We are seeing a maturity amongst the startup community that is very exciting. Applicants are coming to the contest having fully tested their ideas in the marketplace and having gained consumer traction — all before even launching. It was really tough to narrow the field down to just 10 finalists and it speaks to the high caliber of the startup community here in Utah.

Utah is known for many things, with outdoor activities and entrepreneurship ranking very high on the list. Organized by Grow Utah and co-hosted by Beehive Startups and Zions Bank, the seventh annual “Concept to Company” Outdoor Recreation Contest provided a safe haven for entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike, with participants awarded $30,000 in cash and prizes.

“The quality of the application pool this year was much higher and all 60 were very strong candidates,” Craig Bott, President and CEO of Grow Utah, said in a statement. “We are seeing a maturity amongst the startup community that is very exciting. Applicants are coming to the contest having fully tested their ideas in the marketplace and having gained consumer traction — all before even launching. It was really tough to narrow the field down to just 10 finalists and it speaks to the high caliber of the startup community here in Utah.”

From the field of 10 finalists emerged four companies.

InFuze was awarded the grand prize for an inline flavoring system that attaches to a hydration pack, changing water to something tastier in no time at all. Two companies were selected as runner-up: Fogo Digital, for their ultimate adventure gadget that pretty much does everything short of cooking your supper; and RunBand, for their Original ArmPack, a new-age combination of fanny pack and armband. Prival Concepts was selected as the Crowd Favorite Winner, offering up a lightweight avalanche safety kit.

“When our name came up on that screen as the Grand Prize winner, I was shocked and couldn’t believe it”, Danny Noal, President of InFuze, said in a statement.“I can’t express how grateful I am to win this contest. This money will go a long ways towards helping us enter the production phase of our business and start selling product.”

Published 6/5/2015