The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HSUEC) announced the top 20 teams, out of over 130 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. The top 20 teams are now competing for $25,000 in cash, prizes, and scholarships. 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 responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to disruptive contributions to the food industry. See the list below for details and a description of the top 20 teams.
“We received so many impressive applications this year,” said Peyton Williams, student director of the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. “These high school students bring unique insight into a variety of problems, and I am excited that the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute can support them. It was difficult to narrow it down to 20 teams, as there are so many other aspiring student entrepreneurs throughout the state. However, the dedication that our top teams have shown for their ideas is admirable, and I’m looking forward to seeing their presentations at our final competition.”
The next step is online voting, which is open to the public March 12-26. Everyone can vote online here.
These 20 finalists advance to the final round where they will give a virtual presentation to judges, competing for a total of $25,000 in cash and prizes. The competition will be held on March 27. Following the competition, winners will be announced online.
“We are proud of Utah’s high school students for innovating and sharing their business ideas during this competition season” said Anne Bastien, program director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “The top 20 teams will be competing for cash and scholarships at the end of the month. But, more importantly, we hope they gain the experience and confidence to keep sharing their ideas and pursuing their dreams of higher education and maybe starting a company.”
The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the youth version of the collegiate Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which offers $60,000 in cash and prizes.
Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.
HSUEC Top 20 Teams 2021
Here are the top 20 teams for the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge listed in alphabetical order. These teams will advance to the final judging event:
- Acti-Vest (Juan Diego Catholic High School) – A vest that uses ultrasonic sensors to calculate the distance between obstacles and a visually impaired wearer to warn them of nearing objects.
- Alteration Annie’s (West High School) – A solution to the massive waste the fashion industry produces each year: reclaim thrown out materials and redesign them into functional products.
- Bayern Auto (American Fork High School) – A device that implements a schedule into your car to correspond heating, cooling, and defrost functions beforehand, thus reducing potential driver hazards.
- Branch Bomb (Woods Cross High School) – A cheap and easily transported medium to not only contain widespread forest fires, but to extinguish them as well.
- Busy Bee Box (Woods Cross High School) – Busy Bee Box is a virtual opportunity for busy working parents’ children to have projects that they can do safely from their homes.
- ConnecTeen (Waterford School) – Connects high schoolers with an array of job opportunities catered to their specific interests and skills using an aptitude assessment.
- Eggshell Remover (Springville High School) – A tweezer-like device that can easily grasp and pick up eggshell pieces without getting a person’s hands dirty.
- Floura (Taylorsville High School) – A manageable way to keep track of all an individual’s facets of health in a consolidated platform.
- FoodFinds (Park City High School) – Helps you get in and out of the grocery store in record time by planning your route to avoid aimlessly wandering around the store.
- Ivy Health (American Fork High School) – A smart water bottle that allows the user to accurately track fluid intake daily to reduce command dehydration problems.
- Jesperson Inc. (American Fork High School) – A hat that uses sonar to assist the visually-impaired. Instead of using a cane, visually-impaired individuals can use the hat, which beeps to alert the user of nearby obstacles.
- Lazorback (Blue Peak High School) – A wearable device designed to help users avoid slouching. Unlike back braces, which may weaken back muscles, Lazorback focuses on strengthening back muscles.
- Lending Lions (Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s) – Uses an app and website to simplify the process of donating food to charities (especially for students).
- LitFit (West High School) – An app that allows users to try on clothing virtually through the use of LiDAR technology.
- Mighty Mist (Academy for Math, Engineering and Science) – Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mighty Mist is a cost-effective, portable way to clean the air.
- Pocket Garden (Hillcrest High School) – Tailored to novice gardeners, Pocket Garden simplifies plant purchases, connects customers with local nurseries, and motivates plant care.
- Polaris Printing (Park City High School) – Metal 3D printing at an affordable cost, targeted to hobbyists and small businesses.
- Ringo Leveling the Testing Field (West High School) – A non-profit organization that helps low-income students access the resources essential for success on ACT, SAT, and AP exams.
- The Orca (West Jordan High School) – An inexpensive prosthetic that mimics the position of a natural fishing cast, enabling amputees to go fishing.
- Voltage Electric Kart Systems (Park City High School) – An electric system for go-karts that makes the sport more environmentally-friendly.
2020-2021 HSUEC Competition Timeline
- Application Opens Online — Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, noon
- Application Deadline — Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, 11:59 p.m.
- Online Judging Starts — Friday, Feb. 19, 8 a.m.
- Online Judging Ends — Wednesday, March 3, 5 p.m.
- Top 20 Finalists Announced — Friday, March 5, 9 a.m.
- Top 20 Orientation — Thursday, March 11, 5:30-6:30pm
- Public Online Voting Starts — Friday, March 12, 8 a.m.
- Public Online Voting Ends — Friday, March 26, 5 p.m.
- Competition Final Event — Saturday, March 27
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.