Vitapul, a company developing an injection device that stores medication in a way that extends its shelf-life, won first place and the $5,000 grand prize at the 2019-2020 University of Utah Opportunity Quest business-model, executive-summary competition Jan. 17. Ten teams advanced to the final judging and awards event at Lassonde Studios. The competition is managed by students at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and sponsored by Zions Bank. Two members of Vitapul are University of Utah biomedical engineering graduates, Trent Parry and Alejandro Blitch.

Vitapul is improving access to life-saving devices through autoinjectors for medications such as epinephrine. The autoinjector will store medication in a new and innovative manner to be able to keep medications more thermally stable, which will decrease degradation and elongate expiration dates.

“In the upcoming months, we will mainly be looking to file patents as well as getting ready for the Utah Entrepreneurial Challenge,” says Alex Huhn, of Vitapul, an MBA graduate. Teammate Brian Parker added, “We want to make sure that our autoinjector releases the correct amount of epinephrine every time through reliability testing after we have our patent completely filed.” Parker and the other Vitapul members are studying medicine at the U.

Parry received his B.S. and M.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Utah. He spent one year working as a research and design engineer at CR Bard designing peripheral access ports and feeding and drainage devices before returning to the University of Utah where he is a first-year medical student. Blitch earned a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from the U. He is now a first-year medical student at the U’s School of Medicine.

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business, hosts branch Opportunity Quest competitions across Utah at partner universities. Participants are judged by industry experts based on the quality of their submission and pitch. Winning teams at Opportunity Quest receive prize money, and the winners advance into the top 20 of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, where they will develop a full business model and compete against students across the state of Utah for the grand prize of $40,000.

“Opportunity Quest provides student entrepreneurs the chance to make their business ideas a reality,” said Suraj Ramkumar, the student vice-chair for Opportunity Quest. “These ten teams put forth their best efforts, and I am astounded at the level of professionalism they had.”

Learn more about Opportunity Quest at

Lassonde Staff