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The Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum (UVEF) honored exceptional startup companies in its annual Top 25 Under Five program on Thursday. The 25 companies were announced during award ceremonies held at Novell.
Campus Book Rentals, an online textbook rental company, earned the top spot on the list. The company began operations in 2007 and now serves more than 5,800 campuses and has shipped more than 1 million textbooks.
This year’s honorees represent “a diverse group of entrepreneurial companies,” said John Pilmer, UVEF board member and past chair, and president and founder of PilmerPR. Companies range from clothing brands to high-tech startups to social media specialists.
“Many of them represent an interesting take on old technology,” noted Pilmer. OraBrush, for example, developed a new approach to oral hygiene, while KT Tape pioneered a new solution for treating and preventing sports injuries.
Not that the list isn’t full of tech ventures. GOAL ZERO, XO Logic Corp and V3 Systems are just a few of the tech startups that landed on the Top 25.
The UVEF Top 25 Under Five competition honors companies across the state that have been in operation for five years or less. The applicants are judged on primarily on revenue and job creation, said Pilmer. The 2012 cohort has collectively created more than 600 jobs and $135 million in revenue.
This year is the 13th year for the annual competition. UVEF, which is a volunteer, nonprofit entrepreneurial support group, launched the program to help foster Utah’s innovative spirit. “We took a look at all these ventures being spawned in Utah’s entrepreneurial environment and decided to honor them and help bring attention and support to them,” said Pilmer.
Over the years, UVEF has honored exceptional companies like Omniture, Skullcandy, Xango and OrangeSoda.
Pilmer said UVEF is one of the state’s oldest organizations dedicated to fostering entrepreneurialism. “Our mantra is ‘money, markets and mentors,’” he said. UVEF provides education and resources to current and would-be business leaders, with a focus on helping them garner capital, attract customers and connect with industry mentors.
The 2012 Top 25 Under Five, in ranked order:
Campus Book Rentals
The Ready Project
Persnickety Clothing Company