Jack's Detail Garage wins first Demo Day award

Connor Vicary and Jackson Godwin of Jack’s Detail Garage won the first-place Az Venture of the Year award during Demo Day.

Photos by Ralph Freso / Slideshow

With a car detail business expanding rapidly throughout the United States, CEO Connor Vicary immediately knew how he and Jack’s Detail Garage founder Jackson Godwin, both students at Grand Canyon University, were going to use the $5,000 AZ Venture of the Year Award they won at the first Demo Day competition.

“Because of this, we can hire 15 more people,” a relieved but happy Vicary said Thursday after he and Godwin were swarmed by more than a dozen employees and friends who voted for their company in a unique nine-company competition at the Innovation Center.

Audience members chose the winner from a QR Code that served as a ballot, and it didn’t hurt that the large support helped Jack’s Detail Garage, whose founder plans to expand from five to nine states.

Canyon Ventures founding director Robert Vera begins to announce the winners during Demo Day.

All nine companies were members of Cohort 001, which participated in Founders Forum, a propriety entrepreneur training program that combines philosophies, tools and strategies from successful entrepreneurs and other programs.

They operate in Grand Canyon University’s Canyon Ventures Center and  maximized their opportunity to display their unique value before a near-capacity crowd that included students, family members, Colangelo College of Business officials and students from the Tempe Union High School District Innovation Center.

“It was a great Demo Day,” said Robert Vera, founding director of Canyon Ventures. “We hope to do more of it.

“You could tell everyone was invested in this stuff.”

Not everyone left empty handed.

Nineteen Twenty founder Ashley Sankar makes her presentation for her convertible jacket during Demo Day.

The Most Innovative Award went to Nineteen Twenty Apparel, which produced a convertible jacket-to-tote-bag that earned $196,000 in sales in only eight months without a marketing program.

Founder Ashley Sankar and her staff displayed the various ways the jacket could be transformed into a versatile bag and can hold several items comfortably, such as a laptop computer.

Sankar said the origins of her business stemmed from more than 11 years as an officer in the Army and being required to carry several items for long periods.

Deadnuts Outdoors, which produces high quality 2D archery targets for archers of all ages, earned the Next Unicorn Award.

Wash the City, a company producing clothing to benefit the homeless, with 10% of sales earmarked toward lowering the homeless population, won the True Visionary Award. The company said it helped five homeless people move off the streets, find employment and lodging.

Hoolest founder Nick Hool talks about his non-pharmacological device for relaxation and stress management.

One of the missions of founder Jayce Candrea is opening a laundromat/café that provides a safe place for women to perform their chores and relax at the same time.

Hoolest, which has produced a small device designed to alleviate stress, won the Great Customer Value Award.

“Some of the strongest businesses in the whole Valley were here,” Vicary said. “That’s why we’re so proud to say we won.

“Hoolest made a couple million this year. We’re not there yet. We hope our business model has been proven out there. We‘re happy to see the support of the GCU community.”

Godwin, whose business finished second in the Canyon Challenge last December, expanded their pitch after being part of Cohort 001 last September.

Ozo Development founder Isaiah Lopez talks about his company's OZZI app.

“Originally, this was a product pitch and a service pitch, but then we realized the real value is what we can help other people with and help other people on their journey,” said Godwin, who is vice president of member experience with the IDEA Club.

“If everyone else makes millions, and we make none, we’re happy.”

After the event, contestants and the audience were treated to Juanderful Tacos, owned and operated by GCU graduates Juan and Evelyn Robles.

GCU News Senior Writer Mark Gonzales can be reached at [email protected]


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