The Great Outdoors Is Calling Utah Entrepreneurs

Grow Utah, in partnership with Zions Bank, will host the Concept to Company Outdoor Recreation contest to award the best local outdoor recreation innovators with $40,000 in cash and support services.

The main objective is to encourage and support Utah’s outdoor recreation innovators in turning their concepts in to a company. The contest is designed to assist those who have advanced their product but need additional assistance to succeed.

Grow Utah is a privately funded non-profit dedicated to accelerate the creation of innovative, entrepreneur-led, high-growth businesses that will strengthen and expand the future growth of Utah’s economy. In partnership with Zions Bank, they created the Concept to Company contests in 2008 to help spur innovation in various industries across the state. To date, the contests have distributed more than $750,000 in prize money and services amongst 19 contests, and have helped launch more than 100 companies.

The Outdoor Recreation contest is open to all new product or service innovations in the fields of hiking, climbing, camping, biking, paddle sports, snow sports and more.  Applications and innovations will be judged by industry experts, and three winners will be awarded a share of $40,000 in cash and services. The cash prizes are funded by Grow Utah, Northfront Business Resource Center and SEED Weber-Davis-Morgan. The service prizes will be offered by Weber State University UCAID, the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) and

“We are thrilled with the results of the last several outdoor recreation contests, both in terms of the number of applications we received and the quality of the concepts being proposed,” said T. Craig Bott, president and CEO of Grow Utah.  “We’re confident this year’s contest will yield similar results and lead to the creation of high-value jobs and boost Utah’s growing recreation industry.”

Applications will be accepted until July 6. Eight finalists will be selected near July 22nd. Prizes include $10,000 for the grand prize, $5,000 for each runner up and $500 for the crowd favorite. The price packages also include a share of nearly $20,000 worth of services. 

“Whoever wins the contest will receive cash prizes and an amazing array of services to help get their idea off the ground,” said Jeff Jackson, USTAR North director. “Entrepreneurs often need that extra little push to get them started and this contest will provide just that. We’re excited to be a part of it.” 

In addition to the Outdoor Recreation contest, Grow Utah will soon be accepting applications for Utah Game Wars, a game developers Concept to Company contest, which will coincide with the 2014 Salt Lake ComiCon. The proposed application timeline is June 9-Aug. 10.

For more information on Concept to Company contests, and to apply, visit