Finalists and winners of the first Grow America Springboard business competition for 2012 are $250,000 richer in cash awards and services following this week’s Live Pitch and Final Pitch events at the Utah Salt Palace. Early Monday afternoon, the 100 Round 2 finalists met to participate in Live Pitch judging, culminating in the Final Pitch event that KUTV recorded and is producing into a one-hour broadcast show.
“Thanks to the involvement of our community, our tremendous entrepreneurs and our great sponsors, our first Springboard competition has been a historic event,” said Founder Alan E. Hall. “We look forward to the continuing series, and we invite all entrepreneurs who qualify, as well as investors, sponsors and mentors to continue our expansion of this program through the rest of 2012 and beyond.”
Twelve finalists – four each in the Idea Stage, Start-up Stage and Growth Stage categories – were selected according to their cumulated scores and called up to make live pitches to the program’s three celebrity judges: Fraser Bullock, Managing Director of Sorenson Capital; Amy Anderson, CEO of Mediconnect; and Jeremy Andrus, CEO of SkullCandy. The audience voted as well, resulting in 12 cash and service awards, as follows:
1st Place, $10,000--simplicityMDsharps
2nd Place, $7,500--Medinno
3rd Place, $3,500--Geek in a Day
Audience Choice, $1,000--simplicityMDsharps
1st Place, $25,000--Quark Enterprises (Sprout)
2nd Place, $15,000--XoomPark
3rd Place, $10,000--knowonder!
Audience Choice, $3,000--Quark Enterprises (Sprout)
1st Place, $100,000--CompleteSpeech
2nd Place, $50,000--Happy Monkey Hummus
3rd Place, $20,000--Spoonful of Comfort
Audience Choice, $10,000--Happy Monkey Hummus
Growth Stage 1st Place Winner Dan Smith, Director of Operations for CompleteSpeech, summed up the competition like this: “As we drove here today, we noted that whether or not we win a single dollar in this competition, we know our company far better today than we did when we entered.”
Alan Hall presented the awards together with founding sponsors Zions Bank, Comcast Business Class, Comcast Spotlight, KUTV2, Utah Jazz and KJZZ-TV.
Entries for the next 2012 competition open July 23; that competition will take place on Sept. 26. A third competition will take place in December 2012, followed by a finale event in January 2013. For more information about Grow America programs and to register for details on future competitions, visit www.GrowAm.com, and connect to @GrowAmerica and @AskAlanEHall.