Laura Sironen (pictured) was the overall winner of the fifth annual New Business Venture Competition for her concept, Indoor Organics. The idea of an indoor farm for hydroponic gardening netted her the $4,000 top prize. Sironen also won $500 for best 60-second elevator pitch and $500 for best trade fair display. The competition, sponsored by the College of Business, was held Thursday at the University Center. Second place overall and $2,500 was awarded to Steve Farr, Martin Banerud, Jordan Wilson and Aron Jurmu with Marquette Roofing Tiles, LLC, a business that produces concrete roof tiles that are durable, environmentally friendly and long-lasting. Bill Dufour won third place overall and $1,500 for his home-cooked CC's Soup. The remaining finalist was Mike Mattas, whose concept was U.P. Pellet Products, a wood pellet manufacturer.
Judges for the event were Bob Jacquart, president of Jacquart Fabric Products in Ironwood; Mark Kolesar, senior vice president-investments at UBS Financial in Minneapolis; Admiral Leonard Picotte, president and CEO of a private consulting firm in Prospect, Va.; Mike Skytta, business development lender for Northern Michigan Bank in Marquette; Rich Tegge, president of Wealth Strategy Group in Marquette; and Gina Thorsen, vice president of marketing and sales at Jacquart Fabric Products in Ironwood.
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