center, the program continues to grow each year and has proven itself a practical resource within the community.
Says Isom, "We are happy to see so many great ideas and to have so much interest in this. There's lots of talent in our community and many untapped ideas and opportunities."
Emerging victorious in the field of competition, senior SUU accounting major Andrew Davis and his partner Seth Wiscombe, earned first place and a $3,000 grant for their innovative device used to access vehicles using telephones.
Crediting the experience he gained in his classes for building the skills needed to compose a feasible business plan, Davis encouraged more SUU students to begin using the annual competition as a springboard to professional success. He explained, “The competition is a great opportunity for students to get real professional feedback to their ideas.”
Looking forward, Davis and Wiscombe are further developing their work and have now entered the Utah Entrepreneurs Competition which will provide a broader state venue of competition and feedback.
Coming in second place, with a $1,000 prize, were Brian and Summer Tremelling, of Cedar City. Their idea of a low fuel stove used for emergency preparedness intrigued judges and participants alike.
And with a new patented process for headlight restoration, SUU junior marketing major Brian Holmes and Heath Holmes were awarded third place and a $500 cash prize.
Additionally, the Best Business Idea judges granted two honorable mentions of $250 each to SUU students Mandy Wilcox, a sophomore of undeclared major, and Julie Montoya, a junior in biology, for their idea for an application that allows users to set the tempo of a song and to Mike Crockett, of Parowan, for an application specializing in importing QuickBooks files.
As always, the competition was sponsored by the SUU Small Business Development Center and School of Business, the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce and Iron County/Cedar City Economic Development. The prize money for this year’s winners was provided by ADB Bank.
The Best Business Idea Competition is to support the development of small business in the tri-county area and to promote healthy economic development with more jobs and an increased tax revenue base.