Get Seeded milestone grant program at the University of Utah

$$$ Awarded at January Get Seeded Pitch Event

Student startups received $10,865 in grants from the monthly Get Seeded milestone grant program at the January Final Pitch Event. The Get Seeded program manages a $120,000 fund donated by Zion’s Bank to help student entrepreneurs get their startup to the next milestone. It has been a great resource that engages and educates students in entrepreneurship, enables students to execute and implement their education and create successful student startups. Students from all departments have received milestone funding and are encouraged to participate.

January Grant Recipients

  • OmniEarth (Joseph Walker), $990 — Organic Fertilizer
  • Blerp (Aaron Hsu), $875 — Soundboard App
  • Congo Crops (Pat Matheson), $3,500 — Hydroponics
  • The Tammock (Nick Bierwolf), $2,000 — Hammock Tent
  • Rugged Components (Evan DeGray), $3,500 — Bicycle Accessories

January Team Highlight

Pat Matheson, a master of real estate student and founder of Congo Crops, plans to use his funding to take storage container hydroponic farming to the Democratic Republic of Congo. With previous funding through Get Seeded, he developed a proof of concept in Utah that he can now make a reality in Africa. Due to the climate in the Congo, all cold weather leafy produce must be imported, which has driven prices for lettuce and strawberries sky high. Can you imagine paying $40/lb for strawberries? Congo Crops will set up local hydroponic farms and employ locals from Kinshasa, where unemployment is unfortunately high, to farm produce at a price that most people can afford.

New Program Updates

January 2017 was the first month that the Get Seeded program operated with updated standard operating procedures. The application process is now more rigorous to ensure that only the top applicants make it to the final pitch event with appropriate funding requests and milestones. The application has several new questions, for example:

  • “How many end users have you interviewed?  What feedback have you received from those interactions that validates your idea?”

In addition to changes in the application, applicants who pass the initial screen will be assigned a member of the student management team in a support capacity. The more detailed application along with the support of the assigned Get Seeded partner will help each applicant develop a better pitch. 8-10 applicants will move to the second filter, the Pitch Screen Event, which will now be held in a conference room and questions will be exclusive to the judges. The applicants who move past the Pitch Screen Event will have an opportunity to pitch at the Final Pitch Event, where the winners are selected due to being in the top ranking based on audience vote and monthly fund allocation.

The next Final Pitch Event will be Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to watch student entrepreneurs pitch, ask the presenters questions, eat free pizza and vote on who gets funded. The Lassonde Institute calendar includes all upcoming deadlines and events.

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