University of Idaho students amassed a total of $24,000 in cash prizes during the annual Business Plan Competition organized by the school’s Vandal Innovations and Enterprise Works – VIEW – program on May 1.
This year, 15 teams competed in three tracks: innovative ventures, small business and internal University of Idaho revenue enhancement.
“We had a great competition this year, with some great plans,” said Mike McCollough, director of VIEW and associate professor of marketing, in a news release. “We continue to build the business plan competition and are already looking forward to next year. While the teams appreciate the cash awards, all teams benefit greatly from the feedback of the judges who are entrepreneurs, venture fund managers, and professional managers.”
In the Innovative Venture Track:
The first place, $8,000 award went to Ante Updates. Ante Updates is a web-based software program that provides small- to medium-sized casinos in the Northwest with the ability to develop their own customer rewards programs. Team members included: Jordan Greene, a first year law student, from Boise; Tyde Sirk, who will be graduating with a marketing degree, from Moscow; and Jeremy Wemple, a senior in information systems, from Coeur d’Alene. Lori Eveleth, associate professor of information systems in the College of Business and Economics, was the team mentor.
University of Idaho laboratories is a test that can detect viral infections in animals not showing signs of disease. The Febris QVET test will search for MX proteins, which is the influenza resistant gene that precedes the production of antibodies and are the immune system’s first response to viral infection in mammals, fish and birds. Team members included: Jason Burt, from Belgrade, Mont.; Nathan Holder, a business major from Issaquah, Wash.; Andrew Lombard, from Kirkland, Wash.; and Michael Whittaker, a second year law student from Idaho Falls. Gaylene Anderson, licensing associate in the Office of Technology Transfer, was the team mentor.
Third place was awarded to Project GreenLite, which received $1,000. GreenLite is a power boost scooter that uses the heat energy lost in braking to regenerate ultracapicitors, giving the scooter the capability to propel up hills. The GreenLite does not use fuel and does not require a power supply to recharge, making this device environmentally conscious and convenient. Team members included Marc Boisvert, a senior in productions and operations management from Meridian; Robert D. Myers, a senior in business management with an emphasis in human resources management, from Powell, Wyo.; Michael Indovina, a senior in business management and human resources management, from Everett, Wash.; Holly Carlier, a senior in mechanical engineering, from Beaverton, Ore. Jacob Breland, assistant professor of human resources management in the College of Business and Economics, was the team mentor.
In the Small Business Track:
Re-wine took home first place and received a $2,000 prize. Re-wine is a new, eco-friendly, bulk wine company that will dispense table wine into sanitized recycled wine bottles. The bottles will then be re-corked and labeled with recycled paper. Team members, all of who are working on their Executive MBA degrees, included Toni Broyles, development director for the College of Business and Economics, and Moscow resident; Tasha Thomas, an EMBA student from Sandpoint; and Nancy Webster, an EMBA student from Post Falls. Heidi Connole, faculty team leader for the EMBA program and assistant professor of marketing in the College of Business and Economics, was the Re-wine team mentor.
The Camas Prairie Assisted Living Facility tied for second place and took home a $1,500 prize in the small business track. The Camas Prairie Assisted Living Facility, located in Cottonwood, Idaho, will provide high-quality, intimate care to the aging population of Camas Prairie. Team members included: Forrest Johnson, a senior in business management and human resources, from Cottonwood; Levi Kincaid, a senior in mechanical engineering from Palmer, Ala.; Brandon Rehder, a senior in business management and human resources, from Cottonwood; Brianna Robson, a senior in business management and human resources, from Hayden; and Lawson Shoemaker, a senior in business, from McCall. Steve Shook, associate professor of marketing in the College of Business and Economics, was the mentor for Camas Prairie Assisted Living Facility.
Infinitea also tied for second place and received $1,500. Infinitea will provide Moscow with a unique experience by creating a personalized custom tea blend. The competitive advantage of the company will be the customer’s ability to create a satisfying blend of tea based on the health benefits, taste preferences and lifestyle needs each customer is seeking. Team members included: Kelsey LaRoche, a senior in communications, from Enumclaw, Wash.; and Marie Mustoe, a senior in foreign languages and literature, from Genesse. Tom Liesz, instructor of finance in the College of Business and Economics, was the team mentor.
In the Internal University of Idaho Revenue Enhancement Track:
Palouse Hills Dairy received $3,000 and first place for the internal University of Idaho revenue enhancement track. Palouse Hills Dairy will be an expansion of the University of Idaho Dairy. Currently, the University of Idaho operates a dairy that produces raw milk and sells it to nearby statewide companies, which then pasteurizes the milk to prepare it for consumption. Palouse Hills Dairy will pasteurize and distribute their own brand of milk to local retailers and consumers. Their customers will include University of Idaho dining services, Moscow School District, the Co-op, local grocery stores, coffee shops, and a home delivery system for local consumers. Team members include: Scott DeFriez, a senior in business management and human resources, from Carson City, Nev.; Amy Hansford, a senior in accounting, from Arlington, Ore.; and Michael Ulmen, a senior in business, from Lewiston. Darin Saul, director of the University of Idaho Sustainability Center, served as mentor.
Social Science Research Unit took second place and received $1,000. The Social Science Research Unit at the University of Idaho is a unique entity and provides a powerful mechanism for collaborative, interdisciplinary research with the university community, as well as for external clients. The SSRU currently is positioned to increase its market share in the state and region, but this growth is only possible through expansion. The SSRU will increase its revenue and the university funds over the next two years and beyond. Team members included: Stephanie L. Kane, manager of the SSRU in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; and Barbara E. Foltz, assistant manager of the SSRU in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.