Winners of Monfort Business Challenge to be revealed April 24

Tuesday April 12, 2016 Tags: Greeley, UNC, Monfort Entreprenurial Challenge, David Thomas, Aerosol Devices, The Food Corridor, mcSquares, NerdNest, Planting Profits


GREELEY -- The three winners of the seventh annual University of Northern Colorado  Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge  will be revealed during the televised event on Sunday, April 24, on KTVD Channel 20.Monfort_Challenge_logoUSE

The broadcast will also be available to stream after it airs at

Five finalists presented their business plans to a panel of judges on March 29 at 9News Studio in Denver, hosted by business reporter Gregg Moss.

“Passion was the theme this year. All of our finalists had tremendous passion and vigor for their ideas and business plans, and it was evident as they presented their vision to our judges,” said Dr. David Thomas, UNC assistant professor of management and director of the Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The five finalists are:

  • Aerosol Devices (Fort Collins, An advanced scientific instrument for the collection of airborne particles for physical, chemical, and biological analysis. Aerosol Devices is bringing advanced aerosol collector technology to market to create better samples for better analysis in the lab.
  • The Food Corridor (Fort Collins, The first online marketplace for food businesses to find commercial kitchen space, enabling efficiency, growth, and innovation in the food system. The Food Corridor provides online booking, payment processing, disbursement, and reviews to match food businesses without adequate production facilities with underutilized commercial kitchens who have available space, creating an access economy in the food industry.
  • mcSquares (Broomfield, Portable dry erase boards designed to foster innovation through collaboration. mcSquares are a connected, personal, mosaic system that aims to help executives and teachers facilitate creativity, empowering the entire group to create and contribute. The mcSquares design includes a clear dry erase surface to swap out guides and templates, and mounting brackets, allowing the system to ‘pop’ off the wall for idea sorting and sharing.
  • NerdNest (Denver, An innovative, engaging and fun social media site targeting female fans to create and share their favorite, nerd-based fandom content including photos, gifs, videos, and written content related to fandom. Nerd-based fandom can include specific geeky movies, books, television shows, anime, podcasts, or comic books with an obsessive following.
  • Planting Profits™ (Masonville): An online application that uses an agricultural friendly user interface to configure a model of the farming operation, using mathematical optimization to identify the most profitable combination of crops and acreage per field assignment. Planting Profits™ gives farmers the tools to maximize annual profits with fixed and flexible crop combinations.

The three winners will take home a total of $50,000 in prize money with the first-place winner receiving $25,000, the second-place winner receiving $15,000, and the third-place winner receiving $10,000. 

Judges for the final round of the Entrepreneurial Challenge include Kevin Ahern, founder, chairman, and CEO of CIC Bancshares, Inc.; Kelly J. Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; and George Lobisser, partner at MALIKY Capital LLC and former president & CEO for Pace International, LLC.

Sponsors for the event included 9News, BizWest and Colorado Lending Source.