Three winners claimed a portion of $50,000 in prize money at the Fourth Annual Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge yesterday. The competition took place at the University of Northern Colorado's University Center. The winners were announced during last night's Bravo! Awards, aNorthern Colorado Business Report event that is sponsored by the college. 9News Business Reporter Gregg Moss emceed the events.
The first place prize of $25,000 went to Vertikle Enterprises LLC/5280 Prosthetics, a company that will improve the lives of amputees through a new generation of products that enable prosthetic devices to communicate with their users, relaying critical data to improve fit, function and the general health of the amputee.
Winning second place and $15,000 was Nunn-basedGrouse Malting and Roasting Company, a malting company focusing on organic, gluten-free grains for brewing and baking.
WildFit Gyms, based in Fort Collins, is an outdoor fitness equipment concept featuring website and mobile app integration. WildFit claimed third place and $10,000.
Walter Wilson, President of Vertikle Enterprises LLC said, "Forty customers have already ordered our devices but we can't fill the orders yet. The prize money will enable us to get the product manufactured and delivered to customers. These people have already experienced traumatic medical injuries and we want to be able to help them as soon as possible."
Five finalists presented business plans in a "Shark Tank" format to a panel of three judges: Brad Cheedle, senior vice president of WOW, a digital cable, HDTV, high speed internet and phone service; Mark Driscoll, Colorado market president of First National Bank, the Venture Capitalist sponsor of the event; and Brad Florin, managing principal of Florin Ltd. and CEO of Bizmo.com, a leading cloud accounting time and billing system.
More than 50 entrepreneurs submitted feasibility studies in this year's competition, with 18 semifinalists competing in January.
"We believe it's important for the Monfort College of Business to promote business growth and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in Northern Colorado," said Monfort College of Business assistant professor of management David Thomas. "We'll launch the Fifth Annual Entrepreneurial Challenge this fall, so get those business feasibility studies ready to submit."
For more information about the competition and each of the finalists, visitwww.mcb-echallenge.com.
About the Monfort College of Business
The Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado is recognized for delivering excellence in business education. It is the first and only business program to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the Office of the President of the United States (2004). The college is accredited by AACSB International in both business and accounting - the "gold standard" for accreditation. Over nine successive years Monfort's graduating seniors have scored in the top 4 to 10 percent on nationwide standardized exit exams. For more information, visit Monfort's website atmcb.unco.edu.