After two weeks of polling and more than 100,000 online votes, the top 10 finalists have been selected for the Outdoor Weber pitch contest, hosted by Weber State University’s Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center and sponsored by Camping World Holdings.
The contest invited students worldwide to create videos pitching outdoor-related business ideas for a chance to win a cash prize and one-on-one mentoring from entrepreneurship experts. The public’s popular vote determined the top 25 competitors, and a panel of judges selected 10 finalists.
“In its inaugural year, Outdoor Weber has been a phenomenal success, proving there are many entrepreneurial trails still to blaze,” said Brandon Stoddard, Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center director.
One WSU student is among the finalists, bringing him closer to the possibility of winning $30,000 to develop his business idea. Colton Mouritsen hopes to create a mobile application to help users locate spots where wildlife has been seen. Users could capture photos with their smartphones and attach them to a map to pinpoint the sightings.
The next phase of the competition is a three-day retreat to Snowbasin, Wolf Creek and Powder Mountain resorts in the Ogden Valley of northern Utah, March 22-24. Finalists will have opportunities to work with world-renowned experts to improve their business plans. They will make final presentations to a panel of judges at Ogden’s Union Station on March 23 at 3 p.m. The winning idea will be announced that evening.
Marcus Lemonis, chair of Camping World Holdings and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” will give the keynote speech following the final presentations at the Union Station held on March 23 at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the speech, though registration is required to reserve a seat. Registration will open to the public after March 12.
A total of 80 contestants, including entrants from Canada and 13 U.S. states, submitted 90-second videos of themselves pitching innovative outdoor-related business plans. Some pitched ideas to make outdoor recreation safer. Others focused on making outdoor play more convenient. Altogether, participants contributed to more than 194,000 site views from voters.
“We’ve only scratched the surface of these students’ potential,” Stoddard said. “We look forward to the final competitive event and future contests for many years to come.”