Nine lucky digital media entrepreneurs have just been chosen out of some sixty applicants as finalists in Grow Utah Ventures’ Concept to Company Contest, where they will compete for their share of thousands of dollars and free mentoring for their new business.
The Concept to Company competitions are Utah’s premier ongoing innovation contests. They are held in various regions across the state with each contest focusing on a different industry. Winning entrepreneurs receive significant cash awards as well as mentoring services from leading professional service partners. To date, the “Concept to Company” contests have distributed more than $500,000 in prize money and services and have helped launch over 75 companies.
Through these successful contests, early stage entrepreneurs compete against peers and are judged by industry executives and experts. The finalists in the Concept to Company Digital Media contest are as follows:
Bladepad, LLC – Bladepad has developed a unique razor-thin gamepad that connects to the iPhone and iPod touch allowing easy game play on these devices.
Watermint Studios – Watermint Studios created a recognition and support service that matches video game programmers with digital media artists around the world which eliminates the barriers of programmers obtaining satisfactory art.
MobileIgniter - MobileIgniter is a mobile software platform quickly enabling organizations to create inexpensive mobile applications through a drag & drop interface.
Imply Labs – Imply Labs has developed a unique predictive social commerce technology that translates an individual’s social streams into product recommendations.
Pocket Simulations LLC – World Drag Racing by Pocket Simulations is a sophisticated engine and vehicle simulation built upon soft-body physics allowing the user to be immersed in a real-world racing experience.
Baxajaunak Technology – Baxajaunak Technology has developed a series of location-based mobile games that assist kids in learning mathematics through a unique authoring technology enabling the design and development of location-based applications.
ForeUP - ForeUP has created a Cloud management software for golf course operators that allows golfers full access to course’s perishable tee time inventory and provides an online marketplace where golfers can schedule tee times, and find perishing times at a discount.
Sand Mountain Studios – SloPro, developed by Sand Mountain, is a one-of-a-kind mobile application that allows the iPhone to capture video faster than its normal frame rate and then to slow it down for HD slow motion filming.
Stronger SE – Stronger SE has created unique news filters that deliver news and blogs based on your keywords searches. The program instantly filters through 75k sources and 1m news articles to deliver you just the news you care about.
“We continue to see tremendous innovation in the digital media space,” said Steve Roy, associate vice president for economic development at Utah Valley University, co-host of the event.
T. Craig Bott, President/ CEO of Grow Utah Ventures added, “This year we are seeing the digital media applicants more thoroughly validating their business model and really tapping into a pain point.”
Both agreed that this speaks to a greater chance of success for these businesses.
The finalists will present to judges and industry experts on March 30 at Utah Valley University in a private day of judging. Three final winners will be selected and then invited to present their ideas again at the public CrowdPitch event on April 3.
CrowdPitch events are a way for the public to get involved with the Concept to Company contests and bring exposure to the winners. In a highly entertaining mini-reality show format, the top three entrepreneurs vie for attention, money and a jumpstart for their businesses. The companies will “pitch” their ideas to a panel of industry experts and investors in front of the general audience.. This provides a unique opportunity for the audience to observe the decision making process that goes into investing in a business. Audience members will also invest their own “CrowdCash” in their business of choice with prizes being given to the winning “CrowdCash” investors.
CrowdPitch 2012 is a free event, but seating is limited and you must RSVP to reserve a seat. Please visit, http://crowdpitch12.eventbrite.com/ for more details. These popular events provide opportunity for a broad audience to share the passion and excitement of business creation.
At the end of the CrowdPitch event, the three winners will be awarded their Concept to Company prizes as well as the CrowdPitch favorite prize. The winners will receive a significant cash award: of $10,000 to the grand prize winner and $5,000 to each runner-up, which is provided by Grow Utah Ventures and the Digital Media UCAP Consortium. In addition, the winners will receive valuable in-kind service prizes from the major contest sponsors, including: Grant Thornton (financial management services), Thorpe North and Western (IP legal services), and Bennett Tueller Johnson (general legal services). These service providers strongly believe in the goal of the contest, which is to assist entrepreneurs through real money, real services and real help.