Brad Henderson, left, and Phillip Horning, senior business management majors, demonstrate a pedi-cab they would use for “UNC Ride Away,” their proposed campus bicycle taxi service. Courtesy of Brad Henderson
Five finalists will compete for $36,000 in prize money at the third annual Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge Thursday, three of which are affiliated with UNC.
The first-place winner will receive $18,000 in prize money, the second-place winner will be awarded $10,000 and third place will receive $8,000.
The three finalists associated with the University of Northern Colorado are Brad Henderson, a senior business management major, Luis Munoz, a senior business management major, and Phillip Horning, an alumnus who graduated in December 2011 with a degree in business management.
Henderson, Munoz and Horning's business idea is "UNC Ride Away," a pedi-cab, or bicycle taxi, service on the UNC campus.
"We hope to take the campus from the pedestrian and mundane to the exciting and new and to really enhance the social experience on the campus," Henderson said. "Through conversation, we noticed that there was no transportation service transporting students through campus, only around campus."
The idea is to help students commuting from central to west campus in a more efficient way without having to buy a parking permit.
"We developed our business plan in BAMG 451, ‘Managing New Business Ventures' as a semester project," Henderson said. "We ended up really enjoying writing the plan and decided it was a business we would like to pursue, and we thought that the MCB Entrepreneurial Challenge would be a great way to get our business off its feet."
Each finalist has to present a business plan and answer questions from the challenge's judges. The audience will be able to ask questions about the business plans as well.
Henderson, Munoz and Horning will present their idea at 3 p.m Thursday.
"With this money, we would purchase the three pedi-cabs we plan to launch with, as well as get our marketing campaign and advertising off its feet," Henderson said.
Other business plans include "Branch Out Cider," a craft cidery that will produce apple-based wine from apple trees belonging to Northern Colorado residents, "FirstLine Safety, Inc.," a manufacturing, sales-and-leasing start-up that provides safety trailers equipped to protect users and the environment in the event of a job site accident or hazardous materials incident, Bedside Solutions, LLC, a start-up providing a disposable medical device that inexpensively and effectively delivers low flow oxygen therapy to patients, and "Lockers on Wheels," a mobile locker service that provides individual storage for attendees at concerts, festivals and other events.
The third annual Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge will start at noon Thursday at the University Center. The challenge presentations are free and open to the public.
Finalists and judges will then go to the Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards at 5 p.m. at the Union Colony Civic Center. Tickets for the award ceremony are $45.
For more information about the Entrepreneurial Challenge, visit www.mcb.unco.edu/Events/E-Challenge/schedule.cfm.