2017 Palouse Challenge Recap

On May 25th, community members and BTE Bootcamp™ campers and staff alike gathered for the final event of Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ 2017. The Palouse Challenge, a Shark Tank-style event right here at home, provided six BTE Bootcamp campers with the opportunity to present their business plans to our industry-expert Sharks for the chance at three cash prizes.

A Catered Lunch While “The Sharks Circled”

Attendees enjoyed a catered lunch while watching our six campers present their businesses from fields varying from environmentally-friendly technology, personal health, cuisine, and more.  After watching our presenters, guests were able to visit the booths of all of our campers, hearing about their completed business plans at the end of their five-day BTE Bootcamp experience while our Sharks deliberated.

This year, we were lucky enough to have four Sharks from across the Pacific Northwest join us at the Schweitzer Engineering Labs Event Center to give our campers and guests invaluable feedback and award our three cash prizes.

Shark-Tank Lineup

2017 Palouse Challenge Review - Sharks, Pitches, Cash Prizes And A Live Audience

Dale Miller, Paul Judge, Andrew Cook, Marc Chopin

Our first shark, Marc Chopin, is Dean of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Idaho and independent angel investor, along with diverse engagements in the community through board memberships and mentoring. Paul Judge, our second and a returning Shark from 2016, is the Managing Director of Idaho Capital Ventures, with more than 25 years of venture development experience from Boise, Idaho. Andrew Cook is a first-year Shark, and is the CEO of Five23 from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, former founder and manager of one of the largest hedge funds in Latin America. Our final shark is Dale Miller, who has been involved with Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp since its foundation. Miller is the Senior Vice President and Corporate Client Group Director for Morgan Stanley, as well as the managing partner of the firm’s Pacific Wealth Management Group. He has received numerous prestigious honors over the past two decades for his work.

And The Winners Are…

Our sharks selected three campers out of our six teams to win the Palouse Challenge. Our first place winner is James Kusznir, founder of Northwest Fiber. Kusznir is dedicated to bringing fiber-optic network to rural communities in our region to help improve internet access. Our second place winner is Chad Vorse with Vorse Machinations. His product, the Forever Shower, is an environmentally-friendly way to reduce water use to one gallon per shower by recycling and cleaning water. His product is available for use in homes, RVs, and other facilities. The third place winner is Rose Graham with her print-revolutionizing design, the Right Cart. This product is an innovative storage solution for large-format printers to avoid injury, maintain the integrity of products, and conserve space. Each of these businesses were selected due to their hard work, excellent business plans, quality inventions, and excellent presentations.

2017 Palouse Challenge Review - Sharks, Pitches, Cash Prizes And A Live Audience

Marc Chopin, Jim Kusznir (NW Fiber)

2017 Palouse Challenge Review - Sharks, Pitches, Cash Prizes And A Live Audience

Chad Vose (Forever Shower), Dale Miller

2017 Palouse Challenge Review - Sharks, Pitches, Cash Prizes And A Live Audience

Rose Graham (The Right Cart), Paul Judge, Dale Miller

Thank You Sponsors!

The Palouse Challenge was made possible thanks to our generous sponsors, Zions Bank and Palouse Commercial Real Estate.

Photos by Steve Stone.