Utah entrepreneurs working hard in tough economy

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In this tough economy, the expansion of a large well-known company may not be a risk, but what about a start-up? Utah has always had a strong entrepreneurial movement, and that movement doesn't appear to be slowing down.

A handheld, wireless and extremely portable X-ray machine is now catching on at dentist offices around the country, and it was developed by the Utah County company Aribex Incorporated.

Utah entrepreneurs working hard in tough economy

At its annual award luncheon, the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum honored the company's president and CEO Dr. Clark Turner and others for their innovative efforts.

"As an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take the risk, do the second mortgage, hit up your friends and family for funds or whatever, in order to really be successful," Turner said.

That is what many at today's luncheon have been doing for years. The Entrepreneurial Forum, now in its 20th year, was organized to bring together people with ideas to share their knowledge and experience on how to turn an idea into a product.

"That's basically getting them better access to capital, introducing them to the money folks, and getting them better access to marketing strategies and mentors," said Roger Andrus, UVEF 2009 board chairman.

But is taking a financial risk to try to market something new and unheard of a good idea these difficult economic times? The entrepreneurial mind says yes!

"It may be a dysfunctional part of their personality, I'm not sure. The way I would put it is that they have a way of taking calculated risks," said John Edwards, president and CEO of Move Networks. "They're flexible enough to deal with the uncertainties to come, that always come your way."

"The economy is down, and that hurts things. But sometimes that actually strengthens. It's like weight training for an entrepreneur. They actually become better, stronger," said Shaunda Teobald, 2008 UVEF board chairwoman.

A half a dozen people were honored today, and organizers say there are dozens of projects in the pipeline, along with investors willing to help. That's just in Utah County!

In past economic downturns, entrepreneurial efforts have produced some of the world biggest companies. A few years from now, who knows what will have come out of this current situation!

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com

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Keith McCord


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