June 7, 2012

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CEO of the Year

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iLights Wins Concept to Company Contest

Sarah Cutler

June 7, 2012

Grow Utah Ventures completed the latest round of its Concept to Company contest. This round was focused on consumer products with competing entrepreneurs showcasing their ideas geared for various markets, including outdoor recreation, medical, household use, family and children, education and more.

Eight finalists were chosen and presented their concept to judges and industry experts on June 1 at the NorthFront Business Center in a private day of judging. Three final winners were selected and presented at the public CrowdPitch event on June 6.

The grand prize winner was:

  • iLights by Josh Wiscombe - iLights is a string of light bulbs that can be controlled using a smartphone app.  More than 512 different colors and patterns can be programmed.

The two runner up winners were:

  • Roller Tools by Kim Kimball - OSS Roller Tools are a unique set of landscaping, and gardening tools using wheels as a fulcrum point which creates side to side stability and a greater ability to level, grade, and move or spread materials evenly.
  • BreathEasy Infant Sleep System & Monitor by Scott Miles - BreathEasy is an infant monitoring system that prevents conditions contributing to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It monitors heartbeat and breathing while also providing fresh, filtered, temperature controlled air directly to the sleeping surface.

The winners each had five minutes to present their concept and then had another five minutes to receive feedback and questions from the panel.

The judges were asked what it is they look for during a pitch. Alex Lawrence of USTAR said, “I like to focus on who they are, if this is a hobby, if it’s a full time commitment, if its something I can really see them being passionate about and it being personal to them.”

According to Steve Cloward of NorthFront Business Resource Center price point is critical. There has to be a price point that includes all the markets it will be sold in and that price point should be a part of the presentation.

The Concept to Company competition is an ongoing innovation contest. Held in different regions across Utah, each contest focuses on a different industry. To date, the contests have distributed more than $540,000 in prize money and services and have helped launch more than 80 companies. Two more contests will be held later this year focusing on mobile apps and medical devices.

For more information, visit: www.ConceptToCompany.org

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