News

Innovation Trumps at Business Competition

November 19, 2007
Category: Community Outreach


What do video games, hair inserts and camping trailers all have in common? They were all featured in the winning entries of SUU’s second annual Best Business Idea Competition.

The winners of this year’s competition covered a wide range of business possibilities, and according to the assistant director of SUU’s Small Business Development Center, Joni Anderson, “they all represent very practical and innovative business ideas with bright prospects for the future.”

Over 30 entries were submitted to this year’s competition, and of the twelve finalists chosen to pitch their ideas in person, David Grant was selected as the first place winner. Grant’s idea for a device that requires children to work to play video games earned him $5,000 toward product development.

The second place entry came from two local high school students, Rachel Grant and Katie Pearson, who envision a new fiber optic technology for hair inserts. The two girls won $3,000 for business implementation.

Southern Utah University student Mike Ogden placed third in the competition with his idea for more lightweight, affordable camping trailers than are currently on the market. Ogden earned $1,000 for his idea.

The competition, sponsored by SUU’s School of Business and the Small Business Development Center, the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce and Iron County Economic Development, was created to support the development of small businesses in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

According to Anderson, the program’s objective is to integrate community resources and the talent of our local entrepreneurs to increase the number and success of small companies in the tri-county region.

States Anderson, “In the not too distant future, [SUU’s Small Business Development Center] is hoping to develop a ‘one-stop-shop’ business resource center that will provide necessary support and counseling services for smaller businesses. Ultimately, such a center would not only provide support services, but would also help with financing alternatives, business partnering facilitation, as well as legal and human resource services.”

In addition to the top three competition winners, two $500 honorable mentions were awarded. Tony Carlile’s idea for farming commodity storage and distribution and Daniel Thompson’s pitch for antler hunting media and apparel both received this recognition.

Contact Information:
Jennifer Burt
435-586-1997
burt@suu.edu