Business students and aspiring entrepreneurs from across Colorado presented their ideas for new business ventures to a panel of business leaders, inventors, and experts in entrepreneurship at the annual Venture Adventure Colorado competition on Dec. 5 and 7.
Venture Adventure gives undergraduate students the opportunity to present their ideas and plans for realistic new ventures to a panel of judges made up of entrepreneurs and investors.
In addition to the opportunity to win awards, the teams also received valuable feedback from the judging panel that offered them insights into "real world" entrepreneurial challenges and allows them to focus on sharpening their business planning and presentation skills moving forward.
Further, the event provided students with an opportunity to learn about the work of other students while discovering different ways of planning and presenting their ideas.
Awards were given to the teams with the best ideas based on the quality of the students’ presentation, business viability, and economic potential.
This year’s entries included start-up companies ranging from solar stations, mobile app companies, wedding and event planning services, mini-golf courses, road construction companies, bakeries, retail clothing and sporting goods locations, website and print publications and concert venues.
Supported by the CSU Entrepreneurship Center, this award provides a small cash prize to the members of the winning team. Awards are provided individually and divided equally among the student team members. One first place and one runner-up prize were awarded on each night of the competition.
First Place: Ary Diamond Grinding and Grooving - Ary Diamond Grinding and Grooving LLC is a heavy highway construction company that specializes in diamond grinding. It’s a locally owned and operated company that looks to reduce the costs associated with highway construction to the state and local governments.
First Place: The Fort Theatre
The Fort Theatre is a large scale venue in Northern Colorado with a seated capacity for 3,500. This venue will be based in an existing building that fosters differentiation through its location and capabilities. The Fort Theatre will cater to a diverse music industry and attempt to draw in more popular acts to the region.
Second Place: FoCo Bikes
FoCo Bikes is a bike sharing/rental program in Fort Collins serving both the students at CSU and the community at large. FoCo Bikes will place rental kiosks in strategic locations around the city to encourage bicycle use.
Second Place: Volta Mobile Solar
Volta Mobile Solar is a portable solar powered trailer that is clean, quiet, and gas free. The solar panels expand out diagonally, and there is a storage space inside the unit. Customers can customize the unit to meet their specific needs and you can plug in equipment directly to power outlets on the unit. Volt Mobile Solar offers the option to rent, lease, or purchase a solar trailer to its customers.
Honorable Mention: Illumitag
Illumitag is a digital display price tag that provides advertising and product information along with instantaneous price updates. This energy efficient technology provides an aesthetic value along with overhead cost reduction.
Honorable Mention: Brewtivity
Brewtivity is a unique based restaurant and bar based in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Brewtivity will provide exactly what the Steamboat Springs market is missing: a tapas-style menu as well as high quality house made beer. Brewtivity will also gain a competitive advantage through offering a brewing service in which consumers can request and receive a small batch of customized beer brewed by the skilled professionals of Brewtivity.
Teams also competed to win the Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Enterprise New Economy Venture Accelerator Award.
In addition to being judged based on the quality of their presentation, business viability and economic potential, winning entries for the NEVA award had to embrace a social or sustainable business model and be a student start-up as opposed to a division or effort of an existing organization.
Both non-profit and for-profit entries were accepted for the award, and only one student business from the competition was named the winner and invited into CASE’s NEVA incubator to continue the development of their business venture.
The NEVA provides physical space, resources, and networks to budding student entrepreneurs at CSU intended to foster growth and development for sustainable business ventures.
Congratulations to Volta Mobile Solar, winner of the CASE NEVA Award and second-place finisher for the CSU Entrepreneurship Center Venture Adventure Award!