SUU’s School of Business Announces Prestigious Winners of Best Business Idea Competition

Published: February 01, 2007 | Read Time: 2 minutes

The results of Southern Utah University’s School of Business’ first Best Business Idea Competition are in, and the results are exciting as they feature some prestigious entrepreneurs with fantastic ideas.

The event was sponsored by the SUU Small Business Development Center and School of Business, the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce and Iron County/Cedar City Economic Development. Prize money and sponsorship were donated by the Quantum Development Group (of the private sector of our community).

More than 60 imaginative and promising business ideas were submitted for judging. Eleven finalists were chosen to present their business idea orally to the panel of judges. Then, based upon those presentations, the five winners were chosen. The winners’ ideas covered a wide range of business possibilities and all represented practical, useable business ideas, with very bright prospects for the future.

And the winners are:

Chris Culp took First Place, and $5,000, in the competition for his idea of a dump truck insert for the bed of pickup trucks.

Laura Clinger captured Second Place and $3,000 for her idea for a uniquely-designed, particularly-functional handbag.

Christopher Empey garnered Third Place and $1,000 for his innovation of a diesel fuel alternative and processing from waste vegetable oil.

Gary Cohu received Honorable Mention and $500 for his specialized model of a hardware storage and organizer unit.

Andrew Walton also merited an Honorable Mention and $500 for his patented water bottle cap design with vitamins.

Incidentally, three of the five awardees--Laura Clinger, Christopher Empey and Andrew Walton--are students at SUU.

The objective of the SUU Best Business Idea Competition, and the intent of each of the sponsors, is to support the development of small businesses in the tri-County area, and to promote healthy economic development through more jobs and an increased tax revenue base. Craig Isom, Director of the SUU Small Business Development Center, remarked, “ “It is very rewarding to see the response to the competition challenge. There’s lots of talent in our community and many untapped ideas and opportunities.” Also, very encouraging, Isom adds, “is seeing so many different resources come together (university, public and private) for a very important and common cause.”

This goal is being aggressively sought after through the Best Business Idea Competition, along with the Best Business Plan Competition which will take place in the Spring, and a revitalized and strengthened Regional Services program that will impact all of southern and rural Utah, including “one-stop-shop” business resource centers that will provide necessary support and counseling services for smaller businesses as well as financing alternatives, business partnering facilitation, and legal and human resource services.

For more info on the Better Business Idea Competition, other similar programs, or the SBDC, see or call 435.586.5400.

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