The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HSUEC) announced the top 20 teams, out of over 350 applications, that will advance to the final stage of the competition today. The competition is open to all high school students across Utah, ages 14-18. They are competing for $30,000 in cash and prizes. This competition is hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank.
Each high school team faced the challenge of identifying a problem and proposing a creative solution. The teams submitted ideas ranging from innovative mobile apps to disruptive contributions to the food industry. See the list below for details and descriptions of the top 20 teams.
“Thanks to all the teams for your great ideas and participation,” said Sam Hirsch, student director of the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. “This year was the most competitive year yet, and we saw many great business ideas. Our judges had a very tough time narrowing it down to just 20 teams, and these teams have been chosen as finalists because of their great ideas and impressive dedication. We are very excited about this year’s competition.”
The 20 finalists will advance to the final round, where they will meet for the last judging round. A public showcase and awards ceremony will be held the same day of the competition on Saturday, March 28, from 2:30-4 p.m. at Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah. All are invited and encouraged to attend the showcase.
The public is also welcome to participate in online voting for their favorite idea. The online voting will start on Friday, March 6, at noon and end on Friday, March 27, at 11:59 p.m. Vote online here.
“We are proud to be able to host some of the most promising young entrepreneurs in our state,” said Anne Bastien, program director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “These teams will be competing for cash prizes and scholarships. But, more importantly, all the teams are gaining a life-changing experience by learning what it takes to develop an idea and a company.”
The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the youth version of the collegiate Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which offers $100,000 in cash and prizes.
Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.
High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge 2020 Top 20 Teams
Here are the top 20 teams for the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge in alphabetical order. These teams will advance to the final event and showcase:
- Alteration Annie’s (West High School) – Diverts waste and cuts down on emissions and pollutants from the textile industry by designing and sewing products from discarded goods and repairing broken clothing and gear.
- AP Ready (Timpview High School) – Helps students prepare for their AP world language and culture exams with their yearlong program and easy-to-use, intuitive mobile app.
- Aurora Discovery (Ridgeline High School) – Aims to revolutionize the classroom with virtual-reality technology that allows students to travel the world and learn about different cultures and times.
- EcoFashion (Academy for Math Engineering & Science) – Aims to recycle and reuse all discarded fabrics by placing bins in high-traffic areas, locally refurbishing goods to be sold again, and recycling unsalvageable textiles to cloths and rags.
- Epicure (Waterford School) – A free meal app that crafts a healthy meal plan for the week, gives you exclusive discounts at partner grocery stores, and gives you easy recipes for healthy, delicious, affordable meals.
- Fillabelli (Capstone Classical Academy) – An instant-ramen company dedicated to making healthy, delicious meals, and cutting down on world hunger.
- Hoshi (Spanish Fork High School) – An app that suggests meal plans based on your health profile and goals, helps you to find recipes, learn new cooking skills, and share your recipes and meals with friends.
- Jesperson Inc. (American Fork High School) – Allows visually impaired people to navigate the world freely, without a guide dog or cane. Their device uses sonar to translate the distance of an object to audio feedback for the user.
- Optimized Lawn Care (Skyline High School) – Helps you to easily maintain your lawn while using less water and spending less money by actively measuring lawn soil and automatically creating an optimized sprinkler schedule.
- Pocket Change (Murray High School) – An app that enables students to investigate educational and career options, acquire professional skills, and enter the workforce with confidence in their selected career, and a little Pocket Change.
- Pocket Gardens (Hillcrest High School) – Aims to break down the barriers to starting your first garden with an app helping you pick the best plants for your climate, facilitating purchases with local nurseries, and helping you to care for your crop.
- Proxy (Skyridge High School) – Gives you more time in your day by allowing you to eliminate daily chores by connecting you with “Proxy workers” who you can hire to do anything from cooking to babysitting to shopping for groceries.
- Skibaxx (Park City High School) – Provides a novel way to transport skis to make skiing easier, more accessible, and faster. With Skibaxx, you can strap your skis right to your back to distribute their weight and keep you balanced.
- Smart Buddy (West High School) – An app that encourages users to stay off their phones and spend quality time with friends in real life, maintain healthy relationships, give back to the community, and develop experiences of a lifetime.
- SomnaSuo (Weber High School) – Gives outdoor adventurers a compact, comfortable, and warm sleeping bag while helping to provide beds to refugees, the homeless, and those hit by natural disasters.
- SubscriptionMinder (Park City High School) – Actively monitors your subscription services to make sure that you’re always getting the most out of the services you pay for every day by comparing your service usage statistics with the cost and suggesting potential changes.
- TagTeam (Herriman High School) – A group messaging app that is designed specifically with educators and students in mind and intuitively manages the needs of school and extracurricular clubs, organizations, and activities.
- The Circle of Life (Academy for Math Engineering & Science) – Working to make burial services more sustainable by substituting the long-lasting and polluting coffin with a biodegradable burial container and using a tree as a burial marker.
- Unlabel (Logan High School) – A mobile app for refugee and immigrant youths that builds intercultural friendships, helps English-as-a-second-language students cross the language barrier, and allows individuals to share their stories to promote understanding.
- Zip Away (Park City High School) – A specialized zipper that contains a pocket and allows clothing manufacturers to be able to implement storage discretely and effectively to clothing of all types.
2019-2020 Competition Timeline
- Application Opens Online — Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, noon
- Application Deadline — Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, 11:59 p.m.
- Online Judging Starts — Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, 8 a.m.
- Online Judging Ends — Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 5 p.m.
- Top 20 Finalists Announced — Thursday, March 5, 2020, 9 a.m.
- Public Online Voting Starts — Friday, March 6, 2020, noon
- Public Online Voting Ends — Friday, March 27, 2020, 11:59 p.m.
- Final Awards & Judging Event — Saturday, March 28, 2020
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.