Canyon Challenge entry deadline approaching

January 11, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

If you’ve ever said, “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” it most likely was about a plan that proved to be an abject disaster.

But success requires ideas, and some of the best ones were mocked when they first were suggested. However, there also are the ones that seemed like a good idea at the time … and proved to be a great, life-changing idea.

Canyon Challenge

Members of the winning Joblyt team pose after last year’s Canyon Challenge with the judges, which included Jerry Colangelo (third from right), for whom the Colangelo College of Business is named, and GCU President Brian Mueller (far right). (Photo by Darryl Webb)

Either way, the Canyon Challenge at Grand Canyon University is a great way to find out which side of the entrepreneurial fence your idea falls on. The fifth annual competition — open to students, prospective students, alumni and employees — will award at least $15,000 in prize money on April 13 to the ideas deemed most viable by a panel of judges.

But the first challenge is to turn an idea into an entry, and the deadline for executive summaries is Feb. 17. Click here to enter or just get details.

If you have an idea but aren’t sure whether it’s worth an entry, there are ways to find out by preparing a three-minute presentation and attending one of the “GCU Shark Tank” meetings, conducted by the IDEA Club (Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship), on the first Thursday of every month. The next one is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Colangelo College of Business lecture hall.

The Canyon Challenge’s evolution in its first four years has been remarkable, and that is reflected in the quality of the entrepreneurial ideas.

“It keeps growing, which is awesome,” said Tim Kelley, assistant professor for entrepreneurship and economics.. “And the culture of entrepreneurship as part of GCU’s DNA keeps growing, too.”

Last year’s winner, Joblyt, was a takeoff on the rideshare idea popularized by Uber. Joblyt — the brainchild of recent GCU graduates Brad Scruggs, Ahmad Saleem and Brian Scruggs — is a software application that links people who need tasks done with the professionals who provide those services.

This year’s final was pushed back to April 13, Kelley said, to give entrants more time to prepare their presentations and allow organizers more time to promote the event. The final is scheduled for 6 p.m. in GCU Arena.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or

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