GROW UTAH VENTURES ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF ITS CONSUMER PRODUCTS “CONCEPT TO COMPANY” CONTEST
- Winners Received $40,000 in Cash and Services to Launch Their Businesses -
SALT LAKE CITY, June 27, 2012 – Grow Utah Ventures is pleased to announce iLights as the 2012 Grand Prize Winner of their Consumer Products “Concept to Company” contest.
iLights was developed by Josh Wiscombe and Bret Millar and is a one-of-a-kind string of light bulbs that can be controlled using a smartphone app. More than 512 different colors and patterns can be programmed for each individual bulb simultaneously.
As the grand prize winner, iLights received $5,000 from the NorthFront Business Resource Center, and SEED Weber-Davis-Morgan. They also received $15,000 of in-kind services from the major contest sponsors, including: Grant Thornton (financial management services), Thorpe North and Western (IP legal services), and Bennett Tueller Johnson (general legal services). Zions Bank and Cisco were also financial supporters of the event.
Roller Tools by Kim Kimball and BreathEasy Infant Sleep System & Monitor by Scott Miles were announced as the two runners up in the contest and each received $5,000 in cash and $5,000 in in-kind services and mentoring to further their businesses.
•Roller Tools – OSS Roller Tools are a unique set of landscaping, and gardening tools using wheels as a fulcrum point which creates side to side stability and a greater ability to level, grade, and move or spread materials evenly.
•BreathEasy Infant Sleep System & Monitor – BreathEasy is an infant monitoring system that prevents conditions contributing to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It monitors heartbeat and breathing while also providing fresh, filtered, temperature controlled air directly to the sleeping surface.
“This year’s group of finalists was outstanding”, said Steve Cloward, Director of NorthFront Business Resource Center. “It was very hard to select only three winners. However, the three that were chosen developed some very unique consumer products with really big potential. With the help of this contest, we fully expect them to succeed. It will be fun to watch them grow.”
These three winners were part of an original group of eight finalists that presented their business ideas to judges and industry experts in a private day of judging earlier this month at the NorthFront Business Resource Center in Kaysville.
ILights, Roller Tools and BreathEasy were chosen as the top three winners; however the grand prize winner was not announced until a few days later at the CrowdPitch event, also held at the NorthFront Business Resource Center.
CrowdPitch events are a way for the public to get involved with the Concept to Company contests and bring exposure to the winners. In an entertaining mini-reality show format, the top three entrepreneurs pitched their ideas again to the industry experts and investors, however, this time in front of the general audience. This provided a unique opportunity for the audience to observe the decision making process that goes into investing in a business and to share the passion and excitement of business creation.
The three selected entrepreneurs were given five minutes to pitch their company to both the panel of experts and a live audience, followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Afterwards, the experts offer constructive feedback for the entrepreneurs and audience members got to vote on their favorite.
“To be chosen as a winner and then present my product at the CrowdPitch event was an unbelievable experience for me,” said Josh Wiscombe, owner of iLights. “It was a bit nerve-racking to pitch my product in front of 200 people, but the judges offered great feedback and it was all worth it in the end. This whole contest, from the application process, judge’s presentation, CrowdPitch presentation, networking and more have helped me hone my skills and prepared me to hit the ground running with iLights.”
At the conclusion of the CrowdPitch event, the grand prize winner was then revealed to be iLights, as well as the audience favorite, which was also iLights. Prizes and awards were then given to the winners.
The Concept to Company competition is an ongoing innovation contest. Held in different regions across Utah, each contest focuses on a different industry. To date, the contests have distributed more than $580,000 in prize money and services and have helped launch more than 80 companies. Two more contests will be held later this year focusing on mobile apps and medical devices. For more information, visit: www.ConceptToCompany.org
About Grow Utah Ventures
Grow Utah Ventures, is a privately funded non-profit organization dedicated to accelerate the creation of innovative, entrepreneur-led, high-growth businesses that will strengthen and expand the future growth of Utah’s economy.
The vision of Grow Utah Ventures is to create a robust entrepreneurial eco-system in Utah that fosters entrepreneurial talent, drives innovation to solve market needs, aligns community resources and support, and ensures funding for products, entrepreneurs and businesses of promise.
Comprised of a team of successful and experienced entrepreneurs, business leaders and private investors, Grow Utah Ventures accomplishes its mission by leading initiatives that fill critical gaps needed for economic and entrepreneurial expansion and encourage others to do the same. As such, Grow Utah Ventures serve as a catalyst to form new partnerships, develop innovative solutions, and capture breaking opportunities that will solve our economic issues today and ensure a sound foundation for our future economy.
Grow Utah Ventures