At a grand affair at Salt Lake City’s Grand America hotel, the Utah Student 25 announced this week its 2012 winners, representing amazing student entrepreneurs from colleges and universities across the state of Utah. In its third year, the Utah Student 25 recognizes the achievements of student entrepreneurs, the innovative companies they founded and their contribution to the Utah economy.
React Games, a digital game development company founded by BYU students, was honored as the top student-founded business in Utah. With digital swords and lasers flashing against virtual dragons and such, React founders Brad Moss, Chad Lee, and James Oldham well…reacted as expected with a very real battle cry known well by successful entrepreneurs.
The other top 25 were no less thrilled by the recognition of hard work, in many cases well into the night…after night, after night. Garrett Gee (UVEF apprentice when I was chairman of Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum) drew wild applause when his quippy remarks included the $1.7M venture capital raise in response to his rapid rise with www.Scan.me . He focused for a minute on 2 a.m. collaboration meetings with his partner. Keynote speaker, Todd Pedersen, the candid CEO and employer of 6,000+ Vivint upped the anty, mentioning his 4 a.m. bedtime the very day of the US25. Steve Gibson, prolific social entrepreneur representing the silver generation, indicated such crazy hours were a “young man’s game.” He said at his seasoned age, he is up at night at 2, 4, & 6 a.m. This drew hearty laughter from the wall to wall crowd dressed to the nines for the evening.
List of winners.
There are many personal favorites among the winners. Five schools were represented. UVU’s Kisstixx, an honoree whose product I have personally researched and tested, drew some cat calls for their bold new look at flavored lip balm. Their success is especially satisfying as I consulted with the company when they were part of Orem’s CEDO business incubator. Kisstixx tastes great, especially when mixing complimentary flavors with my wife! Kisstix will be featured on tonight’s entrepreneurial reality TV show Shark Tank. UVU is hosting a pre-show party and viewing of the show at the UCCU center tonight at 6 p.m. It’s open to the public.
The youthful energy, vision and hope were thick in the room as winner after winner took the stage to rousing applause. What a great evening. And, thanks Keith McCord of KSL, for your gracious emcee role. You rock!
Did I mention the food was great?Share