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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 5, 2003

Engineering Announces Storer Entrepreneurial Award Winners

The University of Iowa College of Engineering has announced that two student-run businesses -- Peak Sports and Premier Bands, both based in Iowa City -- are the winners of 2003 Hubert E. Storer Engineering Student Entrepreneurial Start-up Awards.

The annual awards, established in 2002 and funded by an endowed gift from College of Engineering alumnus Hubert E. Storer, provide $2,500 of initial financial support for two College of Engineering student technological business plans.

Peak Sports, LLC is a new company providing innovative technology to everyday athletes, whose first product is the Cobra Strap, a universal wrist-free ski pole system composed of glove, strap and grip. The system does away with traditional pole straps by incorporating a plastic clip - snapped and strapped to the glove between the thumb and index finger - that snaps directly into the top of the pole grip. The mechanism works with existing ski gloves and poles and releases with a simple press of a button with the thumb. The privately held company's objective is to capture 10 percent of total market share within three years, yielding more than $1 million over those three years.

The company's owners and managers include Trenton J. Tollakson of Ankeny, Iowa, who earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the UI in 2003 and is the recipient of a Technological Entrepreneurial Certificate from the UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. He is currently employed as an industrial engineer at Alcoa, Inc. Gabe Palmer of Ankeny, Iowa, is a UI senior industrial engineering student pursuing a Technological Entrepreneurial Certificate from the UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, as well as a business minor. He is employed as a co-op student at Maytag's Amana Refrigeration facility, Amana, Iowa.

Premier Brands, Inc. is an Internet-based business focused on providing a quick, easy way to purchase music of independent artists online. Independent artists register with the company, which manufactures the artists' CD/DVDs and makes them available for credit card purchase on its Web site.

The privately held company's objective is to capture more than three percent of total market share within three years, yielding more than $6 million over those three years. The firm's owners are Robert Sullivan of LaGrange, Ill., who will earn his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the UI College of Engineering in spring 2004, and Sean Hosseini of Iowa City, Iowa, who will earn his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the UI College of Engineering in winter 2003.

The Storer Awards are named for Hubert E. Storer, president, owner and founder of Storer Equipment Company of Shreveport, La., who earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the UI College of Engineering in 1959.

The awards highlight the UI Technological Entrepreneurship Certificate, earned in conjunction with an engineering degree and established in 1996 by the College of Engineering and the Henry B. Tippie College of Business. The first of its kind at any U.S. engineering college, the nationally recognized program enables students to study the entrepreneurial process as it relates to technology.

All currently enrolled UI College of Engineering undergraduate and graduate students may apply for the Storer Awards by submitting formal written business plans to the College of Engineering Dean's Office where a review panel will judge the entries and recommend to the dean two finalists. Undergraduate student recipients may register their awards as qualified internships on their transcripts, and all recipients will have access to an entrepreneurial mentor provided by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the UI College of Engineering at 319-335-5764 or engineering-adm@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, Writer, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu