A Raleigh entrepreneur claimed the $100,000 grand prize in MillerCoors' Urban Entrepreneurs Series, an annual business plan contest for minority business owners.
Rex Wills will use the prize money for product development at his startup, Hi-Tek POS. The company, formed this year, makes inventory tracking software for the food, beverage and restaurant industry.
Hi-Tek beat out 200 competitors for the prize that MillerCoors has awarded since 1999. Four others won $25,000 runner-up prizes.
Hi-Tek has just come out with an iPhone application and is developing an app for the Blackberry and Android devices.
Wills said he already had the business plan prepared and ready to go. He had planned to use the plan to make his pitch for financial support from angel investors and venture capitalists.
The company needed between $250,000 and $400,000 to finance its next stage of development, so the beer prize doesn't provide sufficient capital, Wills said. After income taxes, the MillerCoors award will shrink to about $67,000 he said.
Hi-Tek employs two full-timers and eight contractors.
Wills received his award in March, but it wasn't announced until today.
Wills, an Alabama native, moved to Raleigh in 1999 to take an electrical engineering job with IBM. He left IBM in 2006 to become a consultant.