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$100k Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Event Open to the Public for the First Time

It is a system of automating pastry making.
File: Lassonde Enterpreneur Institute
Winner of 2014 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, Cowboy Kolaches

The University of Utah announced Thursday that the final showcase event of the 2015 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge will be opened to the public for the first time.

20 teams from around the state will compete for more than $100,000 with the top team receiving $40,000. Austin Lundskog is the student public relations manager and co-chair of the annual series. He says the student-run competition is a tremendous learning opportunity outside of the classroom.

“We’re trying to connect students to really understand how actual businesses function,” says Lundskog.

He says connecting student-entrepreneurs in a safe environment for creativity is the mark of a good learning institution.

“Failure isn’t so much of an issue because these students have these resources that are available. It’s more of a mentorship approach than a make or break approach that you would find in venture capital or professional entrepreneurism.”

Mark Pittman is a finalist competing with a device called Blyncsy. It uses technology that can monitor any type of traffic on the ground. He says the award money will really help his young company.

“And develop some next-generation devices, to pour more devices on the roads, and actually understand a little bit more of what’s going on in the everyday,” says Pittman.

Universities and colleges from around the state gather for the final event on March 28th. It’s hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, which is a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. Zions Bank will fund the majority of the prize money.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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