Just the beginning.

The Northwest Entrepreneur Competition encourages all students to submit plans regardless of their intent to launch. However, many of the competition's winners and finalists have gone on to successfully start innovative companies operated in the Inland Northwest. Collectively they have generated over $165 million in revenue and currently employ 245 people and counting.


First place winner (2008)

First place winner (2008)


A 2008 first place winner, etailz is a technology and big data-driven retailer that utilizes proprietary software and advanced analytics to source products. Etaliz employs more than 240 people in Spokane and has gained national recognition as one of the fastest growing companies in Washington State. 

First place winner (2015)

First place winner (2015)


A 2015 first place winner, MotoTrax produces the only motorcycle inspired snow bike kit on the market. Based in Moscow, ID, MotoTrax is rapidly expanding since winning at the NEC, acquiring funding and hiring employees. 

First place winner (2014)

First place winner (2014)


A 2014 first place winner, Photoboxx is a social media hashtag printer whose clients include Coca Cola, Teen Vogue, the Seattle Seahawks, Harley Davidson and Facebook. Based in Spokane, WA Photoboxx continues to build a thriving technology startup with local and national impact. 

The NEC is a great way for students with an idea to become young adults who change the world. I continue to support the NEC as a judge because I see the immense value to be realized in our region when we encourage and equip student entrepreneurs to pursue their innovative passions and life-changing ideas.
— Andy Barrett, Co-Founder, The Toolbox

2018 Winners

Traditional category


1st Place - The Donut Bar (University of Idaho)

2nd Place - Father Joe's Subs (Gonzaga University)

3rd Place - eStones Natural Engraved Stones (Gonzaga University)


technology category


1st Place - PickItUp (University of Idaho)

2nd Place - WildRide (Gonzaga University)

3rd Place - UpKeep App (Gonzaga University)


Open Category


1st Place - Blue Collar Virtual Reality (University of Idaho)

2nd Place - Share Farm (Whitworth University)

3rd Place - Vita Inclinata Technologies (Seattle University)