Revamp Outdoors, a team from Weber High that is making sustainable waterproof bags out of recycled tents, won first place and the $10,000 Sue Gibson Grand Prize at the 2023 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HSUEC) final event today.
Twenty teams made it to the final event in this business-idea competition open to all high school students in Utah. They competed for $30,000 in cash and scholarships. 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.
Revamp Outdoors’ product can be worn as a cross bag, fanny pack, backpack, purse or can even be strapped to a bike. Each bag is made from secondhand materials, making individual bags unique and limiting waste.
“I grew up outside, doing everything outdoors,” said Sarah Crowell, the founder of Revamp Outdoors. “My dad was about to throw away one of the tents that I grew up camping in, and I didn’t want to see all that material go to waste. So, I decided to take it and make a bag out of it, and I kept getting all these ideas of what to add onto it and ways to make it different and unique.”
Crowell explained her plans for her business and what she plans to do with the prize money.
“Right now, my business is still in the development process,” she said. “I haven’t actually sold anything yet, but my plan with this money is to invest it into my education and to buy a higher quality sewing machine so that I can develop these on a larger scale and get them into the market.”
Revamp Outdoors also won the online vote award and a $500 prize after receiving more votes than any other team through an public voting process.
Every team in the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge identified a problem and proposed a creative solution. See the list below for details and a description of the top 20 teams.
“This was one of our most competitive years for the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, so all the finalist teams should be proud to be among the best young entrepreneurs in the state,” said Eliasib Paredes, the student director of the competition. “We welcome all high school students to get involved next year. The application will open again in the fall.”
Other top winners this year included: Creative Book Folding, of Bear River High, which placed second ($5,000); and Webfork, of Weber High, which placed third ($2,500).
Among other prizes, Therma from Weber High was awarded a $2,000 College of Science scholarship for University of Utah students with a science major. New this year, the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge awarded a Community Impact Award to Calvin Barnum of American Fork High for his work to inspire young entrepreneurs.
All top 20 teams in the competition were offered a spot in the Lassonde Founders program, which includes a $1,000 housing scholarship for students to live and launch together at Lassonde Studios.
The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the youth version of the collegiate Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which offered $70,000 in cash and prizes this year.
Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.
HSUEC Winners 2023
- Sue Gibson Grand Prize, $10,000 (award sponsored by Zions Bank): Revamp Outdoors (Weber High)
- Second Place, $5,000 (Zions Bank): Creative Book Folding (Bear River High)
- Third Place, $2,500 (Zions Bank): Webfork (Weber High)
- Top Online Vote Award, $500 (Zions Bank): Revamp Outdoors (Weber High)
- Finalist Awards (x20), $100 (Zions Bank): All finalists
- Lassonde Studios Founders Scholarships, $1,000 (Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute): All finalists
- College of Science Scholarships, $2,000 (College of Science, University of Utah): Therma (Weber High)
- Community Impact Award, $2,500 (Entrepreneur Association): Calvin Barnum (American Fork High)
HSUEC Top 20 Teams 2023
Here are the top 20 teams for the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge for 2022-23. These teams advance to the final event. They are listed in alphabetical order:
- Bucks Burley and Class (American Fork High): Bucks Burley and Class is a hair product for men. It washes out easily and is not greasy, but it still gives you that nice look that you want. They have three different types of product – pomade, clay, and a gel. The pomade provides a combination of flex and stiffness in your hair. The clay is a stronger hold and looks and smells better than the pomade. The clay gives a shinier and a greasier look.
- Click and Go (Bountiful High): Click and Go’s product is a button for lifeguard chairs that is connected to a lightbulb device in the guard room. There are two buttons – one means the lifeguard got off the chair for a rescue, and the other means the lifeguard got off for a rescue and requires EMS to be called. If you click one button, the light in the guard room will flash. If you click the other button, the light stays on. Each button has an ID, and when clicked, a display on the emergency light indicates the signaling chair needs help.
- Creative Book Folding (Bear River High): Creative Book Folding creates unique and customizable gifts or decorations for any occasion using recycled or discarded books. The finished products are designed using an intricate process of cutting and folding the pages of the books to create custom images for customers.
- DesryoTech (Hillcrest High): DesryoTech specializes in 3D printing and design. Their business idea is split into three parts. First, they design products and print them to sell to the public. For example, one of their designs is a wire holder that will be used to keep chargers in a more convenient place. Second, they print miniatures and sell them to the public. The main miniatures they plan to produce are Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. Third, they will print any designs created by their customers.
- Light a Puck (Farmington High): Light a Puck’s business idea is a glow-in-the-dark hockey puck. They are planning to improve on currently existing pucks. Their product will be made of clear vulcanized rubber with a circuit in the middle that has LED lights connected to it. The lights will poke out in a circular shape so players can see the shape of the puck. The lights are also rechargeable which means players and teams can reuse the puck.
- RecylEDU (West High): RecylEDU is creating a new recycling solution designed not only to manage waste efficiently but also to engage and educate children about recycling. Their product consists of an AI-classification-based mobile application that relays its message with advanced audiovisual signals, speech-recognition tech, and a connectable self-regulating intelligent trashcan. This solution will be marketed and licensed to the public and private sectors of the education system.
- Revamp Outdoors (Weber High): Revamp Outdoors is a sustainable outdoor company that creates waterproof bags out of recycled tents. The Ultimate Dry Bag is a great compact option for carrying all of your essential items. This pack can be worn as a cross bag, fanny pack, backpack, purse, or can even be strapped to a bike. Each bag is made from secondhand materials making individual bags unique from one another, and limiting the amount of waste in the environment. Bags are handmade and sold through wholesalers.
- Rift (Academy for Math Engineering & Science): Rift is a solution for teen social-media addiction. Studies show that the average teenager spends over seven hours a day on social media, doubling the chances of depression. Rift allows users to block those toxic platforms while gamifying the experience to make it rewarding. This way, teenagers-alike can break their addiction with the support of a community.
- Safety Socks (Farmington High): Safety Socks is creating socks for children that have their parent’s or guardian’s information imprinted them. This allows a child to always have their parent’s info on them at all times. It would help prevent child abductions and give parents peace of mind knowing that their kids have a way to remember their contact information.
- Social Solutions (Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s): Social Solutions is creating an app that gives students a voice to the administration at their school. The app creates a forum for students to voice their suggestions and/or grievances. Proposals can be voted on and help spread awareness of problems in Utah schools such as bullying, harassment, and discrimination. All of the suggestions will be anonymous, but will still be able to be found if reported. There will also be a way to send suggestions directly to the administration anonymously.
- Stabilaser (American Heritage School): The Stabilaser system provides real-time visual feedback on postural stability (balance) while also tracking performance through an app/smart target. The device consists of a laser and a chest harness. The user points the laser at the bullseye. The user receives a percentage score based on how often the laser is on the bullseye. The score lets users compete and track progress. This exercise strengthens the core and practices postural balance. The device will be sold to athletes, such as gymnasts.
- Stellar Water Bottles (Academy for Math Engineering & Science): If you’re on the go, and you want to charge your phone, you could bring a normal power bank, but that adds another thing to carry. Instead, you could have the power bank in something you already bring around, like a water bottle. Stellar Water Bottles will provide water bottles that provide energy through solar panels. The product is made for people who like to go outdoors and are looking for ways to keep things like their phones charged.
- StudiUs (Park City High): StudiUs is an app that connects students who are looking for opportunities to study together. The app creates a community that can be class-based or school-wide and allows students to connect with each other. Students who are looking to tutor others to earn money can advertise their services on the app. Additionally, the app offers forums for students to connect and form study groups.
- Sweet Simplicity (Orem High): Sweet Simplicity offers three low-sugar cookie flavors that are delicious, easy to access, and don’t take more than a minute to get. Their product will satisfy their consumers with a delicious treat that doesn’t make them feel guilty when eating them. They want to bring to the table low-sugar cookie options for those that are looking for a healthier treat choice.
- The Sork (Park City High): The Sork is a salad fork that combines a spoon and a fork in a unique way. It will help consumers eat salad without breaking croutons and eating the lettuce more efficiently and effectively. With the design of the spoon for a base and a fork for the top, it creates a pocket which scoops leaves and croutons without the hassle.
- Therma (Weber High): Therma is a new heated water bottle that will be introduced to a global market. The innovative bottle offers new technology to improve usability and functionality. The bottle will appeal to a range of age groups, activity levels, and income brackets. Therma will differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace by offering unique functions including exceptional heat retention and a heating element that allows consumers to heat their beverages on the go.
- TuneTutor (Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s): TuneTutor is an app-development company that aims to give everyone the opportunity to learn about writing music. They aim to create a free, fun, and effective app for users to learn about music.
- Vision (Stansbury High): Vision wants to help the over 45 million people who wear contact lenses and offer protection from a painful eye infection called bacterial keratitis. They developed a contact lens solution containing bacteriophage to prevent this infection. Their product, called Vision Solution, destroys the pseudomonas bacteria, which is the cause of these infections. They hope to market their solution so as to mitigate the effects of keratitis.
- Webfork (Weber High): Webfork is a mobile-app designed to revolutionize health and cooking. It uses generative pretrained transformer AI technology and stores a database of each person’s pantry. You can simply scan a barcode on your item, or manually input it into your pantry, and it gives you a smart shopping list, nutritional information, food expiration alerts, healthy recipe recommendations, and more. In addition, for a small monthly fee, the user can receive on-demand cooking lessons from a professional chef.
- ZERO (Park City High): ZERO will change the electric car market by making cars completely carbon neutral. Charging electric cars requires burning fossil fuels, which damages the environment. ZERO will introduce charging stations that have solar panels and mini wind turbines to keep charging carbon neutral. These will be very compact so they will fit in tight city spaces, while being very efficient, maximizing potential.
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.