Salt Lake City—While other university students are spending the summer traveling the world, exploring the outdoors and sleeping in, four student startup teams at the University of Utah are engaged in an intense program. By the end of the summer, they all hope to have grown substantially and to be selling their products.
The startups are: Coffee Pops, a gourmet line of coffee popsicles; Blerp, a platform for sharing soundbites; Clovitek, a Wi-Fi transmitter for streaming audio to personal devices; and The Society, a discount membership card for nightlife in Salt Lake City. (See below for more detailed descriptions of each startup.)
The teams are participating in the Get Seeded Rush to Revenue program provided by the top-ranked Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business that supports aspiring entrepreneurs. The program is sponsored by Zions Bank.
The startups in the program are challenged to set milestones, then the Lassonde Institute provides support to achieve those goals, including mentoring, work space at Lassonde Studios and up to $18,000 in grants. The milestones vary by company: Coffee Pops wants carts set up around Salt Lake City, Blerp wants 50,000 daily active users, Clovitek wants to complete a Kickstarter campaign, and The Society wants to expand into neighboring states.
“It’s really important for these business ventures to leave the Lassonde Institute and get out into the real world,” said Nate Smith, director of the Get Seeded program and an MBA student. “The effort they put in over the summer is the difference between a good idea and a great business.”
Get Seeded is a monthly seed-grant program provided by the Lassonde Institute. During the summer, it offers the more intensive Rush to Revenue program to accelerate the development of the startups that showed the most potential during the academic year.
The four startups were selected from hundreds that participated throughout the school year in the many business competitions at the Lassonde Institute.
“Each of these startups has shown a lot of potential,” Smith said. “We know these teams have what it takes to make it to the next level with their businesses. We’re looking forward to them being the next success stories to come out of the U.”