With interest coming from out-of-state parties, Ogden City Mayor Matthew R. Godfrey urged expansion of the contest, and the organizing committee complied. Winners are to receive cash and service prizes, up to $20,000 in value, when contest results are announced September 27th.
“In-state contestants will compete head to head with their peers,” said T. Craig Bott, president & CEO of Grow Utah Ventures. “A separate competition among out-of-state entries is the new aspect of the contest.”
Co-sponsored by Zions Bank and USTAR, the contest is open to individual inventors or to innovative small businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue. Applicants located outside the state of Utah must be willing to relocate and start their businesses in Ogden, Utah.
“Ogden has earned high marks for its ‘outdoor business-friendly’ environment,” Bott said. “This contest is another example of the city’s progressive and welcoming approach to new and existing manufacturers, distributors and service providers.”
Mayor Godfrey plans to attend the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City August 8th. At the event, he will promote the contest, as well as discuss Ogden’s burgeoning outdoor recreation industry.
A panel of outdoor industry experts will evaluate ideas based on innovation and marketability. There will be two grand prize winners, a local Utah based winner and an out of state winner. Each grand prize winner will receive a $20,000 award, comprised of cash and the equivalent value in consulting or prototyping services to help bring the idea to fruition. Additionally, there will be two local companies named as runner-up winners for the Utah based contest. Runners-up will receive $10,000 awards, comprised of cash and services.
Industry sponsors of the contest include Amer Sports Winter & Outdoor, Backcountry.com, Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., Deer Valley® Resort, Descente North America, GOODE, Mountain to Metro, Ogden City, Outdoor Industry Association, Ogden Climbing Park, Petzl America, Rossignol Group North America, Seed Weber Davis Morgan.
Contest rules and an application form are available at www.launchutah.com/concepttocompany.php
Applications may be submitted now through the submission deadline of August 30, 2008.
The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) is a long-term, state-funded investment to strengthen Utah's "knowledge economy” and generate high-paying jobs. Funded in March 2006 by the State Legislature, USTAR is based on three program areas. The first area involves funding for strategic investments at the University of Utah and Utah State University to recruit world-class researchers. The second area is to build state-of-the-art interdisciplinary facilities at these institutions for the innovation teams. The third program area involves teams that work with companies and entrepreneurs across the State to promote science, innovation, and commercialization activities. For more information, go to www.innovationutah.com.