December 1, 2021

Students win business contest

Zach Heywood and David Hilliard were the first winners of the Concept to Company, A Growth Utah Ventures Event hosted by USU Eastern on March 29 and open to full-time students and community members.
In three pages or less, candidates had to describe their innovation, answer what problem(s) does the innovation address and who will be the main user of the innovation, plus how large is the market or group of individuals who benefits from the innovations. They answered what is unique about their innovation and how the contest award will help advance their idea/innovation.

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Zach Heywood and David Hilliard were the first winners of the Concept to Company, A Growth Utah Ventures Event hosted by USU Eastern on March 29 and open to full-time students and community members.
In three pages or less, candidates had to describe their innovation, answer what problem(s) does the innovation address and who will be the main user of the innovation, plus how large is the market or group of individuals who benefits from the innovations. They answered what is unique about their innovation and how the contest award will help advance their idea/innovation.
A screening committee selected six finalists including Anne Cox, Zach Heywood, David Hilliard. John Keetch, Lillian Rowley and Eric Willson.
The screening committee included representatives from USTAR (Utah Science Technology & Research), Grow Utah Ventures, SBDC (Small Business Development Center), UCAP project (Utah Cluster Accelerator Partnership), economic development office, Price City, a local entrepreneur and USU Eastern.
 The finalists presented their ideas to a small panel of judges March 29.  Participants from the audience also got to vote for the best innovation or idea with “innovation bucks.”  After the initial presentations, and additional questioning from the judges, Heywood was selected as the grand prize winner with Hilliard selected as a runner up.
Heywood will work with local school districts, using music and acting, to promote character education. Hilliard proposed a new procedure and product (a modified gasifier) to produce power when traditional power sources are unavailable. 
All the finalists received at least a $250 cash prize and a $250 scholarship. The runner up received a $500 cash prize, a $500 scholarship, and a $500 match for advertising. The grand prize winner can receive  a $500 cash prize, new iPad, $750 in matching advertising, a $5,000 loan, a listing and ad in the Chamber, office space for six months, a $1,000 scholarship ($500 donated from a local entrepreneur) and other business-mentoring services.
 

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