CARSON CITY—A small inn and outfitter just outside of Great Basin National Park took home top honors at the second annual Rural Nevada Startup Pitch Day on Nov. 5. The business was one of six awarded at the event that brings together rural small business owners and startups to pitch their businesses and receive mentoring and entrepreneurial support.
Liz Woolsey, who owns Stargazer Inn and Bristlecone Outfitters in Baker, gave this year’s winning pitch. She earned $2,500, a sales strategy session and with entry into StartUpNV’s AngelNV Startup Competition for a chance to win $200,000.
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development hosts the annual event to support small business development in the rural areas of Nevada. Cash prize money is provided by multiple organizations including Nevada Gold Mines, NV Energy, Northern Nevada Rural Development Authority and Small Business Development Center. StartupNV, Regarding Sales and Audacity Institute provide business support as well.
In the competition, each participant has five minutes to make their business pitch followed by five minutes for questions and answers with the judges. The ideas pitched must be in the startup or early stages of development.
This year, the competition also included an award track for rural students in eighth through 12th grades.
Additional winners are:
- Second Place: Big Timber Industries in Spring Creek, represented by Billy Sage Williams earned $1,500 and the $250 Audience Choice Award. Big Timber Industries delivers firewood all over rural Nevada. This company cuts downed trees in burned areas and delivers directly to customers homes providing convenience at a reduced price compared to other companies.
- Third Place: AOE Greens in Carson City, represented by Taylor, earned $250 and Founder Doctor prize from Audacity Institute. AOE Greens has a patented aquaculture system for growing quick, high value crops for restaurants.
- Youth, First Place: KrafterK in Spring Creek, represented by Kycin Manzanares, earned $2,500. KrafterK is a 3-D printing business that manufactures a personalized product that fits on a miner’s tool belt providing easier access to tools.
- Youth, Second Place: Zander Professionals in Spring Creek, represented by Zander Heit, earned $1,500. Zander Professionals offers mobile auto and truck detailing for individuals and companies.
- Youth. Third Place: Howell’s Homemade Cookies in Spring Creek, represented by Christina Howell, earned $1,000. Howell’s Homemade Cookies are delicious cookies made with top quality ingredients for parties and to give as gifts.