UVU Entrepreneurship Institute Announces Its 2013 Opportunity Quest Finalists
February 4, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Shauna Theobald (801) 863-7363
Utah Valley University’s Entrepreneurship Institute, housed in the University’s Woodbury School of Business, recently announced the winners of its 2013 Opportunity Quest competition that recognizes excellence among the region’s diverse array of innovative entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Ten finalist teams ‘pitched’ their business ideas before an expert panel of judges last week. When all the votes were tallied, Andrew Nielsen of MusicScape walked away with the $3,000-first place grand prize. Nielsen has developed a unique multi-page folder that secures each page of music in its own pocket while reducing the need for page turns. He impressed judges with his straightforward presentation and thorough validations of his targeted market.
Steve Wellman and partner Bob Barnes of FuelOperator won second place with their smart phone app designed to help state and federal inspectors reduce time and cost while improving accuracy of EPA-required inspections of gas stations and other fuel repositories.
The Activitize team, led by Andres Trillos, is developing a social network app for young adults in the Provo-Orem area to connect with others to share in and schedule impromptu group sports and fitness activities.
Honorable mention went to Vinteo, founded by Richard Stapler. Stapler placed fourth in the 2012 statewide ‘Concept to Company’ competition. Vinteo is an app initially being developed for Android, iOS, and Windows 8 that provides on-the-fly film effects for photos and videos. This eliminates separate editing steps for designer-look images that immediately can be uploaded to social sharing sites such as Instagram and Facebook. Vinteo is scheduled for release at the end of this month.
Quality Handmade Pens, founded by Nathan Davidson, impressed judges not only because of the unique designs of the company’s high-end pens but also because of Davidson’s substantial skills in search engine optimization. Prior to launch, Davidson researched his market extensively, using keyword search before identifying and capitalizing on this niche market. Sales have increased dramatically since his launch in June 2012.
Kevin Simister, partner of the financial services firm Hawkins Cloward & Simister and a judge for the competition, said he was impressed with the diversity of ideas as well as the talents and experiences of the Opportunity Quest competitors.
“UVU is going to have a big job in tracking and supporting these student entrepreneurs and their startups as they grow, but what a boom for our community as their companies expand, create jobs and add to the economic vitality of Utah Valley,” Simister said.
Sponsors of UVU’s 2013 Opportunity Quest competition are Zions Bank; the law firm Jones Waldo; and Hawkins Cloward & Simister.
The UVU Entrepreneurship Institute serves student entrepreneurs across campus. To learn more, visit www.uvu.edu/woodbury/entrepreneurship.
About the UVU Woodbury School of Business
The Woodbury School of Business is the largest business school in the Utah System of Higher Education and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Woodbury School supports a variety of engaged learning projects and programs, including the Entrepreneurship Institute in which students start their own business. The school is distinguished for its focus on student development, entrepreneurship, global involvement and innovative teaching. In addition to traditional undergraduate courses of study in disciplines ranging from accounting to marketing, the WSB offers an MBA program that accommodates the schedule of working professionals through evening and weekend classes.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.