LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College alum Stacia Morfin was the big winner during the Lewis-Clark State College Business Division’s annual Entrepreneur Challenge held at the college’s Williams Conference Center.
Morfin, who owns Nez Perce Tourism, took first place in the Small Business Category, and also won the “pitch-off” with other first-place winners. She wound up claiming $2,000 of the overall purse of $5,000 in prize money.
Morfin started Nez Perce Tourism last March. The business offers tours that connect people to the Nez Perce Nimiipuu culture through interactive storytelling, song, drum, and dance.
In all, 17 teams participated in the challenge, which consists of individuals and teams pitching business ideas for up to four minutes for the chance to earn money. The competition was open to all college and high school students, and small business entrepreneurs. The pitches included information on the problem/solution the business addresses, the market opportunity, and the financial goals.
In the college division, London Gray, a student at the LC State Coeur d’Alene Center, earned first place and $1,000 for her “Simple Tax Solutions” idea, while Molly Williams captured the high school division and the $500 first-place prize. Williams, a senior at Clarkston High School, won for her business idea, “My Security Blanket.”
At the final competition, Morfin, Gray and Williams all made business pitches again and Morfin won the $1,000 extra prize.
There were 18 judges for the competition comprised of small business owners, business and economic development services providers and LC State professors. Volunteers from the LC State Business Staffing class, the college’s Business Student Organization, and the Warrior baseball team also helped with the event. Jill Thomas-Jorgenson, an associate professor for the Business Division, coordinated the challenge.
Here are the final results:
College category – 1, London Gray, LC State-Coeur d’Alene, “Simple Tax Solutions.” 2, Abby Farmer, LC State, “Destination Paradise.” 3. Victoria Ankney, “Marva’s Odd Plants.”
Small Business – 1, Stacia Morfin “Nez Perce Tourism.” 2, Danette Flores “Wildly Wearable.”
High School – 1, Molly Williams, Clarkston High, “My Security Blanket.” 2, David Wassmuth, Grangeville High, “Wireless Charger.”