The top 20 teams in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge were announced today. The student startup teams advance to the final round of this statewide business-model competition that is open to all college students in Utah. Teams are competing for $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a $40,000 grand prize. The winners will be determined at the final awards event on March 28.
The competition is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a top 10 ranked division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank.
The finalist teams are competing with ideas ranging from medical devices and apps to fashion and travel gear. (Find a complete list of the finalists with descriptions of their ideas below.)
“We are excited to finally announce the top 20 teams for the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge,” said Kearsa Hodgson, the student chair of the competition. “It is astounding to see teams from all over the state present their unique and innovative ideas. I cannot wait to see how these teams will compete come competition day.”
The top 20 teams in the 2020 competition come from colleges all over the state. The schools represented include the University of Utah (7 teams), Brigham Young University (4), Westminster College (2), Dixie State University (1), Salt Lake Community College (1), Snow College (1), Southern Utah University (1), Utah State University (1), Utah Valley University (1) and Weber State University (1).
The next step will be online video voting, which is open to the public from March 16 to 27. Vote online here starting March 16. The top 20 teams then advance to the final event, where they will meet for the last judging round and a public showcase and awards ceremony on March 28 at the University of Utah. Everyone is welcome invited and encouraged to attend the showcase and awards ceremony at 4-6 p.m. at Lassonde Studios.
“We are proud to be able to host the best student entrepreneurs from across the state in the largest college business competition in Utah,” said Anne Bastien, program director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “We look forward to seeing all the videos from the finalist teams and hosting them at Lassonde Studios at the final event.”
Student startups advanced to the top 20 in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge by either winning a qualifying event at their individual colleges in the Opportunity Quest competition series or by entering the open round that was judged by professionals across the state through an online process.
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute also hosts a high school version of this competition called the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. Those teams are competing for $30,000 in cash and prizes. Learn about that competition at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.
Learn more about the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/uec.
Utah Entrepreneur Challenge 2020 Top 20 Teams
Here are the top 20 teams in the 2020 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. These teams will advance to the final judging, showcase and awards event. They are listed in alphabetical order:
- Auxilium Automation (BYU) – A unique, self-propelled automated teardown tool for asphalt and shake roofing industries.
- BidMyCrib (UVU) – A website that allows students and young professionals to list their partial housing contracts for sale. This allows people stuck in non-flexible housing commitments to transfer their lease.
- Concord Research Group (Westminster) – A participant recruitment platform that aims to utilize the potential of online research to advance science while educating the public through transparent research objectives and data collection.
- ControlAlt (BYU) – A B2B software platform on a mission to connect alternative asset platforms and retirement custodians to make it easy for individuals to invest their savings.
- Decheque (UofU) – An online marketplace for investors and private funds.
- Denali Drone Services (Weber) – A company that provides drone services for commercial and industrial applications, particularly for the solar panel/mirror industry.
- Disani Global Health (UofU) – A low-cost, sterile uterine tamponade balloon for the management of postpartum hemorrhage intended for use in developing countries.
- Harmony (SLCC) – An app that tracks physical wellness. It monitors the location and gyroscopic functions of the user’s phone, displays the nutritional value of nearby restaurant menus, and facilitates guided meditation.
- Gaia Technologies (UofU) – A solution to simplify electronic prosthesis for increased consumer availability.
- Hops and Hounds (Westminster) – Utah’s first dog park and daycare that caters to both dogs and humans (21 and up).
- My School Dance (UofU) – An end-to-end dance and event-management platform for schools.
- PaddedSoul (Dixie) – A sustainable brand, from manufacturing to disposal, this company produces recyclable products and returns them to production at the end of their life.
- Parq (UofU) – A platform that allows home and business owners to rent their parking spots to the public.
- Piing Watch (BYU) – A wearable device to help caregivers monitor a person’s medication adherence.
- Pyramid Security (USU) – An online, B2B platform that allows small businesses to take control of website security, without hiring a security team.
- Reese & Company (SUU) – A bag accessory company specializing in handmade tassels and poms. The company also carries leather key straps, simple keychains, and other products.
- Sawtooth (UofU) – A load-expanding and -securing tonneau system that can quickly load, secure, and protect cargo taller than a pickup truck’s bed walls.
- The Girls Company (BYU) – A discreet fabric band that combines heat and pressure to alleviate cramp pain using oxygen-activated heat packs.
- The Guitar Hacks (Snow) – An online guitar course that includes interactive video lessons, e-books, a detailed practice guide, and quality guitar accessories.
- Vitapul (UofU) – An autoinjector that stores medication for anaphylaxis in order to promote a longer expiration date. The medicine is stored as a dry powder, then combined into a liquid solution moments before use.
2019-2020 Competition Timeline
- Application Opens: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, at noon
- Application Deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, at midnight
- Online Judging: Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, to Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020
- Top 20 Announced: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at 9 a.m.
- Top 20 Video Submission Deadline: Friday, March 13, 2020, at 9 a.m.
- Top 20 Video Voting Begins: Monday, March 16, 2020, at 9 a.m.
- Top 20 Powerpoints Due: Thursday, March 26, 2020, at midnight
- Video Voting Ends: Friday, March 27, 2020, at midnight
- Competition 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.