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Eight companies honored for a variety of innovative ideas

Companies that found ways to put old drugs to good use and to better harvest turf were among eight winners at the 15th annual Utah Innovation Awards.

Presented by the law firm Stoel Rives and the Utah Technology Council, awards went to Vutiliti, in the clean technology and energy category; Kilife Tech Inc., for computer hardware and electrical devices; Taxzilla, for consumer software; and Lucid Software Inc., for enterprise software, cloud and big data programs.

Also, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, for biotechnology and pharmaceutical advances in life sciences; Xenocor, for developing a device that improves laparoscopic procedures; FireFly Automatix Inc., for mechanical systems, chemicals and manufacturing; and Sno-Go, for outdoor and consumer products.

Winners were selected by a committee of 80 professionals from private industry, government and higher education.

Draper builder completes Starbucks in Spokane, Salem

Gonzaga University students now have a Starbucks coffee shop that was built by Draper-based Wadsworth Development Group just off campus in Spokane, Wash.

The 2,220-square foot shop was one of two that Wadsworth, a preferred developer for Starbucks Coffee Co., opened at the end of March. The other one is in Salem, Ore.

Wadsworth spokesman Brett Anglesey said his company and Phoenix-based Accelerated Development Services, have signed a grocery store to serve as an anchor in a 140,000-square-foot shopping center in Sahuarita, Ariz.

Merit Medical's profits reach $15M in year's first quarter

Merit Medical Systems reported net income of $14.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, up from $4.4 million in the same period a year earlier.

The earnings were based on revenues of $171 million, a 24 percent year-over-year increase. They amounted to 32 cents per share compared to 10 cents a share a year earlier.

Chairman and CEO Fred Lampropoulos said the earnings included a $12.2 million "bargain purchase gain" from buying Argon Medical Devices' critical-care division and legal expenses incurred responding to an unspecified U.S. Department of Justice subpoena.

Promoters of Main Street businesses make stops in Utah

Independent We Stand, an organization that promotes small business, made three stops Friday in Utah to help company owners "tell their Main Street stories."

The "America's Main Streets" campaign is all part of an effort, said organizer Bill Brunelle, "to draw attention to the importance and strong economic impacts of the small businesses that keep Main Streets across the country alive and kicking."

Brunelle's group spread the word about small business influence at IPACO in Logan, Speeds Power Equipment in Salt Lake City and at Local First Utah.

Utah business people on the move

• Kevin Burt will be the new director of the unemployment insurance division within the state Department of Workforce Services. A 15-year department veteran, he was assistant director of the eligibility services division.

• Part-time Park City resident and Olympic gold medalist skier Lindsey Vonn has become an ambassador for TheraBand, which makes exercise and recovery tools for people who have been injured.