The Utah Entrepreneur Series 2013-2014 season will culminate with the awarding of a $40,000 grand prize offered by Zions Bank, Tuesday, April 15. This cash prize will be awarded to the winner of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a statewide student business plan competition and the final event of the series. The Utah Entrepreneur Series is a division of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.
The top-10 teams from 126 submissions are competing for the grand prize. Finalist teams come from the U, University of Phoenix, Brigham Young University and Weber State University. Business ideas include a telemedicine tool for physicians and patients, custom key manufacturing and food product manufacturing.
“This year we have a great mix of finalists from many different industries,” said Stevan Hewett, student co-chair of the series. “Each team is unique and brings interesting new ideas. It’s a wonderful opportunity to associate with young entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams and trying to change the world.”
In addition to the $40,000 grand prize, teams are competing for $150,000 worth of in-kind sponsorship funds from competition sponsor Red Touch Media and other smaller awards.
Since its beginning in 2001, the series has garnered more than 6,000 participants from collegiate campuses across the state and awarded about $1 million in prize money, which was primarily funded by Zions Bank.
“In the decade or so that the series has existed, thousands of students have received pivotal feedback on their business ideas,” said Nick Roberts, student co-chair of the series. “Hundreds of students have received funding, and several have achieved massive success in the market. I’m proud to be a part of that process.”
The top-10 teams are invited to the final awards banquet, Tuesday, April 15, 5:30-9 p.m. at the Tower at Rice-Eccles, where the winner will be announced.
- Alterniity GmbH (University of Utah) — A virtual-gaming solution that incorporates both physical and cognitive training to prevent the onset and effects of Alzheimer’s.
- AudienceIn (University of Phoenix) — A technology that uses smartphone software and “gamification” (the use of game thinking and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems) platforms to help create audience interaction with presenters.
- Cowboy Kolaches (Brigham Young University) — Developed a machine to mass produce kolache (slightly sweet, buttery pastries that are stuffed) for distribution to food retailers.
- Doxy.me (University of Utah) — A telemedicine tool that is HIPA compliant, free, easily customizable and simple to use.
- ItRunsInmyFamily.com (University of Utah) — Online program to collect family health history, for a more personalized risk assessment compared to population based assessments.
- Material Trunk (University of Utah) — Website for architects that brings construction material into an easy to navigate interface.
- nanoKeys (Utah State University) — A company working to provide for various keys to be scanned digitally and then resized to all fit in a small, sleek device.
- Sew Demanding (Weber State) — Custom, on-demand fabric options.
- Veritas Medical, LLC (University of Utah) — A laser device that uses light to disinfect medical catheters.
- 6S Medical LLC (University of Utah) — An improved fascial-closing device for laparoscopic surgery.