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'It was not easy': Company helps 'kickstart' entrepreneur dreams in Utah

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Gavin Christensen, the founder of Kickstart Seed Fund, said he saw a real gap in the system for people who wanted to "kickstart" the whole entrepreneurial process. (Photo courtesy of Gavin Chirstensen / Kickstart obtained by Codeword Agency){ }

Utah is known for its entrepreneurial spirit.

But, there is one man, and company, responsible for helping launch a few of the state's well-known startups: Cotopaxi, Stance, Podium, Chatbooks, Lucid and many more.

Gavin Christensen, the founder of Kickstart Seed Fund, said he saw a real gap in the system for people who wanted to "kickstart" the entrepreneurial process.

So, he raised $8 million during the heart of the Great Recession--and Kickstart was born.

"It was not easy to do," Christensen said.

Twelve years later, the company continues to see success and is one of Utah's most active investors, with millions invested in local companies, according to a press release.

In 2015, Kickstart joined Silicon Slopes to host the Startup World Cup Pitch Competition in Utah.

This year, 10 applicants were picked to showcase their entrepreneurial ideas. The winner received $250,000 and can compete for $1 million at the world finals.

"We had so many great applicants this year," Christensen said.

Axon Optics, a local group from the University of Utah that makes glasses to help people who suffer from migraines, won.

Christensen says all of the judges, including himself, were extremely impressed with the product.

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"They already had significant revenue and a business strategy," he said.

If you've ever considered starting a business Christensen says there is one thing you can do to stand out.

Entrepreneurs have to have a deep conviction about what they are pursing. They must be an expert at their product and what they do.

He added, "Entrepreneurs get things done with few resources."

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