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2022 Semi-Finals Event

February 9, 2022
University Center Ballrooms

The Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge develops entrepreneurs’ knowledge and skillsets necessary to be competitive and successful in a rapidly changing business environment. This year we will be hosting Semi-Finals for only our Open Division participants, our Collegiate Division participants will be continuing to the Finals.

Kepner Hall

Dr. Keiko in an MCB Classroom

Schedule of Events

  • 8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:00 a.m. Open Division: GelSana Therapeutics
  • 9:25 a.m. Open Division: SARUS
  • 9:50 a.m. Open Division: Benevolent Robotics
  • 10:15 a.m. Open Division: WarmButt
  • 10:40 a.m. Open Division: HorizonVerjus
  • 11:05 a.m. Open Division: Slick Tools
  • 11:30 a.m. Open Division: RD Flows
  • 11:55 a.m. Participant Reception & Judges Deliberation
  • 12:30 p.m. Finalist Announcement

MCB Business Programs

Whether you're interested becoming a world-class financier for a Fortune 500 company, the owner of a small business, a CPA, a CIS expert or a marketing director, the Monfort College of Business has an emphasis area that can help you reach your goals.

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MCB Professor in the classroom

Open Division Semifinalists

Open Division Semifinalists will be presenting at our 2022 Semi-Finals event and will be competing for continuation onto the Finals.

RD Flows is creating a marketplace to connect academic institutions with businesses looking to outsource their research and development.  RD Flows looks to help standardize academic research and develop a pipeline connecting businesses in need of research equipment with underutilized university lab equipment. Standardized research pipelines let businesses leverage a network of university assets, conducting their research and ensuring consistency in results, regardless of a multitude of variables.

GelSana Therapeutics is addressing this need with its proprietary wound healing hydrogels that help heal tissue significantly faster and without the downsides of today’s dressings. Our strategy is to develop this superior line of wound dressings, introducing our first product under a medical device classification. Future generations of GelSana products can include drugs which are released over time, as these hydrogels have a demonstrated ability to continuously deliver therapeutics, and we have demonstrated in animal studies that diabetic wound healing time is cut by 1/2 with drug-laden hydrogels. 

The Solar industry has developed rapidly in the last decade, but installers are still using generic construction tools for their projects. Slick Tools is developing specialty tools for solar professionals to provide them with the right tools for the trade. Currently, they are the industry leading expert in Animal Guard, focusing on residential solar, but are planning to expand into all three solar sectors (residential, utility, commercial) in the future.  

Sarus develops software for crane companies and construction companies to streamline their lift planning process, saving them time and improving onsite safety through higher accuracy, improved communication, and access to better data. 

Verjus (French for “green juice”) is the non-alcoholic, highly acidic juice of unripe wine grapes.Traditionally, verjus has been produced in small quantities by French vineyards and distributed locally. Verjus production has yet to gain a substantial foothold in the United States. However, with the growth of the farm-to-table movement in the kitchen and behind the bar, they believe the market is ready to embrace a locally made, eco-friendly ingredient. 

Benevolent Robotics, creates safe and beneficial robots for the future by building robots to help the humans we love today.  Benevolent is developing robotic technology to help people with impaired mobility, including people living with paralysis, people recovering from injury, and the elderly.Benevolent is developing their first robot Fetch for people who need a robot first and most: people who live with functional paralysis, especially people who live with quadriplegia. 

Warmbutt is a personal heating device for comfort and safety during a Pandemic. They provide energy efficient and high-powered heat for outdoor activities such as dining and entertaining. They are currently testing such a system with Keystone Ski Patrol on their rescue sleds. 

Collegiate Division Finalists

Collegiate Division participants who were selected are continuing to Finals and will not be presenting at the 2022 Semi-Finals event.

Audition Advocates provides free college audition coaching services to students in the Denver-Metro area who are BIPOC students from underfunded areas or students from low income families. Our students would have sponsors who would help fund their professional coaching and mentoring sessions as well as help aid the fees of auditions and applications. Audition Advocates will help bridge that gap and promote the diversification and equitably of the theatre world. 

Blue Path is a phone application that connects students with the campus police department when walking on campus. A student would open the Blue Path app and choose the on-campus location they were heading to. The app would connect the student to the university police to be monitored on their walk. The police would be able to track the student’s location and velocity changes on the app.

Eclecticism is truly an organization built by the community. Its aim is to provide a more sustainable and affordable alternative to traditional means of clothing in an attempt to reduce global waste. What sets Eclecticism apart from other clothing companies is each time an item is purchased, 50% of the money from all purchases go toward an organization that helps repair the environment. 

Kandiwhere is a company dedicated to connecting friends and loved ones at large social gatherings where cellphone service is nonexistent. Using ultrawide band radio technology, each one of our kandi bracelets will be able to track and navigate you towards your friends and loved ones. We aim to improve every attendee’s experience and safety, while providing a unique and fashionable way to stay connected. 

We provide organic, all natural, nutrient-dense foods, snacks, and supplements designed to help fuel combat athletes. Currently, we offer 5 delicious flavors of overnight oatmeal. We will expand into nutrition bars, granola, trail mixes, cooking spices, and all natural super food based supplements. 

The restrictions imposed by the current pandemic were huge. In music, for instance, they impacted rehearsals, lessons, recitals and many other kinds of music making. Therefore, this idea aims to provide piano lessons and piano accompaniment to music students through a subscription service. 

 Competition Judges

Don Brown

Don Brown

Don is the veteran of several start-up companies. In 2004, he founded Secondary Interactive(SI) to focus on automating the secondary marketing processes for the mortgage banking
industry. SI eventually become part of Optimal Blue, LLC, which is now part of Black Knight, which provides of a range of services to the mortgage and real estate industries. Optimal Blue remains the leading provider of secondary marketing automation for the mortgage industry. Don left Optimal Blue in 2020 and is now focusing on traveling and investing.

Don is a graduate of Northwestern University, and the University of Colorado School of Law. After law school, Don practiced water, land use and natural resource law for seven years before going into business. Don remains active in the water and natural resource programs at the University of Colorado School of Law and recently joined the advisory board of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and Environment.

Don has served on several boards and commissions in the City of Louisville culminating in his service as a council member from 2000 to 2008. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Louisville in 2019.

Don has been involved numerous non-profits including the YMCA of Northern Colorado,Via Mobility Solutions and the Imagine! Foundation where he served as president for the past two years and helped the organization raise of $800K both years. He is now a member of the governing board for Imagine! Colorado, the provider of services to individuals with intellectual disabilities in Boulder and Broomfield Counties.

Jay Anderson

Jay Anderson
CEO of Top-Line Xceleration

Jay is a seasoned executive with broad and diverse global experience in leading organizations. He currently is CEO of Top-Line Xceleration which works with companies to increase their top-line revenue and improve profitability. Jay is also co-founder of Ornavera, a Precision Agriculture company that assists growers to improve crop yield.

Jay’s career includes roles leading global sales and services organizations with private equity owned companies and over 30 years in executive roles with Intel’s IoT Group and Motorola both domestically and internationally. In addition, Jay is an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Colorado teaching undergraduate Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship, Fundamentals of Project Management and Management and Organizational Behavior.

Bill Dieterich

Bill Dieterich
Executive Director of SAGE

Executive Director of SAGE. SAGE connects teams of experienced advisors with early-stage startups. He has been a member of several startups himself in Fort Collins. He is a Senior Instructor in leadership and organization development programs for Duke’s Corp Ed program.  

He is a board member for a Colorado Utility Company. Previously he served as a Director of R&D at the Hewlett-Packard Company. He also held positions at Hewlett-Packard as Marketing Manager, Business Unit Manager, Field Services District Manager and Systems Engineer. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years as an Aeronautical Researcher, Assistant Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy and an aircraft designer.  

His education includes a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.S from Stanford University. He received his MBA from Wright State University in Ohio.  

Philip McCready

Benjamin L. Snow
Director of Economic Health & Housing for the City of Greeley

Benjamin Snow serves as director of economic health and housing for the City of Greeley. He returned to Colorado in 2018 after spending nine years as the president of the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, a public/private non-profit organization in the Black Hills of
South Dakota. During his previous Colorado service, he was based in Metro Denver and served in several economic development leadership capacities, including executive director for the Parker Economic Development Council, president and CEO of the Parker Chamber of Commerce, and
business development manager for the Denver South Economic Development Partnership.

He has more than 24 years of experience working with leaders in both the public and private sectors. During his career, he has had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States and interface with multiple communities, both large and small, while completing many successful real estate and community development projects.

He received a bachelor’s in Business Administration (Real Estate Emphasis) from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona and is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council. He is also active
with the International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute, Economic Development Council of Colorado, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Upstate Colorado Economic Development, Greeley Downtown Development Authority, Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce, Greeley ACE (Achieving Community Excellence) Board, and many other educational,
civic and business organizations.



Competition Hosts

Dallas Everhart

Dallas Everhart
Entrepreneurial Challenge Director

Dallas Everhart’s career is a blend of consulting, business owner, local government and higher education with positions in leadership, management, and finance.

 Halaki Gionet

Halaki Gionet
Entrepreneurial Student Manager

Halaki Gionet is a student at the UNC majoring in Business Finance. This is her second year managing the Entrepreneurial Challenge but her third year being involved with the event. Her goal is to use the experience she has gained with the eChallenge and her knowledge of finance to help nurture the small business community in Hawaii, where she is from.