BYU top ten finalist in Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

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BYU team Cowboy Kolaches has been selected as a top ten finalist in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, an event administered by the Utah Entrepreneur Series, a division of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

The top ten finalists, narrowed down from a pool of 126, include teams from colleges and universities across Utah representing a wide range of innovation from various industries. The winner of the statewide college competition will be awarded $40,000 sponsored by Zion’s Bank.

Genius Security team, Ethan Grabau, Bryan Gillespie, Matthew Henningson, Wade Anderson, AJ Hamner and Bryan Whiting, accept their first place prize. Photo courtesy Marriott Center.
Genius Security team, Ethan Grabau, Bryan Gillespie, Matthew Henningson, Wade Anderson, AJ Hamner and Bryan Whiting, accept their first place prize. Photo courtesy Marriott Center.

Cowboy Kolaches designed a machine that mass produces frozen kolaches, a slightly sweet, buttery, central-European pastry that is stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. The team is confident it will become the leading producer of kolaches to bakeries throughout the U.S. The team recently placed third in the BYU Business Model Competition, winning $1,500

According to the Cowboy Kolaches iStart profile, “Our patented technology will enable bakeries to scale this highly desirable product, while increasing margins and product consistency and quality.”

The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge offers exposure, funding and prestige to the grand prize winner.

“Our diversified panel of judges were diligent in their review of the submissions and left nothing on the table in their analysis,” said Jared Steele, director of judging for the Utah Entrepreneur Series.

“The quality of competition this year has been impressive,” he said. Overall, the Utah Entrepreneur Series continues to be the flagship platform for student entrepreneurs in the state.”

The final round of judging will take place on March 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building at the University of Utah. The event will consist of team presentations and a review of business plans. The top ten teams are invited to the Final Awards Banquet on April 15 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Rice-Eccles stadium tower, where the winner will be announced.

For more information on the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, visit www.ues.utah.edu. Learn more about the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at www.lassonde.utah.edu.

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