For the 2015 Concept to Company Competition, southern Utah entrepreneurs with new products or existing businesses that believe they have the next “big thing” are being sought to potentially win cash and related business services prizes. There is no cost to apply, and applications will be accepted through Nov. 25. Final awards will be presented at a Dec. 11 public awards ceremony at Dixie State University.
Applications will be received from throughout the state, with Iron, Washington, Kane, Garfield, and Beaver counties receiving special preference. To register and see complete contest rules, please visit ConceptToCompany.org.
The competition focuses on general business startup concepts, including both tech and non-tech concepts. Types of innovations or products can include tools, devices, inventions, software solutions, medical technology, mobile apps and a variety of other products. Existing companies with new products, as well as startups, may enter the contest if their product idea has been in the market for less than one year.
Although it is not required, staff from USTAR and the Utah Small Business Development Center in both Cedar City and St. George will be available by appointment to review entries prior to submission.
The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 cash and $13,500 worth of services. Two runners-up will each receive $5,000 cash $7,000 worth of services.
All contest finalists will be eligible for screening by the DSU Foundation’s Investment Committee for potential follow-on investment of up to $100,000.
In-kind services awarded include legal counseling from Durham, Jones and Pinegar Law; accounting services from Savage, Esplin and Radmall CPAs; web development from Velocity Webworks; digital marketing services from Voxxy; technology services from Watchman technologies; marketing communications from RUKKUS Communication as well as mentoring from experienced local entrepreneurs and investors.
The Concept to Company contests are organized by Grow Utah, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand economic development through entrepreneurship in Utah. To date, Grow Utah and its major backers of Zions Bank, Arches Healthcare, Mountain West Small Business Finance, and Durham, Jones, and Pinegar Law have held 26 contests throughout Utah and distributed over $1.2 million in cash and services to winning entrepreneurs.