Two hundred and ninety students and 78 teams competed in the Business Scholars Innovation Showcase for 2021. This year, teams created videos, and winners were chosen through public, online voting, which concluded recently. Find a complete list of winners below.
Each of the teams consisted of up to four first-year students in the Business Scholars program at the David Eccles School of Business. The teams spent months developing innovative prototypes and ideas before competing at the showcase for prizes including Best Idea, Best Pitch, Best Prototype and Best Branding.
“The Innovation Showcase provides a bridge between the Business Scholars program and the top-10 ranked Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute,” said Kathy Hajeb, an associate professor at the Eccles School and director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “These first-year students got a practical, applied experience and utilized the business skills they learned in their classes.”
Team HeartForPaws won the Best Idea Award. Their idea is a van that gives services to dogs belonging to homeless people. They give them food, water, blankets, and also offer health checkups and baths out of the back of the van at no cost.
“We picked this idea to pursue because we all love dogs and animals, and we all understood how hard it must be for those who are experiencing homelessness to care for both themselves and their pets, so we wanted to alleviate some of that pressure the owner has and make it a little easier for them, as well as making the dogs happy,” said Athena Brown, one of the students on HeartForPaws, and a business administration major.
The team is still deciding what to do next with their idea. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute offers workshops, competitions, and milestone funding to support teams like HeartForPaws as they take their idea to the next level.
“What we learned by participating in the Innovation Showcase was how to work efficiently as a team and how to really collaborate so the best possible ideas can come to light,” Brown said. “I would say we also learned how to think outside of the box and really get creative.”
Team EVax won the Best Pitch Award. They presented an idea for an app that electronically stores your COVID-19 vaccine record and COVID-19 test results in the form of a QR code.
“We wanted to pursue this idea because the ongoing pandemic is still affecting lives everywhere,” said Elizabeth Dudley, a member of EVax and a pre-business student. “As a team, we agreed that the way events will be held post covid is going to be a challenge. We wanted to create a product that was hassle-free and efficient for all to use to ensure safety in some of our favorite activities.”
The EVax team looks forward to developing their idea further.
“Our team would love to expand the app to not only event centers but also companies that are essential for travel such as airlines, cruise ships, and even Uber,” Dudley said. “We would also like to develop a commercial scanner for bigger events.”
Other award winners included Femme Fitness with the Best Branding Award and Shovel the Probe with the Best Prototype Award.
Watch videos for the finalists teams in the Innovation Showcase here: lassonde.utah.edu/showcase2021. Learn more about the Business Scholars program at the Eccles School here: eccles.utah.edu/students/business-scholars. Learn about the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute here: lassonde.utah.edu.
Innovation Showcase Winners 2021
- Best Idea Award – HeartForPaws (Athena Brown, Sebastian Gillett, Hailey Lebold, Zachary Lund) – A van that gives services to dogs belonging to homeless people. It provides food, water, blankets, and also health checkups and baths out of the back of the van at no cost.
- Best Branding Award – Femme Fitness – Jack Taylor, Pippa Townsend, Juliana Tusieseina, Justin Woodard – Providing a carefree environment where women can work out in peace and safety.
- Best Prototype Award – STP, Shovel the Probe (Sam Christensen, Baylei Harmon, Julia Parsons, Tyler Riches) – A snow shovel with a built-in probe to improve backcountry safety and safe lives through convenience and ease of use.
- Best Pitch Award – EVax (Dylan Beckley, Sam Bradford, Elizabeth Dudley, Lauren Geisler) – An app that electronically stores your COVID-19 vaccine record and COVID-19 test results in the form of a QR code.