The University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and Zion’s Bank announce winners of statewide entrepreneur competition
Press Release – April 15, 2017 – Rubi Life, a student startup developing a wearable fetal activity tracker, won first place and the $40,000 grand prize at the 2017 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge today. The event featured the best collegiate entrepreneurs in Utah competing for $100,000 in cash and prizes.
The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is a statewide business model competition open to all university students in the state. It is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business, and sponsored by Zions Bank.
“The best part of this competition was watching schools all over the state come together to compete in a business model competition,” said Jaron Hall, the student co-chair of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. “It was wonderful to see how we were able to have the business competition held at Lassonde Studios for the first time. It was definitely a success.”
Additional prizes were granted for best video, design, presentation, technology and more. Other big winners included Xlynk Surgical with Best Presentation ($5,000) and Best Design ($2,000 in-kind), Cedar Sports with the online voting People’s Choice Award ($2,500), and Portal Power with Best Speed Pitch ($1,000). All top eight teams walked away with in-kind awards from Deloitte and Jones Waldo. Participating teams also received mentorship from community experts and are judged by industry professionals.
Rubi Life’s fetal activity tracker uses nanotechnology attached to an elastic maternity band to passively track kick count, heartrate and fetal position. That data is sent to the mom’s smartphone and can alert her if the baby is at risk. Rubi Life is a source of maternal peace of mind and could help reduce the risk of stillbirth.
Rubi Life founder Eric Stopper was inspired by his wife’s terrible pregnancy experience. During her entire pregnancy, she was sick and worried about her baby. Due to complications, her son was born early. Initially, Stopper started an at-home ultrasound system. This later evolved into the product that is currently showcased.
Stopper plans to use the $40,000 that from the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge to launch a phone app at the end of this year after the current beta-testing phase. Stopper also plans to fly to California soon to meet with venture capitalist firms along with soon starting a Kickstarter campaign.
After winning the prize, Stopper offered advice to other entrepreneurs: “Take it one day at a time, when you feel like giving up you just have to make it work. You don’t give up.”
Learn more about the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge lassonde.utah.edu/uec.
Winners of the 2017 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge
Zions Cash Prize Awards:
Top 20 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Teams
Here are the Top 20 teams in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge:
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 of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages the Lassonde Studios, a new $45 million innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.