Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Entrepreneurship Club Working to Improve Utah's Hit Rate

By Nicole VanLith

In the world of business, sales equal success.

But in a state with a sales rate that struggles, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is finding ways to innovate.

“Utah has one of the worst new business hit rates in the world. We launch more businesses than anyone and we have more fail than anyone,” said Ken Snyder, associate dean at the Huntsman School of Business. “We fail at a better rate than we succeed compared to other people in the world.”

As a part of Entrepreneurship Week, the Huntsman School of Business Entrepreneurship Club hosted competitions to expose students to the reality of starting a business, with the club’s primary goal being to improve the hit rate.

Snyder said the club helps students to “weed out” bad ideas before they launch — as well as think through the process — so there is a better chance at success.

Business students presented their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of Huntsman professors, alumni and staff on Thursday.
“So what that a student has a passion for a business idea? These kids need to have a passion as well as make money,” Snyder said. “This competition and the club create successful students for the business world.”

The Entrepreneurship Club helps students think through the process of starting a business and improving Utah’s hit rates. Snyder said helping students think through their ideas as well as denying, processing and evaluating all aspects of the business proposals has resulted in fewer failures.

“E-Club is all about giving students skills to start their own business, putting them in control, helping students take the next step, creating own adventures and enterprises and finding success while here at school,” said Spencer Bailey, the consulting vice president for the club. “It’s a resource to become an accomplished business student.”

Bailey was granted $20,000 from the USTAR Go-to-Market grant to generate his project, which he pitched to the panel of judges Thursday.

His idea of “Victorious Bikes” is a business envisioned to generate lighter bikes with bigger tires for rough and uneven terrain.

Other pitches submitted for judge evaluation included a lightweight tent, improved automobile insurance, a workout system and a rental website.

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