Entrepreneurial competition aids UVU students’ start-up spirit

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Beginning in December, the Woodbury School of Business’ Entrepreneurship Institute has been hosting events for the entrepreneurial competition called Opportunity Quest.  Students have been able to attend a number of workshops for developing entrepreneurial understanding and will be presenting their business ideas for a $3,000 prize.

Opportunity Quest is an annual executive summary business plan competition. Colleges all over Utah are participating. The competition uses workshops to guide participants through the process of crafting a business plan for an entrepreneurial venture and prepares them for presenting it to judges for a chance at a prize.

“Prior to the competition we have a series of workshops where students learn to present business proposals,” said Shauna Theobold, director of Opportunity Quest.  “Students learn how to dress, where you stand… They learn how to present a business model that answers questions like what problem does this solve? Where are you getting it manufactured? How are you going to market this?

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the top 10 teams participating in the competition will present their business plans at a crowd pitch to students.  Following the crowd pitch, the teams will give a 10-minute pitch, comprised from their executive summary plans to a panel of judges made up of attorneys, entrepreneurs and business leaders.  The winning team of the competition will be allotted $3,000, with the two runner-up teams receiving $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.  In April, the winning teams will have the opportunity to report on the progress they’ve made on their projects at the UVU Entrepreneurship Awards.

The winning team will have the chance to win $40,000 by advancing to the statewide Opportunity Quest competition, comprised of teams from Utah State University, Weber State University, University of Utah and other Utah colleges.

Community support for Opportunity Quest has been enthusiastic and is growing from previous years.  Sponsors for this year’s competition include long-time supporter Zion’s Bank, Little Giant Ladder, PC Care Support, and Jones Waldo Law Firm.  Contributions from sponsors help provide Opportunity Quest with the prize money for winning students.

“The community believes in UVU students, so more and more they’re stepping forward with sponsorships,” said Theobold.  “They believe in entrepreneurs and want to support students with money that goes directly to them.”

Growing participation from students and sponsors is creating a demand for UVU to hold more entrepreneur competitions throughout the school year.  Plans are underway for providing students who have business ideas or an interest in business start-up with more entrepreneurship events to participate in.

“We’ve had so much support for Opportunity Quest that we’re also going to launch a second competition as well,” said Theobold.  “It’s going to be an idea competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Progress for the Entrepreneurship Institute’s new idea competition is rapidly moving, with funds coming into place and a plan for holding it this spring and again in the fall.