Awards gala honors student-founded businesses


Student entrepreneurs from across the state sat at dozens of elegant tables below chandeliers at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City for an awards gala to recognize the Utah Student 25 finalists, 11 of which were BYU students.

The Utah Student 25 is an award which “recognizes the achievements of student entrepreneurs, the innovative companies they founded and their contribution to the Utah economy,” and is in its third year.

BYU students took home the top award for student-founded business in Utah for their company React Games, a digital game development company. A few of their noteworthy clients include EA, Hasbro, A&E and Intel.

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy Utah Student 25″ align=”alignleft” width=”200″][/media-credit]
From left, Chad Lee, James Oldham and Brad Moss receive first place in the Utah Student 25 for their company React Games.
Brad Moss, one of the founders of React Games who is a BYU student, said a few words of appreciation as he and his business partners, Chad Lee and James Oldham, accepted the award.

“I think probably the number one thing that I’m grateful for, aside from my wife and family, are my partners,” Moss said. “If you work together well then you can do something spectacular.”

Also in attendance at the awards gala were supporters and sponsors of the award. Steven W. Gibson, BYU professor as well as founder of the Academy for Creating Enterprise, is a generous sponsor of the Utah Student 25 and spoke at the event.

[pullquote]”Go out, get inspired, create a company, create wealth, and then bless the world with it.”[/pullquote]

“Every class I teach at BYU I mention how wonderful it would be if each student started a business, so I’m really proud of you,” Gibson said.

Gibson shared experiences from his own entrepreneurial success and gave advice.

“Young people, it truly isn’t the dollars that you stack up, but the lives that you lift up that will give you the most joy in this life and in the life to come.

John Richards, founder of the Utah Student 25 and a BYU professor, said the amount of talent coming from the students who participated in this year’s program is amazing, and their level of success is impressive.

“The 2012 Utah Student 25 … had a significant impact on the Utah economy,” Richards said. “In fact, the aggregate 2011 revenues for the 29 companies being honored were almost exactly $6 million.”

BYU student-founded businesses that contributed to this and received awards are React Games, Dakine Auto,  The Awful Waffle, Vital Foods, Solase Massage and Oxygen Bar, Printing Jay, Alpine Window Washing, SEOqueue, Exceptional Accounting Services, Nice Guys Lending Services, Muse Music Cafe and Prime Infographics.

In closing Richards gave some final words of advice.

“Go out, get inspired, create a company, create wealth and then bless the world with it,” he said.


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