Twelve start-up companies that are expected to do at least $20 million in sales annually after five to seven years in business made presentations recently to a group of potential backers at the Wayne Brown Institute's seventh annual Utah Venture Capital Conference.
The dozen fledgling companies, 11 of them based in Utah, presented their business plans to a group of venture capitalists, corporate representatives and others at the University Park Hotel. The conference was sponsored by the institute, Novell Inc., the Utah Office of Business Creation, the Utah Small Business Development Center and the Utah Technology Finance Corp.According to institute spokesman Mike Davis, those selected to make presentations were winnowed by a screening panel representing some $1.5 billion in capital under management.
Since its creation in 1983, the Institute has helped some 70 companies raise an estimated $40 million in capital, said Bradley B. Bertoch, executive director of the Wayne Brown Institute, named for its late founder.
At the meeting, Dr. Allan M. Wolfe, general partner of Utah Ventures and chief executive officer of Voxel, described as an early stage medical technology company, told the group that successful medical ventures must possess solid technology, a winning management team, persistence, ample funding and "a little luck."
Wolfe warned of the "CEO Conundrum," in which talented scientists believe they are also excellent business executives. Conversely, he added, some start-up companies also believe that their problems will be solved by hiring a top executive from a large corporation. Many times, neither is correct, he said, noting that small companies should select their chief executive based on qualities that would add "immediate value" to their business.
The 12 companies making presentations in hopes of raising capital and how they will use it were:
Biosynthesis Inc., Salt Lake City. Develop innovative ways to facilitate the body's acceptance of synthetic materials, artificial organs (hybrid pancreas) and implantable drug delivery systems.
CVT Corp., Salt Lake City. Commercialize electronic, medical and laser product technology.
Certified Management Software Inc., Salt Lake City. Produce software for government and industry that utilizes the latest bar-code technology to track assets, calibration needs, scheduled and preventive maintenance, toolcrib activity and document retrieval.
Gazelle Systems Inc., Provo. Market hard-disk and networking software such as file and directory management, back-up operations and data security for the personal computer.
Genmark Co., Salt Lake City. Apply proprietary genetic mapping and embryo cloning technologies to improve animal productivity and quality in the dairy and cattle industries.
Intelligent Modem Corp., Midvale. Produce a fast, high-quality modem in the 19.2 kbps market 18-24 months ahead of competitors.
MediServe Information Systems, Tempe, Ariz. Provide computerized management information systems for hospital respiratory care departments.
Science Medical Inc., Salt Lake City. Maintain exclusive rights to patents covering Autologous Blood Transfusion Systems (collecting a patient's own shed blood for later use.)
Therm-O-Scan Inc., Salt Lake City. Anticipate two new patents on a method that uses high-resolution laser printers.
Top-Cut, Salt Lake City. Operate a chain of 17, no-appointment, hair care salons.
Water Center International Ltd., Salt Lake City. Hold the patent for a small, on-site water purification appliance that chills, heats, carbonates and dispenses sparkling fruit juices and syrups from a single spout.
Xebra Corp., Salt Lake City. Creators of a personal computer based compiler, simulator and debugger for VHDL, a design language defined for the U.S. Department of Defense.