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April 09, 2016
Ben Bowen, ZIONS President/CEO Scott Anderson, and Brooke Burgee
UTAH ENTREPRENEUR CHALLENGETeams from universities across Utah competed for more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, including a $40,000 grand prize. UEC is managed by the Lassonde Institute and sponsored by Zions Bank.
Awards for Red Barn Collections:
Biggest Surprise of the Competition:
First-Prize Winner & UEC SummaryA student startup from the University of Utah won first place and the $40,000 grand prize at the annual Utah Entrepreneur Challenge tonight for their design of a new endotracheal tube that makes it easier for medical professionals to perform endotracheal intubation, a risky procedure necessary for reopening airways for patients unable to breathe on their own.
“Winning the $40,000 dollars was a shock,” said Mackenzie Hales, one of the students on the winning team, Through the Cords, LLC. “The money will help us refine our product and get through FDA approval. However, more than winning the money, the best part of the competition was the positive feedback we received from judges and other participants. It was an emotional boost because it validated our efforts.”
Other University of Utah students on the winning team include Benjamin Fogg and Samer Merchant.
The statewide, business-plan competition is the culminating event of a number of student entrepreneur competitions hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and sponsored by Zions Bank.
“Zions Bank is thrilled to once again support the top student entrepreneurship contest in the state,” said Mike Winder, director of the entrepreneurship programs for Zions Bank. “The innovation and companies that grow out of this each year make a real difference.”
The grand prize was part of more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes awarded to help the students launch their businesses. More than 200 teams competed in the annual competition with business ideas ranging from medical devices to quilting kits. (Watch team videos at lassonde.utah.edu/vote2016.)
“The competition is a lot of fun, and it’s a great steppingstone for Utah’s best entrepreneurs to receive feedback and get their name out there,” said Justin Stevens, a student director from the Lassonde Institute.
The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is one of many programs provided by the Lassonde Institute, one of the top-ranked entrepreneur programs in the country, according to the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Learn more about the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/uec. Learn more about entrepreneurship at the University of Utah at lassonde.utah.edu.
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