BIRMINGHAM, Ala., June 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Compass today announced the winners of its Great Ideas for Small Business contest, helping two entrepreneurs accelerate their paths to startup success.
Premysl Pech of Jacksonville, Fla., was named the grand prize winner, receiving $15,000 to help grow Space Engineers Prints, a 3-D printing service. Corey Cooper of Mobile, Ala., was the runner up, taking home a $5,000 prize for his patented motorcycle safety-jacket concept. The competition, which was held in May on social media networks, underscores the bank's dedication to helping small businesses flourish.
"This year's winners both had innovative ideas, and we're excited to provide resources that could potentially catapult their businesses to a new level," said Lonnie Hayes, small business banking executive director for BBVA Compass. "This contest exemplifies our commitment to fueling small business growth."
Space Engineers Prints, a startup operated by Pech's company BinaryNow Inc., gives players of the PC game Space Engineers an opportunity to order full color, 3-D plastic models of the ships and platforms they've designed in the game. Pech said he plans to use his prize for a software upgrade, 3-D design work, business marketing and also possibly to temporarily subsidize customers' international shipping costs.
"The $15,000 prize will help us move the business to the next level," Pech said. "The social media exposure was beneficial as well, allowing us to engage with the online community and get valuable feedback from our current and future customers."
Cooper invented an emergency safety jacket for riders of motorcycle-type vehicles after losing his brother in a motorcycle accident in 2007. The safety jacket, which Cooper received a utility patent on in 2012, is equipped with a rear-ejecting parachute to protect riders from sliding underneath bikes or being thrown forward during a crash. Cooper said his $5,000 prize will go toward completing the prototype of the jacket.
"I've been stuck in between a rock and a hard place with paying my engineers to finish making adjustments to my final prototype design," Cooper said. "With this prize, I'll be able to get my product completed and hopefully start saving lives."
Nearly 120 small business owners and entrepreneurs submitted their business ideas via Twitter, Instagram or the contest website last month for a chance to win the top prizes. Pech and Cooper were selected based on a combination of social media community votes and scores given by a panel of judges from BBVA Compass on business plan feasibility, quality of submission and creativity.
Hayes said the panel of judges was impressed by how Pech's Space Engineers Prints pairs 3-D printing technology with a computer game in a fun way that encourages creativity among consumers, and Cooper's personal connection and creative solution to motorcycle safety also resonated with them.
"Premysl stood out because his idea of combining the technology of 3-D printing and PC gaming was inventive and original," Hayes said. "And Corey had a very tangible product that — with a little help — could really make a difference in saving lives and be a viable business."
For more on BBVA Compass' small business banking, visit www.bbvacompass.com/business.
About BBVA Group
BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) (MAD: BBVA). BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, is the largest financial institution in Mexico and has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt region of the United States. Its diversified business is geared toward high-growth markets and relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes. More information about the BBVA Group can be found at www.bbva.com.
About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 672 branches, including 341 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 77 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico, and commercial and private client offices throughout the U.S. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration, and its mobile app recently earned the Mobile Banking Leader in Functionality Award for the second consecutive year from Javelin Strategy & Research. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at www.bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com.
BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank.
SOURCE BBVA Compass