Pitch-style Competition Recognizes Local Entrepreneurs

Published: December 18, 2023 | Author: Susie Knudsen | Read Time: 2 minutes

James Thelin speaking on stage

SUU Startup is pleased to recognize the State Bank Business Challenge finalists who competed during the One Utah Summit for cash prizes and other awards.

The pitch-style competition opened with a preliminary round in which contestants were given three 90-second pitches to present their business models. Semi-finalists were then narrowed down based on scores. From there, contestants advanced to the final round to pitch their ideas to a prestigious panel of judges.

The eight winners include: James Thelin with MegaLoaf, Megan Hutchinson with Sunny Side Up Pastures, Heidi Kershaw with Square in the Eye, Jett Strand with Etched Timber, Cade Matheson with PhotoHive, Torrie Meidell with Dream Acre Flower Farm, JP Teerlink with Parable Devices and Kevin Ravenburg with Velocity Boards.

Thelin’s business, MegaLoaf Sourdough, is focused on changing the bread industry by crafting uniquely flavorful and healthy sourdough bread. MegaLoaf is infused with prebiotics and probiotics that make it stand out from other bread brands.

“Participating in the competition was an incredible experience,” said Thelin. “Winning reaffirms our commitment to revolutionizing the bread industry with MegaLoaf Sourdough. We can't wait to bring more innovation and health to our customers' tables."

Finalist speaking while holding flowers

Hutchinson’s business, Sunny Side Up Pastures, believes that all food should be local, healthy and sustainable; She also believes a healthy sustainable future relies on more small farmers. “Farmers who are going off the beaten path are often criticized and told we won’t make it,” said Hutchinson. “Even though I know what we are doing is important, it was so encouraging to have others say that as well.”

Kershaw’s business Square in the Eye is a company dedicated to fostering eye contact in the autism community. Square in the Eye helps those who suffer from autism to learn the skill of eye contact, which in turn greatly assists in overall communication and ease of social interaction.

The State Bank Business Challenge is a great opportunity for small business owners to network, build relationships and have their voice heard. More information about SUU Startup can be found at suu.edu/startup.

Tags: Startup Community and Professional Development

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Nikki Koontz