The second annual Opportunity Quest, hosted by the Snow College Business Department, was a huge success. With 41 entries, the competition was finally narrowed down to 5 finalists.
Over the course of Entrepreneurship Week students pitched ideas to judges and the student body to see who would come away with the $1,000 prize. On Tuesday November 7th, 41 students proposed their business ideas to a panel of judges made up of business professor Carey Larsen, Snow College Controller Megan White, and Kendra Saunders from the Snow College Agriculture Business faculty. The panel also included Snow students Ryan Brenchley, Gabby Martinez, and Kendall Smith.
The next day was the audience choice competition. Opportunity Quest participants gathered together in the GSC in the hopes of pitching their ideas to fellow students and winning their admiration. After a long night, Sergio Arellano and his business, Mousick, won by only three votes.
Five finalists were selected from the first round of judging and allotted five minutes for a pitch, followed by a two minute question and answering period on Thursday. This panel of judges included Matt Christensen, the Ephraim Zion’s Bank Branch Manager, Troy Shelley, who is a local entrepreneur and Account Executive at 93.7 The Wolf, Jeff Wallace, a Snow College faculty member as well as entrepreneur and venture capitalist, and Steve Lund, the Sanpete County Commissioner as well as entrepreneur.
The competitors waited on pins and needles until Monday November 13th to find out the results. The finalists, business club members, as well as faculty and friends joined together for a banquet in honor of all the participants.
After the finalists presented their ideas one last time, the awards were announced. The competing business proposals came from a variety of participants, including gamers, graphic artists, outdoor and sports enthusiasts, the musically inclined, and athletes looking to get recognized. Each business idea had strong characteristics with real potential for growth.
In fifth place came Spencer Naumann with Custom Crafted Controllers. Fourth place went to Francisco Escobar with Stylus Art, third place was awarded to Dallas and Rachel Bean with Pick-up n’ Play, second place was awarded to Sergio Arellano with Mousick, and in first place came Jaden Johnson with Exposed Sports Marketing.
Jaden Johnson offered this advice to students wanting to become entrepreneurs: “You have to be passionate about what you’re doing, you need to want to stay up all night thinking about how you’re going to make [the business] successful. That’s how I decided I wanted to do this. I couldn’t sleep or eat the week I was presenting and I just knew this was the path for me.”
All students are encouraged to enter the Opportunity Quest next year. The competition offers a unique opportunity for small town students to get their business ideas off the ground.
Sergio Arellano is a four-time competitor in the Opportunity Quest. “I think that I have grown a lot as a person over these four years,” he said.
Opportunity Quest and the business department work hard to make sure that Snow students get all of the opportunities they need to succeed.