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MMIC "Best Shot" Competition

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
MMIC "Best Shot" Competition

MMIC Best Shot Competition

On Tuesday, September 10, OU INC hosted the “Best Shot Competition” in collaboration with the Mid-Michigan Innovation Center (MMIC). This competition allowed businesses to present a customer pitch to a team of expert judges while a live audience looked on. The grand prize included a one-year membership to both OU INC and MMIC, legal services from Witzke Berry Carter and Wander PLLC, as well as printing services from Spartan Printing and tickets to the MMIC “Crowd Camp” at Ann Arbor Spark.

The judges for the competition were James Croce of Greenlark Energy Partners, LLC, Amanda Chocko of Start Garden, and Joey Silvian of Virtual Interactive Agency.

Coming out on top of the competition was Damon Bryant, PhD of 1st and Goal Recruiting. This company is a service that collaborates with college football coaches to help find recruits for their teams. They are a nationwide company, who launched their website in May of this year. Adapting the Moneyball system (a complex statistical analysis used to select professional baseball players, as seen in the 2011 Brad Pitt movie of the same name), 1st and Goal recruits college football players. In participating in this competition, Bryant says, 1st and Goal Recruiting aimed to get some exposure as well as refine their pitch into something that is understandable to their consumer base - coaches.

“College football coaches, players, and fans don’t like losing,” says Bryant. “Coaches also know that one of the best ways to improve their program is to recruit talented players for their program. The problem is that coaches don’t have enough time to go out and scout all available recruits in order to select the best players for their team. We do that work for them using mathematical models to identify unknown or undervalued talent.”

One month after launching their service, 1st and Goal was approved by NCAA as an official recruiting service.

Bryant’s advice to future competitors would be to have passion. “First, you want to be excited about the product or service that you are offering. Second, make sure that the value proposition of your product or service is linked to an emotional response that your customers have about an unmet need.” he says.

Paul Quesada of Zeta5 Industrial Tooling Performance was the runner up to the competition. Other competitors included companies In the Groove LLC, Harmony Pont CTC, GlamourProductions Studios LLC, Educo Entertainment Group LLC, G&D Call LLC, SHOE BUDDY, Functional Innovation Enterprises, LLC, and AJ’s CoffeeWorks.

Midland-based MMIC hosts Best Shot events throughout the state of Michigan, as well as various other events year-round. For more information, visit