University of Utah student startup Light Line Catheter won first place and $5,000 at the University of Utah’s Opportunity Quest executive-summary business-plan competition recently. The team competed with an innovative catheter that uses UV light to kill bacteria that can cause potentially fatal infections to users.
Dozens of teams entered this year’s Opportunity Quest before judges narrowed the field down to 10 finalists. The competition is part of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business.
“We are so happy to win Opportunity Quest. It’s a big step forward for us,” said Nate Rhodes, who graduated in May with a masters in bioengineering .
A second place prize of $3,000 was awarded to Utah Titanium Solutions, which has streamlined the process to make titanium. Third place and $2,000 went to Medi+Swarm, a social network that connects people with unique medical problems share treatments and find support.
Teams were required to submit an executive summary and video for the competition. The finalists were given a mentor to help prepare for the final round of competition where they presented to judges and fielded questions.
“Our judges were so impressed with these students’ ideas. One judge felt the ideas were on par with or better than ideas he had seen in professionally hosted pitch events,” said Sam Despres, a student associate with the Utah Entrepreneur Series who organized the event.
Other Opportunity Quest competitions are also taking place at other colleges across Utah. The winners automatically qualify for the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which includes a $40,000 grand prize and is one of the largest student business plan competition in country. The competition includes a showcase for the public to talk with student entrepreneurs about their businesses and ideas.
For more information on the upcoming Utah Entrepreneur Challenge go to www.ues.utah.edu/uec/.
University of Utah Opportunity Quest Winners
- 1st Place: ($5,000) Light Line Catheter – Nate Rhodes, Ahrash Poursaid, Martin de la Presa, Mitch Barneck, John Langell
- 2nd Place: ($3,000) Utah Titanium Solutions – Dr. Zak Fang, Vishnu Ravikumar, Tim Cooley, Nicholas Roberts
- 3rd Place: ($2,000) Medi+Swarm – Dylan Nelson, Ryan Snow, and Randon Morford