​​Students Win Thousands at Final Entrepreneur Challenge

Published: May 19, 2023 | Author: Hayley Radle | Read Time: 3 minutes

S4 Competition WinnersIn April, the Larry H. & Gail Miller Center for Entrepreneurship at Southern Utah University invited students to compete in Spring into Summer of Success, otherwise known as S4, an invitation-only competition meant for new student business owners at SUU to participate in the entrepreneurship program’s highest stakes event of the year. All cash awards, including the grand prize of $10,000, were provided by sponsored members of the Entrepreneur Leadership Council.

The student participants worked to compile and submit a two minute video before the event, answering questions about their business to present to the judges at the competition. After their videos were presented, each student then followed by addressing a challenge that faces their business and interacted with the judges to receive feedback and answer how they will face their challenge.

Several cash awards were given to participants, with Jett Strand taking the first place $10,000 award for the presentation on his company Etched Timber, where he etches custom designs onto wood items such as graduation diplomas, cutting boards, and even cufflinks, to name a few. As the grand prize winner, he has been paired with a mentor for the summer to work and focus on taking his business to the next level.

Additional Winners

  • Second place: Spencer Huff and Ryan Freeman, Celestial Bags - $5,000
  • Third place: Bridger and Sawyer James, Leaf & Lemon - $3,000
  • Alan Hall Recipient for Outstanding Salesperson: Janson Port, Portable Detail - $2,000

Awards of Merit, $500 each

  • Chantel Clark, CKC Training
  • Porter Wilkes and Payton Riggs, Sunsets Marketing
  • Carter Filion, The CR3W Museum
  • Baylee Wiener, Murals by Baylee

Roger Seegmiller, Entrepreneur Leadership Council chair and one of the competition’s judges, has loved contributing to young entrepreneurs in Southern Utah throughout his time on the council. According to him, most council members are also happy to help out and provide financial support for these young college competitors to further their businesses, and this competition allows these students to gain confidence going forward.

“I think that being able to give them the experience of having to come up [with] and make an idea become a business plan, and then executing the business plan and finding out where the flaws are and having to pivot on a direction they hadn’t anticipated to find the success, and being able to go through that as a student makes it a ton more likely that, somewhere down the road, they are going to have the guts to take another risk,” Seegmiller says. “Or there are some times where what the student’s doing actually turns into a real business, too.”

Seegmiller also says that what makes S4 unique is the idea behind the prize money for the top three winners - people on the council aim to provide enough funds for students to focus full time on working on their project rather than work during the summer when they’re out of school.

Along with classes, other competitions, and events done by the Entrepreneurship Center, this competition is one of the biggest stepping stones for bringing the future success of young entrepreneurs at SUU as they face judges, critiques, and other contestants.

The Council hopes to also encourage SUU students outside of the business school to tap into their entrepreneurial side and go forward with a new business, or idea of a business, to see where it could take them.

The Larry H. & Gail Miller Center for Entrepreneurship at SUU strives to support students in effectively starting and running their own businesses through different courses and competitions throughout the year. Learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship at SUU

Tags: Entrepreneurship School of Business

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