Magazine News Blogger

Fall 2009

e-Week launches 72-hour business competition

When Dell Loy Hansen agreed to speak at e-Week, he had no idea he would get caught up in a 72-hour business competition.

Students have fun with thumb-wrestling event.

After he spoke, he was surrounded by a team of Huntsman students who were locked in a competition to see who could sell the most T-Shirts in a 72-hour period. The teams signed up for the competition knowing only they would be asked to launch a specific kind of entrepreneurial venture that would test their ability to make as much money as possible within the time allotted.

Hansen, who owns Wasatch Property Management, ended up buying 110 T-Shirts. Anaconda, the nine-member team that approached him, won the competition. They brought in about $5,000 to fund the Entrepreneur Club. The team won $2,000.

e-Week, held in April 2009, featured the elevator-pitch competition, a number of impressive outside speakers and another successful effort to break the world thumb-wrestling record. The thumb-wrestling record has proven a fun way to generate publicity for e-Week festivities, organizers say.

Brad Larkin, president of the Entrepreneur Club, speaks.

(Photos by Steve Eaton)

The winner of the elevator pitch competition was a team that proposed a product called the “Ecco Box” that would allow people to save DVD movies directly to a computer.

“Simply put, this device will do for your movies and your DVDs what your iPod has already done for your music,” business student Chris Shipley said in his pitch.

Shipley and his teammates Nate Bradshaw and Will Alley won $2,250.

e-Week was possible this year thanks to funding and support from Gary Anderson, Clearwater Governance, Grow Utah Ventures, vSpring Capital, Kickstart Seed Fund, USU Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) and Direct Print. e-Week, which started as e-Day, was Gary Anderson’s idea, and he has been a strong backer since it started. Anderson, who graduated in 1978 with an accounting degree, is a managing partner for Cheever Capital, a venture capital group. He is also chairman of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business Entrepreneur Founder’s Board and a member on the National Advisory Board.