Take a look at a couple of stories about previous event winners.
Sterling Morris is a business owner of iMicroInvest. He participated in the 72-hour competition and the elevator pitch competition.
Recently, the iMicroInvest team submitted their business plan to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (UEC) and to the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC). The UEC gives away more than $100,000 in prizes every year. The RBPC is the largest and wealthiest business plan competition in the world and gives away $1.6 million annually.
The iMicroInvest team is working with a designer for their website and they have assimilated a SQL server data base team to program the database for their software.
Josh Light is also an owner of iMicroInvest. Light graduate high school in Billings, Montana. After he graduated, he began studying chemical engineering at a Montana school. He moved to Alaska after his freshman year to work road construction. During his time in Alaska, he applied for a scholarship to Utah State because he said, “the tuition was inexpensive, and People magazine rated it as being number 3 for the most attractive girls.” He decided he would study business because “everyone, including chemical engineers, work for businessmen.” He said he initially chose entrepreneurship because of how it sounded, before really knowing what it meant.
During his first year at USU, he participated in a competition for extra credit.
“My executive summary was so bad that I didn’t advance to the second round,” Light said.
He decided to double major in accounting, along with entrepreneurship, after his first year in Logan.
“I took a class from Dan Holland, and he made us do an elevator pitch,” Light said. “My idea ended up winning the in-class competition. Dan encouraged us to participate in a formal competition put on by the IEC.” Even though previous failures had discouraged him, he decided to give it another shot.
“To my surprise, I ended up winning the competition,” Light said. “The winning allowed me to be tutored on how to write provisional patents, and came with prize money.” He said with the prize money and help for USU’s Innovation center, he was able to team up with an engineering student and create a prototype.
“Winning this competition gave me the confidence to pursue other competitions. To this day, I have won or placed in 11 business competitions across the United States,” he said.
Another business Light founded is CupAd LLC. He said without the guidance and help of faculty Huntsman school faculty members like Dave Clark, Dave Hermann and Ken Snyder, he is confident that his business would not have grown as well as it has.
He said CupAd is just now breaking through the testing phases of the business, and has customers like Overstock.com, ZAGG and the University of Utah.
Currently, Light said the company is working on its sales process. “Once the sales process is solid, CupAd will scale its business model by hiring multiple sales individuals from the rich sales environment of Utah,” he said.
His former work as CupAd CEO has given him the opportunity to meet and network with private equity and angel groups in Utah. “It has also connected me to executives at companies like Questar,” he said. “I believe that CupAd has the potential to become a national advertising company.” He said he recently diluted his ownership in CupAd to pursue another venture.
Now, Light is focusing his time working at iMicroInvest. “The IEC has helped iMicroInvest by providing it with some SEED capital for its early stages of development through a competition that we won,” he said. “iMicroInvest has a strong team behind it, and I believe that it has a good probability of becoming an internationally recognized brand.”
Light explained entrepreneurship is everything in his life. “I love the daily challenges, the long hours of work, and the uncertainty of any monetary reward,” he said. “Every venture I have undertake has always provided me with life lessons, and new knowledge that I could probably never derive from a book.”
“Even if I end up failing in every venture I undertake, I will continue to press forward with entrepreneurship because I don’t think I could ever be satisfied living in between failure and success,” he said.