Boise Entrepreneur Week pitch competition winners announced

By Sharon Fisher

As always, some of the most popular parts of Boise Entrepreneur Week (BEW) were the pitch competitions, which this year featured more than $100,000 given to Idaho startups. Here are the winners:

2 Minute Drill: Presented by Perkins Coie

The winner of the 2 Minute Drill, which will go on to participate in the third season finals of the 2 Minute Drill television program, was Cargo Made-Ez, founded by Adam Stock. According to the Boise State University (BSU) Venture College – which noted that $105,000 of the total $140,000 in prizes went to Venture College students or alumni – “Cargo Made-Ez designs and builds motorized tiedown strap systems for professionals with flatbed and small trucks, by using high torque motors and Kevlar straps.” The award was worth $25,000.

2 Minute Drill Pitch Winner Adam Stock of Cargo-Made-Ez

Trailmix: Presented by Albertsons

The winner of the Trailmix food competition – which features not only a $25,000 award but also shelf space at Albertsons – was ERTH Beverage Company, founded by Sam and Eric Herrera. The company makes a line of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated herbal beverages, a number of which are “switchels,” a centuries-old beverage based on honey and apple cider vinegar that they described as the sports drink of the 1600s. The award was worth $25,000.

Trailmix winner ERTH Beverage Company founders Sam & Eric Herrera

Impact Award: Presented by Scoggin Capital Investment

BEW also had a competition-wide $5,000 award, called the “Impact award,” which could have been selected from any of the pitch competitions. The winner came from the Trailmix competition, Chicana Foods, founded by Allison Corona. According to the Venture College, Chicana Foods’ makes a salsa macha typical of the Veracruz and Oaxaca Mexican states with African influences. The recipe was developed by her aunt in Mexico, and refined in its Boise kitchen. 

Impact Award winner Allison Corona, founder of Chicana Foods

Hacking for Homebuilding (Public track): Presented by Franklin Building Supply

The winner of Hacking for Homebuilding, which focused on the construction industry, was Flashpoint Building Systems, founded by Nick Stoppello and Pat Churchman. According to the Venture College, the company streamlines the way homes are built by combining plan drawings from multiple disciplines and making them more easily available. “Using their patent-pending process, Nick and Pat laser etch building information directly onto the subfloor of your building, giving you everything you need to skip the layout process and begin vertical construction the same day,” the college said. The award was worth $10,000.

Hacking for Homebuilding (Student Track): Presented by Franklin Building Supply

The student track Hacking for Homebuilding was awarded to the University of Idaho’s VandalEyes, founded by Tais Mitchell, Jason Talford, Mallory Buscemi, Joseph Sedillo and Andrew Miller, all from the University of Idaho.According to the Venture College, in two weeks, VandalEyes developed a solution to theft and vandalization of equipment trailers that includes a security kit installation, monitoring app, and centralized system designed for trailers with GPS and cellular monitoring capabilities. The student award was also worth $10,000.

Hacking for Homebuilding Student Winner Vandaleyes, founders Tais Mitchell, Jason Talford, Mallory Buscemi, Joseph Sedillo and Andrew Miller

Cyber Security Entrepreneurship Challenge: Presented by Micron

This was won by Tac Security, consisting of Cameron White from the College of Western Idaho (CWI), Alexander Mitchell, also of CWI, and Tatum Jones of BSU. According to the Venture College, TAC Security’s platform blends physical security with cybersecurity tools into a real-time threat management system. The award was worth $12,000.

Sharon Fisher is a digital nomad who writes about entrepreneurship.