Business students from Southern Utah University made a first-rate showing at this year’s regional Best Business Idea Competition, accepting seven out of the nine awards and recognitions given. More SUU students received awards in this year's competition than in any other year to date.
The competition featured a broad range of business pursuits, from networking technologies to footwear and baby clothing. Of the initial 26 entries, nine entrepreneurs were selected to personally pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.
Winning first place in this year’s competition were SUU students Brian Cameron and Kaylon Pickett, whose innovative language teaching tool, 'Face to Face', earned just one but two first place awards, as the pair also topped the event’s sub-competition, Opportunity Quest, available only to SUU students and sponsored by Zion’s Bank. The Face to Face program uses video chat technology to teach English-speaking skills to Asian populations.
Cameron and Pickett were awarded a total of $4,200 for the top two awards, funds that will prove very useful as they work to get their idea off of the ground.
SUU student Terral Fox took second place in both the general competition and the Opportunity Quest challenge for his concept of minimalist footwear" ‘Unshoes’. Fox was awarded a total of $1,800 in start-up funding.
Coming in third place in the competition was SUU student Keith Howells and associates Luke Vreeken, Bill Strohben and James Vreeken. The group was awarded $500 for their location-based web application that allows smart phone users to identify nearby activities and adventures.
Two SUU students and their business partners received honorable mentions. Landon Munk and Taylor Ricks were recognized for their web-based network that facilitates commodity exchange purchasing, news and other information. And SUU’s Kyle Pulsipher and teammate Kolby Pulsipher impressed judges with their ‘Main Street Theater’ concept which would bring discount movies and live performances and events to Cedar City. Honorable mention teams each received a $250 cash prize.
The annual competition, sponsored by SUU’s Small Business Development Center, seeks to help business-minded community members turn their entrepreneurial ideas into reality.
Since 2006, the Business Resource Center has helped entrepreneurs across the region turn their talents, enthusiasm and ideas into successful business ventures. Past winners have used the competition as a springboard for starting their own businesses and finding successful careers in entrepreneurship.
For more information or guidance in participating in next year’s competition, contact the Business Resource Center at 435-865-7707 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.