Press Release: Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge
Students Take Home $96,000 in Prize Money in Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge
BOISE, Idaho; March 23, 2015 — Eight teams of intrepid student entrepreneurs took home $96,000 in prize money to bolster their businesses at the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge Awards Gala on March 7.
The awards were presented at the Stueckle Sky Center on the Boise State University campus and capped a months-long competition managed by Boise State’s Center for Entrepreneurship and sponsored by Zions Bank. All 22 colleges and universities in the Gem State were invited to participate in the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge, a series of workshops and events that culminated in a statewide business plan competition with a $40,000 grand prize.
The $40,000 grand prize in the Business Plan Competition was awarded to MotoTrax, which created a product that turns dirt bikes into snow bikes for the winter. The team is comprised of University of Idaho students Randy Gentry, Tallie Gentry and Zak Garrett.
Second place and $15,000 was awarded to Vivid Roots, a lifestyle apparel brand that donates a portion of each purchase to clean water initiatives worldwide. The company is led by Boise State University students Dallas Crum, Trever Bostrom, Dylan Carlson and Connor Kingsbury.
Third place and $10,000 went to Time Stage, a medical diagnostic equipment innovation company focused on improving current medical diagnosis procedures and led by four University of Idaho students: Shuai Li, Jacob Stevens, Michael Marsh and Verity Lectka.
Realtime Adventure Data from Boise State University won fourth place and $2,000. Realtime Adventure Data produces a device that offers backcountry recreationists the ability to understand the stability of the snowpack through the use of a handheld probe. Team members include Drew Eldred, Micah Johnson, Ryan Stevenson, Wesley Stanfill and Jacob Taubenheim.
TriBiz from the University of Idaho won fifth place and $2,000. TriBiz’s primary focus is on serving local, regional, and small businesses with advertising and marketing via eco-friendly to-go boxes, which will be distributed to local restaurants for free of charge. Team members include Naibe Malike, Neil Markuson, Duncan Sakai, George Simon and Brandon Bledsoe.
In the Business Model Competition, Vivid Roots took first place and $10,000. Second place and $5,000 was awarded to Realtime Adventure Data.
Rubicon Sensors received third place and $2,500. Rubicon Sensors provides a cost-effective and accurate method to detect erosion, and the company’s goal is to reduce erosion-related bridge failures. Team members are brothers Zachary Kohl and Samuel Kohl, both students at the University of Idaho.
Pooch Park from Boise State University was honored with fourth place and $1,000. Pooch Park connects pet parents and their pets with other like-minded owners through the creation of a full-service indoor doggy venue. Team members include Megan Mann and Ethan Asher.
In the Idea Competition, Rubicon Sensors won first place and $1,000. Brett Wharton Animation from Boise State won second place and $500. Brett Wharton Animation creates apps for games, photo sharing and storytelling.
Realtime Adventure Data received two additional awards, including the Idaho Rising Entrepreneur and Alturas Capital Best in Trade Show. MotoTrax received the Trademark Signs Branding Package Award and New Ventures Lab Meridian Incubator Space and Training Award. Vivid Roots also earned the Best Elevator Pitch.
“While all student participants will develop the skills needed to launch new businesses, financial support, in the form of prize money and other resources, will help turn a few of these business concepts and product prototypes into new businesses,” said Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson. “We believe this program will not only contribute to the success of the individual businesses, but will provide economic development to the state of Idaho.”
Zions Bank’s financial support for the program underscores the bank’s commitment to small businesses as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Idaho’s Boise District for the past 13 consecutive years.
About Boise State University
A public metropolitan research university with more than 22,000 students, Boise State is proud to be powered by creativity and innovation. Located in Idaho’s capital city, the university has a growing research agenda and plays a crucial role in the region’s knowledge economy and famed quality of life. In the past 10 years, the university has quadrupled the number of doctoral degrees, doubled its masters degrees and now offers 13 online degree programs. Learn more at www.BoiseState.edu.
About Zions Bank
Zions Bank, a division of ZB, N.A., operates 124 full-service financial centers throughout Utah and Idaho. In addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has consistently ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Utah for the past 22 years and Idaho’s Boise District for the past 14 years. Founded in 1873, Zions Bank has been serving the communities of the Intermountain West for more than 140 years. Additional information is available at www.zionsbank.com.