Here are the winners of awards from UVEF this year.
1. Mike Proper won the Ron Community Service Award. He was orphaned at age 10 and didn’t finish high school, but he has created more than one multi-million business, and his current company DirectPointe is growing by 200% per year. Mike speaks often to high school and college students. He has helped create a public private partnership to help single moms escape the dead end of low paying jobs.
Mike Proper: I find meaning from our forefathers who gave us freedom and opportunity. I want to acknowledge them. He plans to be more involve at UVEF. I wants to help others believe in themselves. I want everyone to feel worth and to know that each one can know they can do whatever they set their mind to.
2. Greatest Contribution to Entrepreneurs: Kyle Love. He cofounded UVEF in 1989. He serves on boards for Omniture and ShopSite. He is a founding member of Utah Angels. He has helped at BYU with mentoring students. He recently helped turn around Cogito and raise $10 million for it.
Kyle: when he graduated from college he and his wife wanted to stay here, but there wasn’t much high tech opportunity, so we moved to Oregon. In 1981 they wanted to move back. He worked for Wicat then started his own. Back then there was no venture capital. So we’ve tried to help make
3. Best Kept Secret. Certiport. In the last 7 years the company has emerged as a leader in training and certification. There are more than 9,000 Certiport centers in 130 countries. In Cleveland, Certiport is working to certify 30,000 underserved citiizens so they aren’t shut out from the digital world.
David, CEO. I relocated from NYC Manhattan to come here because of the beauty of this place and the pool of talent. We work in 20 different languages because of the talent pool here. We have 130 employees in American Fork. 4 men and 3 women executives.
4. Most Innovative Product. Network Composer by Cymphonix. This product let’s network administrators see what is happening on the internet in real time. It is a robust threat-management and performance optimizing firewall available today. It is not a subscription solution, but is the most affordable solution available.
Kevin Santiago, CEO. I’m glad I didn’t have to describe our product. I’ve been carrying around a book called “Your Marketing Sucks.” Two of our angel investors are here today, including John Richards and David Ruff. John helped us get to vSpring, our lead investor.
5. Entrepreneur of the Year: Morgan Lynch, LogoWorks. This company solves a simple problem, helping businesses get a great logo at a low price. More than 30,000 businesses have used this service, which uses multiple designers to give businesses a choice in logos.
Morgan Lynch: I have Lance Archibald here with me of Date Lance fame and he just won some jazz tickets. This year we’ve had a great year, getting to VC funds to make their first investments here in Utah. We have attracted a lot of talent. The Date Lance thing has turned into something bigger. People love working at our company. There were times as a bootstrap company where we had low compensation and no compensation plans. Now I go to work and I love it and I think, wow, how did this happen? Every time I come back to Utah Valley I think we are so lucky to be here, we have great access to talent and a lower cost structure.
Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.