Three GCU teams win prizes in Arizona entrepreneurial event

April 13, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

Grand Canyon University’s first venture into the Arizona Collegiate Venture Competition (ACVC) was a big success.

But for the biggest winner, it was success that came after a setback.

Storage Together was one of 11 entrepreneurs that were finalists in the Canyon Challenge, but it didn’t make the cut for the final five that get to compete for more than $15,000 in prizes at 6 p.m. Wednesday at GCU Arena.

That, however, provided the proper impetus to change its presentation for the ACVC, where it was a Silver Level Winner and earned $3,500. Two other GCU teams, Near and TailSpace, were Copper Level Winners and took home $1,500.

Dr. Randy Gibb, dean of the Colangelo College of Business, said Storage Together will be honored at the Canyon Challenge for its outstanding ACVC showing and will be available in the lobby to answer questions from attendees.

The difference between the ACVC and the Canyon Challenge, said Tim Kelley, assistant professor for entrepreneurship and economics, is that the ACVC consists solely of a four-minute oral presentation while the Canyon Challenge also requires a written business plan.

Kelley said that the Storage Together team, after not qualifying for the Canyon Challenge finals, made some changes in its presentation for the ACVC, and they clearly paid off.

The University of Arizona won the ACVC competition, which also included Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. The event was attended by more than 100 angel investors, influencers, community leaders and students.

A team from UA, Worksphere, won the top prize, the Territorial Cup, and the $5,500 and Draper University scholarship that go with it. Draper University, founded by legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper in 2012, has created more than 250 startups that have raised more than $50 million, and the scholarship is a seven-week session at its San Mateo, Calif., campus.

Other Draper scholarship winners were an ASU team, Let’s Chat, which was the Gold Level Winner and got $4,500, and another UA startup, Bailiwic, which was one of the Silver Level Winners and earned $3,500.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or

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