In a state known for its natural beauty, outdoor adventures are a quintessential part of day-to-day life for people all over Utah. Many students attend the University of Utah because of its proximity to this natural landscape, but it’s not always easy to take advantage of.
Thomas Rash, Matthew Lebrecht, and Darin Pinedo, sophomore students at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, saw this problem and decided to start Innovation Outdoors — an outdoor recreation company dedicated to making the outdoors accessible. Their first project is a foldable paddleboard that is easy to transport and store.
“We’re trying to make the wonderful world around us more accessible to everybody,” Lebrecht said.
Their desire to pursue this came from Rash’s experience with the world of paddleboarding.
“I was a paddleboarding instructor a couple of years ago,” Rash said. “My mom has an inflatable paddleboard. She bought it for the issue of storage and space, but it was really hard to stand on.”
This gave Rash the idea to create a product that anyone with a passion for paddleboarding and the outdoors can take anywhere. More importantly, it can be stored anywhere — from a garage to a dorm room.
The Innovation Outdoors team is optimistic about the future of their startup. They believe the University of Utah is one of the best places to find people who want to get outside, just like themselves.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2023 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.