Utah Governor and the University of Utah to Celebrate State’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

September 27, 2011 – The University of Utah and Governor Gary Herbert will celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship during the week of Sept. 26-30.

Activities revolve around the declaration by Governor Herbert, himself a former small business owner, declaring today the state’s official Entrepreneurship Day. That proclamation was made at 11:30 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda, followed by a reception hosted by the accounting firm of Ernst & Young.

The University, meanwhile, kicked off its focus on business development and innovation on Sepetember 24 with the Student Entrepreneur Conference. More than 225 student participants attended the sold out conference at the Fort Douglas Officers Club.

Nicknamed the “Beehive State” for its focus on industry, Utah’s educated, innovative and industrious population is reflected in the U’s top ranking for creating startup companies. The University’s David Eccles School of Business was ranked 16th among Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 25 best undergraduate entrepreneurial programs in 2011.

“What sets our programs apart from others in the country is our commitment to providing students with real-world experience in leadership, creative business planning and practical operations,” said Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles Business at the University of Utah. “Our students team up with experts, private equity managers and successful business creators, to learn how to plot the commercial potential of start-up companies they envision.”

Governor Herbert’s declaration recognizes the critical role entrepreneurship has played in the state’s economy, where 98 percent of the Utah’s small businesses have payrolls of less than 100 employees. Those companies account for 56 percent of total employment. In conjunction with his declaration, the governor is also inviting companies and organizations to share their plans to celebrate entrepreneurship during the week by visiting www.business.utah.gov/eday.

The Student Entrepreneur Conference marked the beginning of the year-long Utah Entrepreneur Series which is a collection of statewide-entrepreneurial focused competitions open to all Utah college students. The Utah Entrepreneur Series includes:

  • TechTitans – an idea competition held in the fall.
  • Opportunity Quest – an executive summary competition held in the winter.
  • The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge – a business plan competition held in the spring.

The competitions are structured to help students go from an idea to a business in one year. Last year over 1,200 Utah students participated in the Utah Entrepreneur Series. The primary sponsor of the Utah Entrepreneur Series is Zions Bank.

The David Eccles School of Business sponsors several other activities to foster student entrepreneurs including:

  • The Student Entrepreneur Fair and Market Place allows student entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their businesses and offer their product to other students.
  • The FoundryUtah helps students launch their businesses.

For more info visit http://www.lassonde.utah.edu.

About the David Eccles School of Business

Founded in 1917 in Salt Lake City, the David Eccles School of Business has programs in entrepreneurship, technology innovation and venture capital management. Emphasizing interdisciplinary education and experiential learning, it launched the country’s largest student-run venture capital fund with $18.3 million, and is home to the Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center and the Sorenson Center for Discovery and Innovation. Approximately 3,500 students are enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and executive degree programs as well as joint MBA programs in architecture, law and health administration. For more information, visit www.business.utah.edu.

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