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Westminster Partners With Wayne Brown Institute to Give Students Hands On Experience With Start-Ups

Salt Lake City, October 19, 2001. Starting this semester, Westminster College business students will have a unique opportunity to help high-tech start-up companies develop business plans and presentations for raising capital. Westminster College partnered with the Wayne Brown Institute to complement the theoretical coursework offered at the school.

The Wayne Brown Institute, located in Salt Lake City, is a non-profit educational organization that helps entrepreneurs attract and deploy capital from well-known venture funds, angels and corporate investors. Thus, the institute creates new wealth and Utah jobs, by helping selected early-stage companies develop successful business plans and raise equity capital. The Institute sponsors three major equity capital conferences in Utah, Hawaii and New York City as well as a series of seminars and business-plan analysis programs.

"Westminster's business school emphasizes entrepreneurship, so this is a wonderful experience for our students to work with other entrepreneurs," said James (Cid) Seidelman, dean of the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. "We also believe in a balance between theory and practical application. We have the Ph.D.s for the theory, and the partnership with the Wayne Brown Institute allows students to put that theory into practice."

In the first stage, students (both undergraduate and graduate) go through training at the institute on how to evaluate business plans. Then, under the guidance of faculty, students have the unique opportunity to evaluate dozens of business plans; they then compare their conclusions with those of the institute's staff. From the evaluations, 15 companies are admitted to the institute. The Wayne Brown Institute assigns each of those companies a team and several teams will include Westminster students. Business leaders from the community work with each team to develop and refine successful business plans.

In the second stage, students who did well on the first stage (the business plan) will then get the opportunity to help develop the presentation for the 17th annual conference, the Annual Investor's Choice Global Equity Capital Conference. The conference takes place February 5-6 2002 and is hosted by the Wayne Brown Institute, with the assistance of the State of Utah International Business Development Office.

"The experience provides invaluable skills to students interested in entrepreneurship and equity capital financing, skills generally not easily available to students," said Brad Bertoch, CEO of the Wayne Brown Institute.

"Westminster College is a unique resource in the state's business education community. Both the undergraduate and graduate business programs have visionary faculty committed to the development of marketable student skills in an ever-expanding economy. For this reason, the Wayne Brown Institute has invited Westminster College students and faculty to assist in the conference's organization and preparation," said Bertoch.

Since 1983, the Wayne Brown Institute has helped entrepreneurs find venture capital to assist in the development of early-stage, high-growth potential, high-technology companies both in Utah and throughout the United States

Westminster College, Utah's only private, nondenominational, nonprofit college, prepares its 2,500 students for personal and professional success through a foundation of liberal education, combined with professional programs that include vital technological and communication skills. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Westminster in the top tier of regional colleges and universities in the Western United States for seven straight years.