University News

Best Business Competition Turns Out Winners

Published: March 05, 2008 | Category: Special Events

Green energy, weddings, teeth whitening, oh my! This spring’s Best Business Plan Competition at Southern Utah University turned out a wide variety of ideas, and according to the assistant director of SUU’s Small Business Development Center, Joni Anderson, all the winners are well on their way to turning those ideas into success.

This year’s top winners, who each received cash prizes to help transform their ideas into reality, include, Stephanie Nielson, Brent Ward and Chad Petty. As a contest open exclusively to SUU students, the Best Business Plan Competition helps prepare students with the critical advice necessary for them to turn ideas into reality.

SUU’s Small Business Development Center provides the real-life experience many young entrepreneurs struggle to get in an academic setting.

As the first place winner, Stephanie Nielson’s idea for environmentally friendly residential and consumer energy solutions was awarded $5,000 toward business implementation. Nielson is a senior business major from Axtell, Utah.

The second place entry came from Brent Ward, a senior marketing major from Atlanta, Georgia, who presented plans for a new kind of wedding reception and special events center. Ward won $3,000 for business implementation.

And in third place, was senior management student Chad Petty from Salt Lake City, whose business idea focused on an in-home tooth whitening system. Petty earned $1,000 for his idea.

All three winners of the competition have also earned automatic entry into the University of Utah’s Utah Entrepreneurs Challenge, which will run over the next few weeks.

Prize money and sponsorship for SUU’s Best Business Plan Competition was provided by Allegiance Direct Bank and the Utah Center for Rural Life.

In addition to the top three competition winners, two $500 honorable mentions were awarded. Jed Hinkins’ idea for a new heavy equipment and truck oil filtration system was considered both viable and innovative. A team entry from Lexie Southworth, Travis Gray and Kevin Sandall was also recognized, with a business plan to develop a dance studio that provides therapy alternatives for troubled youth.

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