The University of Northern Colorado's Monfort College of Business has selected five finalists to compete for $50,000 in prize money at the college's fifth annual Entrepreneurial Challenge, which will be broadcast as a television program at 9:30 p.m. March 29 on KTVD Channel 20 and later streamed on 9News.com.
"More than 30 entrepreneurs submitted business concepts in this year's competition, with 18 competing in last week's semifinals," said David Thomas, assistant professor of management and director of the Entrepreneurial Challenge, which will award $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second place, and $10,000 for third place. "The business concepts were diverse, well presented and very impressive. The competition is truly serving as a real business initiative in northern Colorado."
The five finalists, in alphabetic order:
- IX Powerclean Water: Commercializes clean water and safe power innovations that were developed at U.S. Department of Energy laboratories. Its first product, OrganiClear™, was developed to remove toxic organic hydrocarbons from water used in oil and gas operations, agriculture, mining and other industrial processes.
- Congo: An online platform providing users with instant access to a fee-based live video chat with a qualified doctor or lawyer of their choice. In-person visits with pre-qualified providers are also available.
- LogiLube: A diesel-fuel treatment and monitoring system designed for oil and gas operators to use in the field. The transportable, skid-based unit delivers precise, metered fuel-treatment additives. It also provides real-time supply logistics and continuous surveillance of on-site bulk fuel storage.
- Omirown Entertainment LLC: A mobile software development company that produces games for Apple iOS, Google Android, and the Windows Phone. Omirown's first major project "Food Factory," a game featuring new chefs who must manage food from the field and bring it to the table in their restaurant, will be sold internationally.
- Tabrific LLC: Offers customers a more personalized gifting option for creating experiences around an idea, product or event. Text, video and audio can be used in a secure email message to the gift recipient, also allowing for last-minute and long-distance gifting.
The finalists will present their business plans to a panel of judges in a Shark Tank format at 9NEWS studios in Denver. KUSA-TV/9news is partnering with UNC's Monfort College of Business to promote and broadcast the Entrepreneurial Challenge. 9News will produce a web broadcast to be distributed on 9News.com, as well as a recorded television program airing at 9:30 p.m. March 29. Gregg Moss, business reporter and 9News anchor, will again be the emcee for the event.
In addition to the prize money, winners will receive business incubator services from UNC BizHub, the new business incubator at the University of Northern Colorado. Winners will also be recognized that night during the Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards in Loveland, a Northern Colorado Business Report event sponsored by the college.
Judges for the Entrepreneurial Challenge include Dick Monfort, owner and CEO of the Colorado Rockies; Brad Cheedle, president and CEO of Stealth Advisory Services International; Chris Onan, co-founder and managing director of Galvanize.
The winner of last year's competition was Vertikle Enterprises LLC/5280 Prosthetics, a company that improves 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 the Entrepreneurial Challenge made a big difference," said Vertikle Enterprises co-founder Clint Accinni. "Not only were we able to use some of the prize money to produce units and get them to patients who were waiting on the technology, but the press and attention that it drew also helped us tremendously. We have been able to increase our Internet presence and actually attract investors for larger capital amounts."
For more information about the competition visit www.mcb-echallenge.com.