The fine folks at the Lassonde Institute passed on this report from their recent Student Entrepreneur Conference, the kick-off event for the Utah Entrepreneur Series: 

The Student Entrepreneur Conference (SEC) earlier this month quickly sold out, and more than 300 students from universities across Utah attended the event held at eBay’s Draper campus.

The conference is an introductory event for the Utah Entrepreneur Series (UES), a program within the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the U that manages student business competitions, including the upcoming techTITANS, Opportunity Quest and the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. At the SEC event, students gained valuable education and networking opportunities to aid them in the entrepreneurial competitions.

Nick Roberts and Stevan Hewett, UES co-chairs and U students, organized the event with their team of 18 students from the U.

“Students come to the SEC to learn about how to start a business and how to leverage their ideas,” Roberts said. “The hope is that they use the knowledge they gain here to become shrewd business leaders.”

Students at the conference had a chance to discuss their business ideas with other students to gain valuable feedback and create teams for upcoming UES competitions. Students also were able to establish important connections with other people interested in helping turn their ideas into a reality.

One example: two students from Westminster College who have an idea for a business that sells ready-to-order, locally-made energy bars called “Mountain Fuel.” The student behind this business plan, Miles Holland, said, “From the conference I’ve gained three very important contacts for my business, and I’ve learned a lot!”

Conference speaker Taylor Bench, the director of economic development at the U’s Technology and Venture Commercialization Office, commented on the conference, “Students are here to develop and vet their business ideas so they can execute them successfully.”