Idaho (PRWEB) March 09, 2012 -- In the midst of an epic ski season in Northern Idaho’s Panhandle, seven entrepreneurs will take an unforgettable ride on March 15, 2012 – they’ll be pitching their business plans and ideas for a chance to win awards and accolades in the world’s only chairlift pitch contest for entrepreneurs.
The Great Sandpoint Chairlift Pitch Contest has announced its seven finalists for this dynamic twist on the old school “elevator pitch” contest. The finalists will make their pitch on an eight-minute chairlift ride at the Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho, an alpine wonderland named just this week by CNN as one of “7 underrated ski resorts in the world.”
A team of judges will join the ride up the lift, on skis and snowboards, to select the best company and idea. Each entrepreneur met the criteria for the event, including a focus and opportunity in the outdoor, recreation or hospitality industry – all key economic drivers for the Sandpoint region.
“The event has really captured the imagination of our entrepreneurial community, with something fun and meaningful,” explained Mark Rivers, the city’s downtown and economic development consultant. “Whether in the wintry snow or on the sunny summer lake, ideas and companies are born in this special place. These companies represent the next generation and, we’re committed to helping them take the next step – or the next chairlift ride – to success.”
The finalists, all from the Sandpoint area, include:
- Mahogany Floats, an electric propulsion system for boats. http://www.mahoganyfloats.com
- RushOn, an online advertising and promotion program for adventure activities. http://www.rushon.com
- Ruby’s Lube, an all-natural consumer product (lip-balm) for outdoor uses. (no website)
- 7B Skis, a custom manufacturer of wooden performance skis. http://www.7Bskis.com
- Eureka Institute, a non-profit educational effort promoting health, wellness and fitness activities. http://www.eureka-institute.org
- 7B Productions, an entertainment and events production company. http://www.7bproductions.com
- Molehill Mountain Equipment, an online retailer of outdoor children’s gear. http://www.molehillmtn.com
The event will begin at 9:00am on March 15 at the Great Escape Chairlift, with an 11:30am “reception” to announce the winner. Awards include a $1000 cash prize, free office space, local finance fundraising efforts, mentoring and a host of local lifestyle benefits, including ski passes, concert tickets and boat rentals.
“I applaud the creativity and ingenuity of this approach to support Idaho’s entrepreneurial community,” said Jeffery Sayer, Idaho Department of Commerce director. “With the talent and innovation that exists in our state, I have no doubt that we will find the next business ‘mogul’ right in our own backyard.”
Sandpoint, located north of Coeur d’Alene, ID and about 75 minutes from Spokane, WA, was named as the “best small town in the U.S.” in 2011 by USA Today. In 2012, Rand McNally called the community one of the “best seven ski towns” in America. Schweitzer Mountain was called the “#1 best kept secret” in 2011 by Ski Magazine. With a population of about 8000, Sandpoint is the birthplace of a number of companies with worldwide presence, including women’s retailer Coldwater Creek, specialty food purveyor Litehouse Foods and, the manufacturer of the Kodiak airplane, Quest Aircraft.
Sponsors of the event include Schweitzer, SNEWS/Aim Media, Lee & Hayes Law Firm, the City of Sandpoint, the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association, Panhandle State Bank and Washington Trust Bank.
CONTACT: Mark Rivers
Idaho Department of Commerce