Denver-based Vita Inclinata Technologies has been named the overall winner of BBVA’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Contest, winning the $50,000 grand prize over other geographic winners from previous regional rounds. The company is focused on delivering the first agnostic, autonomous suspended load stability system for both earth and space applications.
The idea came 10 years ago when company CEO Caleb Carr was on a search and rescue mission in the state of Oregon. One of Carr’s friends collapsed from a heart attack and the ensuing emergency helicopter had to pull out of the remote area, as they were unable to lower a rescue basket because of its uncontrolled, pendulum-like swing in violent weather conditions.
“While all of our six regional finalists possessed unique and clear business growth plans, the panel concluded that Vita Inclinata’s mission was an exceptionally powerful venture,” said BBVA USA Director of Business Banking Elizabeth Dobers. “The story behind the company, its business model and its use of digital capabilities were all significant factors in deeming them the overall winner. I want to thank our contestants and the Business Journals for making this year-long campaign a wonderful success for small businesses across our footprint.
The overall contest was launched earlier this year in six different markets, with the bank teaming up with The Business Journals for the initiative. Winners were selected in each market, with winning businesses getting $10,000 in prize money. Those same winners then participated in the final round on October 30 in Phoenix for the $50,000 prize.
During the contest, winners from San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Denver and Phoenix pitched their business, where a panel of judges, combined with public online voting, selected the final winner. The event took place at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa.
On October 29, Trainual won the Phoenix area contest, and then participated in the final round the following evening. Trainual, a customizable procedure app, specializes in helping emerging companies build a centralized operations and training manual to automate and simplify onboarding, training, and knowledge transfer.
Trainual states their mission as using technology to make companies’ manuals write themselves by collecting the knowledge inside a business, organizing it, and keeping all employees apprised of updates and changes.
“As a financial institution that specializes in producing its own industry-leading app, we felt Trainual was a candidate that fully demonstrated why they were deserving of the $10,000 prize,” said BBVA USA Phoenix CEO Brad Parker. “Arizona has become a hotbed of innovative ideas that smartly utilizes digital transformation. Trainual is another example of that growing trend. Congratulations to their team and the amazing product they have created for other emerging companies.”
The final list of contestants that were eligible for the $50,000 grand prize is as follows:
- Easy Expunctions (San Antonio)
- The Center for Psychological Services (Dallas)
- RunLab Austin (Austin)
- re:3D (Houston)
- Vita Inclinata Technologies (Denver)
- Trainual (Phoenix)
The contest was open to small business owners that have been established for a minimum of two years as of the date of entry and have at least $1 million in annual revenue. The series of contests aimed to garner funding for an established local operation that demonstrated an innovative service, product or business model.