Pure Solutions, a team from Skyline High School with a product that enables consumers to easily analyze water samples, won first place and the $10,000 grand prize at the 2022 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HSUEC) final event today.
The competition is hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank.
“Winning this competition means so much more than just the money,” said David Sun, a member of the Pure Solutions team. “I think the most valuable prize is the countless people that are so talented that we got to talk to, and bringing awareness to the issue is something that is really important to us.”
Pure Solutions expects to develop their invention and start selling it as soon as they can, and they are deciding between two options for the future.
“We are planning on filing a patent next month so that we can have ownership over the entire product, and then we are planning on either licensing that patent to utility companies or using it and starting our own business and working our way up, making this a global product,” said Vivek Anandh, another member of the Pure Solutions team.
Twenty teams made it to the final event in this business-idea competition open to all students in Utah ages 14-18. They competed for $30,000 in cash and scholarships.
Every high school team that participated faced the challenge of identifying a problem and proposing a creative solution. The finalist teams submitted ideas ranging from medical devices for infants to an app that teaches financial literacy to high schoolers. See the list below for details and a description of the top 20 teams.
“It was so exciting to see the passion and effort displayed by these high school students,” said Sadie Bowen, the student associate for the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. “We encourage all high school students in Utah to apply next year, and good luck to all competing teams in their future endeavors.”
Other winners included: Noisy NICU Cap with second place ($5,000); Creative Book Folding with third place ($2,500); and Viridis with Top Online Vote ($500). Additionally, all top 20 teams were offered a position with the Lassonde Founders program, which includes a $1,000 housing scholarship for students to live and launch together at Lassonde Studios. Two teams were awarded a $2,000 College of Science scholarship for students majoring at the University of Utah in a College of Science major.
The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the youth version of the collegiate Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which offered $60,000 in cash and prizes this year.
Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.
HSUEC Winners 2022
- First Place, $10,000: Pure Solutions
- Second Place, $5,000: Noisy NICU Cap
- Third Place, $2,500: Creative Book Folding
- Top Online Vote Award, $500: Viridis
- College of Science Scholarships ($2,000): Pure Solutions; Noisy NICU Caps
HSUEC Top 20 Teams 2022
Listed below are the top 20 teams for the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge in alphabetical order:
- Cent (American Fork High) – An app to help teenagers learn financial literacy. They can learn and connect with others about different financial topics as well as keep track of their finances and investments.
- Creative Book Folding (Bear River High) – Imagine being able to create a product that can be customized to fit all customers, all events, and all budgets with very little overhead costs. Creative Book Folding is a company that does all of these things. It creates unique and customizable gifts or decorations for any and all occasions out of recycled books. Satisfaction is guaranteed from the creation of the pattern all the way through to the completed product.
- Eco-Elevated (Mountain Ridge High) – Eco-Elevated is all about providing an enjoyable, unique experience for people trying to get away from home. They turn shipping containers that would be burned down into modern, unique, homes on platforms like Airbnb. These “Eco-Capsules” will be located in the Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, area.
- Flora (West High) – Flora is the future of the event-planning industry. It will solve the hassles of event management with event software and a network of leased venues across the US. First, discover your event goals, and get insights into the best venue for you with a quick survey. Then, pick a venue, and their “Blossoms” (temporary low-skill workers) will set it up for you. Finally, attendees can check in at stations to receive their personal barcode for entry.
- Lazorback (Westlake High) – A physical therapist and the student founder are developing the Lazorback system to help strengthen people’s back muscles so that they won’t slouch. The system includes a laser strapped onto your chest. You need to keep the laser on a target. A physical therapist tested it for a year on more than 50 people and said the device works. They are building an app that will motivate people via competition and progress tracking. The device and system are patent-pending.
- Lock2Drive (Orem High) – Without help to set and keep good habits, teens will fall into bad habits, like driving distracted by their phone. Lock2Drive helps fix distracted driving by providing parents a smart lockbox for teens to put their phone in while driving to reduce distractions. This gives them peace of mind that their teenager isn’t driving distracted. If Lock2Drive delays your teen’s first accident by two months, then it pays for itself.
- Moodz Clothing (Farmington High) – This team is trying to solve a problem affecting over 200 million people in the world. The problem is mood disorders and mental illnesses. There are many different solutions for mood disorders and mental health. The strategy this team is taking is through clothing. Everyone wears clothes, and why not wear clothes that can help someone or brighten someone’s mood?
- Morris Workstations (Park City High) – The Morris Workstation is an all-terrain workstation suitable for tasks in any environment. Initially designed as a fully integrated ski-waxing station for ski racers, its modularity allows for multipurpose use in a variety of fields, from welding to carpentry. The workstation has integrated battery and gas storage to run accessories. The table is designed to be stable on any surface, and the entire system folds up with a toolbox to make an easy-to-transport backpack.
- Noisy NICU Cap (American Heritage) – The Noisy NICU Cap is a patented sound-attenuating device developed for premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Noise levels in the NICU exceed the safe range 70% of the time, exposing babies to sounds that may damage their auditory development. Designed to reduce the sound level to an acceptable range, the proprietary blend of materials in the cap meets comfort and safety requirements for our most medically fragile infants.
- Opala (Park City High) – Opala’s idea is taking waste from the ocean (primarily fishing nets) and reproducing it into surfboards and some clothing, and jewelry. This will help towns and villages near coastal areas have a cleaner and healthier ecosystem surrounding them.
- Pure Solutions (Skyline High) – Pure Solutions is an innovative product that enables consumers to easily and comprehensively analyze water samples from the comfort of their homes. Unlike current water testers on the market, Pure Solutions’ reusability, intuitive design, and Bluetooth capabilities, will enhance water safety. Their product will inform millions of people about the quality of their water and provide low-income communities an affordable and effective way to improve their health and standards of living.
- Secured (Farmington High) – Secured is a high-tech, safe, private, and upscale innovation created to prevent human trafficking and increase safety worldwide. This product comes in one of their many jewelry forms. It includes an attachable charm. The charm has the capability to call the police in times of distress, privately track your location, and send preconceived messages to family or friends. It does this while using sustainable and ethical materials to promote global cleanliness.
- The Meliorist (American Fork High) – This team designed an app for self-improvement. But unlike other self-improvement apps, you can customize it to improve in different fields that you are interested in and find support and tips from experts and other users. Some examples include career pathways, college pathways, how to fix things, hobbies, sports, self-affirmation, and nutrition.
- Therma Band (Skyridge High) – The Therma Band is a lightweight, reusable bracelet device designed to keep athletes warm while playing. Whether you are playing with friends just for fun or at the very highest level possible, it is crucial you remain warm for comfort and performance level. Their high-comfort, heated sports band will provide the athlete with warmth throughout their entire body while maintaining mobility. This will not only boost their performance but allow them to have a better time.
- Travelminder (Park City High) – Travelers have more choices than ever when it comes to customizing their experience. The problem? It’s plagued by people fighting for a commission and missing a single-platform solution that intuitively helps you book your trip and monitors it 24/7 for any change to price, travel restrictions, and more. Travelminder empowers any traveler to discover, plan, book, afford and attend to their travel plans – all in one place.
- UPLIFT Gum (Mountain Ridge High) – When the founder was in ninth grade, they had a serious iron deficiency. They had to take two iron supplements a day, and they can’t swallow pills, so they chewed them despite the terrible taste. At the time, they were a gum addict, chewing up to eight pieces a day and thought, “What if I implemented nutrients into gum?” UPLIFT implements vitamins and minerals into a piece of delicious, refreshing gum. UPLIFT makes consuming nutrients convenient, accessible, and delicious.
- Valor (Mountain Ridge High) – Valor will provide men’s self-care items. Self-care is a predominantly feminine industry. They will offer a range of products from lotions, body wash, cologne, moisturizer, shampoos, and more. Their product helps men find their passion and their inner roar.
- Viridis (Park City High) – Viridis (“green” in Latin) is an outdoor company that supplies gear and clothing for camping, hiking, and fishing enthusiasts. They aim to be eco-friendly and launch an in-house line of recycled ocean plastic clothing. The founders launched an initial website in January 2022. Currently, the business follows a drop-shipping structure.
- Vita Dolce (Academy for Math Engineering & Science) – Vita Dolce is a suite of vitamin supplements, including gummies, made without refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Vita Dolce sticks to basic, natural ingredients such as organic fruit juice and raw honey as a sweetener. Unlike traditional sugar and artificial sweeteners, honey delivers essential health benefits – it is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial agent. At Vita Dolce, they’ve invented a tasty, chewy gummy that you can feel good about.
- Western Lands Preservation (Waterford School) – Western Lands Preservation (WLP) is focused on preserving western lands in an unobtrusive, sustainable, profitable manner. There’s something magical about being alone in nature. WLP was founded to encourage that feeling and to bring nature closer to people in a world more focused on the city. WLP is a for-profit corporation because it gives them greater flexibility and a closer stake in the land that they preserve.
About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.