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Rising Stars and Startups In Utah

On Monday, October 26, 2020 three impressive Utah based and created companies competed against each other in a 4-minute verbal pitch (yes, no slides!) competition for $10,000 in cash prizes. But, the money wasn’t the most impressive part of the competition, it was the stage that they were on and the audience who were watching the competition — the 2020 Utah Economic and Energy Summit.

It’s my pleasure to highlight these three amazing companies whom Hen House Ventures got to personally work with each on their path to prepare for the event.

MedForums, Inc, CEO and Co-founder Angela Dayton.

Parq, William Pepper CEO and Co-Founder,and Juno Kim, CTO and Co-founder.

Uncle Bob’s Butter Country, Jared Smith and Bob Smith, Co-Founders.

2020 UEES Competing teams L to R Juno Kim and William Pepper from Parq, Angela Dayton from MedForums, Jared Smith and Bob Smith from Uncle Bob's Butter Company

Why this group of entrepreneurs impresses me is because it’s a well-rounded snapshot of Utah’s future economy builders. Looking at these founders, you can see the diversification in gender, age, ethnicity, talent, ambition, and innovation. Each business is poised to disrupt unrelated industries, as their offerings are a medical profession education platform, a consumer mobile app, and a delicious breakfast syrup. They epitomize how the Utah economy is encouraging growth in various sectors. Additionally, Utah’s local government and educational system supported each of these entities either in grants, licensing, and market entry support. Read more about these companies in this press release.

Hen House was fortunate to be involved in the selection and grooming process for the month prior to the final competition. The University of Utah Entrepreneur and Business Schools structured the competition, Clarke Capital, a private capital group funded the awards, the state government participated in the judging process, and Album VC, a seed stage VC group and SSP, a business innovation group helped by selecting the top companies. 

Tara Spalding at Hen House also worked with each presenter on how to take their “pitch deck” and turn it into a 100% verbal speech that was only 4 minutes long. This is a tricky transformation in pitches because there are no visual references. Here, we will share our speech tips.


Photos of the hard work put in by the entrepreneurs and the judging communities for the Utah Economic and Energy Summit. 

View the complete Pitch Competition below.