SOUTHERN UTAH – Eight southern Utah innovators will showcase their entrepreneurial expertise in this year’s Crowdpitch Premier Startup competition on Friday, June 6th at Dixie State University’s Holland building. The June 6th event will feature cutting edge inventions and ideas that will be pitched before a panel of judges and investors with winners to be awarded $45,000 in cash and in-kind services . The competition, which is being billed as a combination of two popular television reality shows Shark Tank and American Idol, will be staged in the Holland Center Zion Room, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. This free event is open to the public and will attract the attention of entrepreneurial minds from around the state.
Eight Crowdpitch finalists were chosen as part of SEED Dixie and Grow Utah’s Concept to Company contest. Scott Hoopes’ product, AudienceIN is an interactive engagement tool for professional presentations. Ryan Kohler’s Job Piper presents a hiring optimization service to match employers to the right employees. Renn Olsen and Matthew Arrington are the creators of Critical Mass, a peer-to-peer solution to ease the financial burden of college graduates.
Merrill Campbell’s Diesel/CNG Hybrid introduces a controller to monitor the temperature of Diesel/CNG vehicles and prevent engine damage. DROVE by Josh Smith is a service that provides discounts for homeowners and professionals through “blitz” campaigns. Marvin Ray presents the On Car Mechanic, a Smartphone accessory designed to protect consumers from auto repair fraud. Smart Hub, by Shane Cox, allows teachers to connect with the classroom using whatever technology they choose, from iPads to PCs, and Daryl Zitting presents the Smart Tank, a CO2 analyzer that allow clinicians to monitor a patient’s health during surgery.
In addition to a grand prize winner and two runners up, the crowd will be able to pick their winner who will be awarded $500. Also new this year will be a significant cash prize, $20,000 which will be awarded to one of 2013’s Concept to Company applicants who has created the product and company that have gained the most traction in the last year.
According to SEED Dixie Chair Josh Little, the Concept to Company contest is designed to identify and encourage technology companies that typically create higher paying jobs in national markets. “We want to help develop the kind of jobs that will allow our children and grandchildren more opportunities in southern Utah in technology and related higher paying fields.” Little said.
Hosted by SEED Dixie and Grow Utah, the cash prizes are provided by private sector funding. In kind prize sponsors include the Business Resource Center at Dixie State University, the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR), Durham Jones & Pinegar Law, Savage Esplin & Radmall Accounting, and OverActDev web development services. Zions Bank is a statewide sponsor.
Grow Utah’s Craig Bott said the Crowdpitch event highlights the best and brightest innovative minds Dixie has to offer. “It’s a fun event with a lot of collaboration and networking,” he said. A light lunch will be served. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at www.Crowdpitch18.eventbrite.com.