KB Medical, a student startup developing a wound drain, was named the first-place winner and recipient of the $5,000 grand prize at the 2017-2018 University of Utah Opportunity Quest (OQ) business-model competition today. Ten collegiate teams advanced to the final judging and awards event. The competition is managed by students at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and sponsored by Zions Bank.
Other top teams included the second-place winner Celebrate Everyday ($3,000), the third-place winner CSB Shoulder Brace ($2,000), the best-video winner Sonoshield ($1,000), and Weg’s Seasoning as an honorable mention.
“The competitors this year were some of the fiercest I’ve seen in the last three years, and our judges had a difficult time making their decision,” said Brody King, the student chair of Opportunity Quest and related competitions. “I’m excited to see how our top 10 for Opportunity Quest compete against students across the state in the upcoming Utah Entrepreneur Challenge.”
KB Medical is creating a long-term wound drain for patients to use after surgery. The device includes hydrophobic properties to avoid clotting and clogging. Other features of the device include a constant vacuum pressure and a concealable design.
“This is literally a dream come true for me. I have been thinking about this day for months,” said Hannah Butcher, a business student and cofounder of the device with Michael Kane, an engineering student. Butcher came up with the idea for this device after using a medical drain while recovering from cancer. She didn’t want others going through the pain and discomfort she experienced with her recovery. She said, “I am excited to be this much closer to helping others not have to go through what I have.”
Winning teams received cash and in-kind prizes, and the winner, KB Medical, advanced to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, where they will develop a full business model and compete against students across the state of Utah for the grand prize of $40,000.
The Lassonde Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business, hosts branch OQ competitions across the state at partner universities. Participants are judged by industry experts based on the quality of their submission and pitch.
All university students in the state are welcome to apply now to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a statewide business-model competition with over $100,000 in prizes available to students. The application is open until Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. Apply online and learn more at lassonde.utah.edu/uec.
Learn more about Opportunity Quest at lassonde.utah.edu/oq.
Top 10 Opportunity Quest Teams
The top 10 finalists from the University of Utah Opportunity Quest were:
- Bruxit – Creating a retainer designed to protects teeth from bruxism or grinding of teeth during sleep.
- Celebrate Every Day – Nonprofit organization that loans formal dresses to young women in need for free.
- CrowdsourcedSales – Connects freelancers with salespeople willing to leverage their networks to acquire new clients for the freelancer for a commission.
- EZ Heme Medical – Provides a non-invasive point of care anemia diagnostic device.
- Foster the Children – A line of products that feature art from children in foster care sold at a premium to drive awareness to their plight and fund meaningful life experiences.
- KB Medical – Current product offering is an improved surgical drain designed to reduce clogging.
- LIT Outdoors – Creating a portable and lightweight hammock fame and hammock.
- Shoulder Brace – Creating a shoulder brace designed to help patient through rehabilitation.
- Sonoshield – Designing a cover created to protected ultrasound probes from breaking.
- Weg’s Seasoning – Cooking seasonings with no MSGs, GMO’s or artificial flavors.
About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a new five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.