It was a day of business plans, presentations and judging as companies came from Dallas, Houston and the greater Austin area to compete in the New Ventures competition.
"This competition is really kind of geared to not really look for the next Google, but more about looking for sustainable companies that can grow in the area, create jobs and be successful," New Ventures Competition judge David Hickson said.
The competition was sponsored by the Research Valley Partnership and modeled after similar business plan competitions across the country. However, officials say this competition has one big difference.
"In most business plan competitions, generally the companies that win, there's not really an obligation for the company to stay around the area," Charles Martinez with the Research Valley Partnership said. "The catch in our program is if you win either the grand prize or the the runner up, the catch is the operation has to stay in this community. "
The grand-prize winner of the competition receives $30,000 to help transition their new business ideas into the market place. The runner-up receives $10,000. Competitors say every little bit helps.
"It means a lot, because if we could win this contest today, we would be able to launch our company up to six months sooner, and it would really get our company off the ground and running," David Smith, a competitor in the New Ventures Competition, said.
However, to win, companies first had to sell their business concept through models, written plans and proving their company could be an economic benefit to the Brazos Valley.
"If you look at the companies competing, by and large, these are technology companies competing, so the theory is if these companies were to establish businesses here and grow here, then it would be a good opportunity to tap into the existing labor work force and the future work force," Todd McDaniel with Research Valley Partnership said.
The winner of the competition was College Station-based Advanced Anesthesia Solution Inc.
Houston's Ortho Accel Technologies Inc. was named runner-up.