The journey that began in August with 70 entrants for the campus-wide Innovative Ideas Competition, culminated on Tuesday night with a first place win in SNC’s Jâlé and Warren Trepp Business Plan Competition for Pure Ski Experience, a ski instruction enterprise operated by coaches with world-class and Olympic ski experience.
Pure Ski Experience
Pure Ski Experience team members Matea Ferk, Tea Palic, and Luca Ricou, presented to a panel of four outside judges, giving an overview of their business plan and responding to detailed questions. Based on the judges’ scoring of this oral presentation and the score on their previously evaluated written business plan, Ferk, Palic, and Ricou came out on top and claimed the $4,500 prize.
Pure Ski Experience’s coaches will be current or former top 250 international alpine skiers, based on the FIS Alpine World ranking, who are driven to share their knowledge, skills and motivational techniques with adult skiers. The value-add of Pure Ski is to create a life-changing learning experience through advanced and goal-oriented teaching methods.
These three entrepreneurs bring a unique background to their venture; each has extensive national and international championship ski experience. Freshly back from Sun Valley, Idaho, only two days before the business plan competition finals, they brought home an entirely different set of firsts. Ferk led the SNC women’s team to its USCSA 1st Place win in Women’s Giant Slalom, with an accompanying 1st Place individual standing; Palic was a member of SNC’s 1st Place Women’s Slalom team, with a #6 individually; and Ricou was on SNC’s 1st place Men’s Giant Slalom team, with a #2 individually in GS.
Urban Feat, LLC was the second place winner in the Business Plan Competition, and winner of a $1,500 cash award. Urban Feat team members, Viking Roald, Marcus Plyhr, Sabrina Belleci, and Jaka Jazbec have developed a smartphone application that is location based and bridges the gap between local consumers and small businesses through push notification advertisements and information tailored to consumers based on their location. Not to be outdone by Pure Ski Experience, Urban Feat’s CEO, CFO, and CTO also boasted slope-side prowess at the recent USCSA Championships.
Northern Nevada Studios
Third place and a $750 cash prize went to Northern Nevada Studios, with an entrepreneurial team of Jarrett Grimes, Daniella Calais, Jacob Bricklin, Scott Tepper, Mitch Wiseman, and Forest Jade. Northern Nevada Studios is a motion picture asset management corporation that envisions locations in Incline Village, Reno, and Gardnerville, NV. It will provide motion picture production resources to filmmakers that include sound stage, a variety of land configuration for filmmaking, post-production services, and production rentals of gear such as cameras, lenses, and lighting.
Judges for the oral competition were area individuals with depth and breadth in business and entrepreneurship:
- Sandy Baratta, former VP for Global Alliances at Oracle, as well as a past VP for Peoplesoft, and now managing partner for several real estate investment companies and TBIG Market Opportunity Fund, a hedge fund;
- Peter Kovacs, past President and CEO of Kelco Company, a specialty chemicals manufacturer and Division of Merck & Co.; Kelco was sold to Monsanto, where Kovacs oversaw a merger with Nutrasweet Company and then served as President and CEO of the combined company;
- Ian Rogoff, Co-Founder and General Partner with Sierra Nevada Partners; Executive Chairman of HelioPower, an integrated energy services company; and an Investment Committee Director at the CalCEF Angel Fund; and
- Roland Schumann, Sierra Angels member, and co-founder of SwapDrive, Inc., a pioneer in the “cloud storage” industry that was later sold to Symantec Corporation
All three winning teams will now move on the statewide Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Business Plan Competition. They will spend a few days incorporating judges’ feedback into the next versions of their plans and submit to the statewide contest.