Utah’s best college entrepreneurs have been narrowed to the top-20 teams that advance to the final event of 2015 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge later this month. The annual, state-wide, business-plan competition is hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and sponsored by Zions Bank.
The public is invited to meet the top-20 teams at a public showcase and award ceremony on Saturday, March 28 at 4-6 p.m. in the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building (1655 E. Campus Center Dr.). The event is an opportunity to get to know the teams, vote for the people’s choice award and see who wins the more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.
“It is so fun to see the broad range of exciting ideas,” said Dane Money, the co-chair of the Utah Entrepreneur Series and a business student at the University of Utah. “Student entrepreneurs have a contagious excitement.”
More than 180 teams competed this year with business ideas ranging from medical devices and aluminum skateboard decks to hydroponic farming. Teams advanced to the final event by winning a qualifying event at campuses across the state or through a judging process.
The University of Utah is currently ranked as the No. 2 school in the nation for cash awarded to student entrepreneurs, according to the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine. Last year, the University of Utah provided $744,550 in prizes to student entrepreneurs.
“The prize money provided by Zions Bank and our other sponsors is critical to the development of new student businesses,” said Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business.
The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is part of a student-run series of competitions called the Utah Entrepreneur Series. They began with Innovation Tournaments in the fall followed by Opportunity Quest competitions at universities across the state. The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the final event in the series.
Download images of last year’s Utah Entrepreneur Challenge winner, Cowboy Kolaches, at bit.ly/1M9fTcI. More images available upon request.
Here are the finalists in the 2015 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge:
- Accidental Gentlemen (Dixie State University) – Provides opportunity for self-expression through customizable ties and neckwear.
- Align Skate Decks (Utah State University) – Aluminum skateboard decks that have longer life span and unique look.
- Blyncsy (University of Utah) – Device that tracks electronic signals to track traffic and movement of cities on a macro scale, helping you get where you need to go faster.
- Brighter House Electric, LLC (Weber State University) – Economical and energy-friendly light-bulb-replacement service for your home.
- Candor (Snow College) – Mobile app dedicated to connecting college students stuck in their apartment contracts with those who want to buy them.
- Haedrian (Brigham Young University) – Mobile app that connects investors with investees in developing countries to help microfinance companies make informed investments.
- Hungry Media, LLC (Westminster College) – Student owned digital-content production company providing video production, photography and graphic design.
- KiLife Tech (Brigham Young University) –Wearable child-safety device that helps track children in public or crowded places.
- Light Line (University of Utah) – Catheter that uses high-intensity laser to kill infection-causing microorganisms and prevent infections caused by catheter use.
- Luerlite (University of Utah) – Medical device using UV-C technology to help eliminate bloodstream infections.
- Paper Trail (Brigham Young University) – Website and mobile app used to track financial and accounting records without the mess of physical receipts and records.
- Pura (Utah Valley University) – Smart-home company that marries home air fresheners with a mobile app.
- Rental On Me (Utah State University) – Peer-to-peer online marketplace that allows users to make money by sharing items in their community.
- S3 Innovative Glaucoma Solution (University of Utah) – Implantable medical device used to prevent vision loss in glaucoma.
- SimpleCitizen (Brigham Young University) – Online do-it-yourself solution for people who need to file for a green card or other basic immigration forms.
- Swap Top (Southern Utah University) – Patented customizable shoe design to fit unique style of users on a day-to-day basis.
- The Menu (Salt Lake Community College) – Mobile application service that lets users search for specific menu items rather than restaurants.
- The Scott Composites NC Brick Tie (University of Utah) – Brick-tie device that makes brick a more economical and energy-efficient way of building.
- Urban Yield (Westminster College) – Utah’s first vertical hydroponic farm, growing organic and GMO free leafy greens.
- Vykon Technologies LLC (Brigham Young University) – Focused on developing low-cost diagnostic solutions for movement disorders.
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 and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides engagement opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include graduate seminars, business plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute is also building a new facility for student entrepreneurs due to open in fall 2016. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.