The U’s Entrepreneur Club (or E-Club) awarded $60,000 in seed grants through the Get Seeded program in spring 2015 for a total of more than $103,000 during the 2014-2015 year. One hundred and fourteen teams consisting of 200 students from universities around the state applied for grants. Of those teams, 67 were invited to pitch to the club. Ultimately, 48 teams won grants averaging $2,100 to reach their business milestones.
“I hadn’t intended on pitching my idea, I just wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship,” said Zhizhou Ye, a student who won the Speed Pitch event with her Smart Piano idea. “But the Entrepreneur Club members were very supportive and encouraged me to participate. It was great to win and see that other people think a Smart Piano is a good idea as well.”
The Get Seeded program is funded by Zions Bank and managed in partnership with the U’s StaC program.
A wide variety of ideas received funding. They included everything from in-home medical diagnostic devices to interactive cell phone apps that motivate individuals to be more physically active. The E-Club encourages students from all Utah schools to share their ideas.
When invited to pitch, students have several minutes to present their ideas to an audience. The pitch is followed by a Q&A from the audience. Then the audience votes on which ideas should receive funding.
The Get Seeded program is an invaluable resource to all students. Even if you do not currently have an idea you can still benefit greatly from the events.
“At the Get Seeded events students can form teams, generate ideas and learn how to effectively develop and pitch their own businesses,” said Ryan Ferrin, an MBA student and club president. “Funding is only one component of what is necessary to start a successful business and students can learn a great deal about all the other components by attending our events, even if they are not ready to pitch for funding.”
If you have an idea, or would like assistance developing an idea, reach out to the Entrepreneur Club. It is continually looking for great student ideas to fund.
Join the Entrepreneur Club and learn more at uofueclub.com.
Teams Funded Spring 2015
- Joshua Mortenson (team lead), Sotrek (company), $500 (money awarded), a website service where people can reserve and rent off-road equipment (company description).
- Greg Phillips, Apply Perfectly, $500, U of U, a website where people can view all relevant data regarding medical schools to allow them to maximize their decision of which school to attend.
- Sam Braden, Luerlite, $4,365, U of U, a device that uses ultraviolet light to disinfect catheter entry points.
- John Waltman, Waltman Ties, $500, U of U, neckties with microfiber backing which can be used to clean glasses and phone screens.
- Anthony Esplin, Pina Pinoy, $500, U of U, a specialized tool that eliminates much of the waste associated with peeling pineapples.
- Jordan Adams, Blue Tail, $500, U of U, a device used for measuring activity while using skateboards.
- Natalee Champlin, Small Town Guru, $1,700, USU, a website for people living in small towns that is a one-stop shop for finding things to do, places to eat and places to stay (hotels for visitors).
- Abby Ivory, Insulin Vial Protector, $1,000, U of U, a plastic container for glass insulin bottles which prevent them from breaking in the event of a fall.
- Cory Merrill, Bubble Soccer, $2,000, U of U, a recreational service that provides plastic bubbles to soccer players adding a twist of being able to run into one another without getting injured.
- John Waltman, Waltman Neckties, $3,000, U of U, neckties with microfiber backing which can be used to clean glasses and phone screens.
- Danny Noall, Infuze, $2,500, USU, an inline flavoring system that attaches to the end of the existing hose of a hydration bladder, with liquid flavor cartridges that are interchangeable when a different flavor is desired.
- Tyson Walker, Hite Vapor, $480, U of U, an electronic cigarette that is designed in a way that prevents leakage.
- Mason Wooley, Linq Home, $3,175, BYU, heater vent covers that can controlled from a smart phone and that automatically adjust according to the temperature.
- John Zolman, Tinker Trunk, $782, company that provides random toys to parents on a monthly basis.
- Juliana Duran, Essentials Express, $680, U of U, a company that delivers household essentials.
- Shane Willard, SkyDataDental, $3,000, BYU, a software that dentists can use to keep and transfer patient dental records.
- Dave Newton, Hospital Patient Gown, $500, U of U, a more aesthetically pleasing hospital gown.
- Tim Cooley, Step Pets, $4,500, U of U, a game that encourages incremental amounts of walking by awarding “treats” that players can use to buy virtual pets and accessories.
- Cody Pickering, Align Skateboards, $3,000, USU, a durable skateboard made from aluminum.
- Cory Merrell, Bubble Soccer, $1,250, U of U, a recreational service that provides plastic bubbles to soccer players adding a twist of being able to run into one another without getting injured.
- Kenson Pribyl, Guyson Produce, $4,219, U of U, a system that is capable of growing lettuce in-doors.
- Justin Stevens, Tara Fiber Technologies, $3,006, U of U, a graphene coating that can make structures much stronger.
- Kevin Corelli, Tive, $840, U of U, a captive portal that goes between a company’s router and modem, which lets users access WiFi by viewing advertising content first.
- Jonathan Curtis, GloLite, $4,100, U of U, a device that provides light during gynecological exams and surgeries.
- Mohamed M. Jamshidy, RetiOS, $1,830, U of U, a mechanism that ensures connectivity between WiFi connected devices.
- Remington Plewe, Reddi Gear, $3,000, a backpack that can function as multiple different bags.
- John Zolman, Tinker Trunk, $401, U of U, a company that provides random toys to parents on a monthly basis.
- Tab Robbins, StreamDx Inc, $6,500, U of U, a device that diagnoses lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in adult males.
- Eric Smith, Smart Coop, $1,522, U of U, a chicken coop that can monitor when chickens are present within the coop and shut the door at appropriate times.
- Rachel Thiesfeld, Little Bear Goods, $700, U of U, hand-crafted dog accessories.