The Utah Entrepreneur Series concluded with Cowboy Kolaches winning a $40,000 cash prize offered by competition sponsor Zions Bank. The cash award was the grand prize for the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which is the third and final event in the Utah Entrepreneur Series, a student-run division of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Cowboy Kolaches, from Brigham Young University, has developed a machine to mass produce kolaches for distribution. Currently, a bakery can only produce up to 90 kolaches an hour by hand. Cowboy Kolaches’ machine produces up to 480 an hour with a higher consistency and quality. Kolaches are a sweet, buttery pastry that are stuffed with an assortment of foods.

“The $40,000 will change my life,” said Derek Johnson, CEO/founder of Cowboy Kolaches. “I’ll be able to bring my machine out of the prototype stage and move into full production in early fall. Many bakeries are waiting for kolaches – now we’ll be able to deliver.”, a company with a free tool for telemedicine, led the teams from the University of Utah, bringing home $5,000 from Zions Bank for the Best Written Business Plan. They have a tool for providing health consultations online using video conferencing.

“ is currently being used in a clinical study at the University of Utah in low-risk prenatal care,” said Josh Hadley, an MBA student and team member. “We’ve received great feedback from physicians and patients. There are always ways to improve to better meet the needs of patients and physicians. The $5,000 will allow us to continue to innovate and change the health-care industry.”

The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge awar