Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Opportunity Quest Results


By Natalee Champlin

After two months of planning, practicing and pitching, the top 10 teams from Utah State University’s Opportunity Quest competition sat down to enjoy dinner and find out how the $10,000 winnings would be awarded among the entrepreneurs.

2nd Place Team, J-J Picnic Tables
After what University of Utah’s student competitions director, Dane Money, called the “best awards banquet yet”, a surprising five teams were awarded a total of $10,000. The judges had decided that five ventures, instead if the standard three, were likely to grow and create jobs, thus resulting in a three-way tie for third place. The following prizes were awarded:

1st place of $5,000 to Bryce Packer of nanoKEYS

2nd place of $2,000 to Odell Rinderknecht and his team of J-J Picnic Tables

And a three-way tie for 3rd

3rd place of $1000 to Spencer Bailey of The Social Fund

3rd place of $1000 to Dillon Leichty and his partner of PIF Medical Devices

3rd place of $1000 to Steve Mitton and his partner of WOODN Productions

“This year has been one of the most successful and enjoyable competitions we’ve ever had,” Mike Glauser, director of the Clark Entrepreneurship Center, said. “We have been very impressed with the teams’ advanced business plans and the time and efforts they put into their businesses.”

The student entrepreneurs attributed their success to three main areas. First was the mentorship they received.

“The most amazing part of Opportunity Quest was working one on one with experienced mentors,” Bryce Packer, grand prize winner, said. “In contrast to sitting through a business lecture, I was able to talk through my own ideas and needs. That was huge!”

The second attribution to success was the past months’ hard work. Each team spent hours writing their business plan, creating and filming an elevator pitch, meeting with mentors and working with the Entrepreneurship Club.

The final area that students attributed their success to was the support from the Clark Center and Entrepreneurship Club.

“If it wasn't for the E-Club we would definitely not be where we are today with our business,” Joe Rinderknecht said. “The people at the Club have been nothing but generous and were willing to jump through hoops to help us out in any way needed. The E-Club has inspired us to do better, help others and shoot for the stars with our business goals.”

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