The “Concept to Company” competitions are ongoing entrepreneur contests held in various regions across the state of Utah. The main objectives of the contests are to encourage and support Utah’s entrepreneurial innovators with the intent of helping them turn their concepts into a company.Competitions are held in all regions of the state with each competition focusing on the unique entrepreneurial strengths of that region. Contests are completely free and prizes are awarded with no strings attached!
The contests are organized and hosted by Grow Utah Ventures, a non-profit group committed to assisting Utah’s entrepreneurs, and Zions Bank. Local businesses & experts also provide judging & sponsorship services for contests in each region. See the individual past/upcoming contest pages for a list of specific contest sponsors.
How Does It Work?
About 5 contests are held each year around the state. Each contest typically runs for 3 months consisting of a two month application window, a finalist selection process, and a final judging day. An average of 90 entrepreneurs apply to each contest and from that, 8 finalists are chosen to pitch in person to the judges. At the end of judging, three winners are chosen and announced. Following the judging day, a public CrowdPitch/Awards Event is held to celebrate the winners and let the public vote on their favorite and hear the pitches. The Grand Prize Winner is also announced at that event.
Who Can Apply?
Any Utah-based entrepreneur and small businesses with a product or service innovation that fits within the contest rules. Generally, eligibility is for ideas that have not yet been taken to market (meaning they have no sales revenue); however each contest is a little bit different so be sure to read the rules for each contest under the “Current Contests” section.
The winning entry typically receives a cash and services award between $5,000 – $20,000 to help bring the idea to fruition. Additionally, the two runner-up winners typically receive cash and services awards of $2000 – $10,000 each. The exact amounts vary per individual contest due to the number of participating sponsors. Please see the “Current Contest” pages for exact prize amounts for each contest. All prizes are awarded with no strings attached- honest!
How Do I Submit My Idea?
Can I Submit More Than One Idea?
Does It Cost To Enter?
Who Are The Main Sponsors?
Is This The Same As The Grow America (SpringBoard) Competition?
How Do I Keep My Idea Safe?
With that said, this is a public event being sponsored by state and regional entities. Many media outlets will be involved and will likely cover the final competition including the winners and their ideas. For some entrants, publicly sharing their ideas may be of concern. To minimize this concern we encourage all entrants to give as much detail as possible without giving us the “secret formula”. We don’t necessarily need the schematics and details of the core technology to know if it’s a good idea. If we need more information we will contact you to discuss it further.
Although we will try to eliminate as much concern as possible, there is no way to fully eliminate all concern for a public contest like this. If you are unsure about what or what not to disclose, we advise you to seek good legal counsel before proceeding.
When Will I Hear Back?
What Does It Mean To Be a Finalist?
Who Can Attend The Final Presentations?
What Is The Related CrowdPitch Event?
At the end of this event, the official Grand Prize Winner will be announced, as well as the “Crowd Choice” winner, and prizes will be awarded. These very popular events provide opportunity for a broad audience to share the passion and excitement of business creation. CrowdPitch details will be announced as each event approaches.
How Is The Winner Decided?
A more detailed second screening of entries in the potential finalist category will then be conducted. Phone interviews and additional research may be done during this phase. Entries that qualify based on this second screening will be placed in the Qualified Finalist Category.
Entries in the Qualified Finalist Category will personally present their inventions/innovations to a panel of industry and business judges. The judges will then select a Grand Prize Winner as well as two Runner-Up Winners from among those presenters.
All Potential Winners are subject to verification, including without limitation, verification of eligibility, compliance with the Official Rules and completion of release forms.
What Are The Judges Looking For?
Other considerations may include the number of new jobs that might be created, professionalism of presentation/application, and the amount of other resources already available to help the applicant.