2017 Coastal Venture Competition
The Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MCEI) hosted the inaugural Coastal Venture Competition on April 7, 2017. During the weeks leading up to the event, nineteen videos were submitted resulting in thirteen qualified entrants. The top four contestants competed live, Shark Tank style, in front judges and an audience comprised of students, professors and MCEI Board Members. Over $12,000 was given away to competitors with the winner taking a $4,000 grand prize. To prepare students to compete, MCEI hosted a Speed-Networking event and held over two dozen venture boot-camps from January through March.
The $4,000 grand prize winner was Kobi Bell, who presented Focus, a family focused fitness center created to provide classes parents can take with their children as well as more traditional individual and group fitness programs. Tyler Holenbeck took home $3,000 as first runner up with his virtual reality bicycling product Xceed. Second runner ups Henry Perkins and Brandon Clark split $2,000 by successfully presenting ORCA (Online Resources for Classroom Innovation), an app created to streamline communication between teachers, parents, and students. Preston Morrison took home the third runner up trophy and $1,000 for his automated health food kiosk business.
Taking home $500 each were honorable mentions Grant Weeks with Taco Post (a portable taco trailer), Cameron Ellis with Project Garden (a healthy fast food restaurant), Alison Schroeder with Peace of Mind (a grave site maintenance and beautification service, Tucker Chandler with Truetime (an app that tells you if your doctor is running late), and Ryan Segrest with Stockhut (a restaurant with stock market like pricing of bar and restaurant items).
Based on the feedback from the participants and judges, the event was a tremendous success. We are taking their suggestions and are planning to make next year’s Coastal Venture Competition even bigger!