The top-20 teams in the 2022 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 $60,000 in cash and prizes, including a $20,000 grand prize. The winners will be announced on Saturday, March 26, following the final awards and showcase event.
The competition is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a nationally ranked division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank.
The top-20 teams come from universities across the state and have a wide variety of products and services. Find a complete list of the finalists with descriptions of their ideas below. The next step is online video voting, which is open to the public on March 14-25. Vote online here.
“We are impressed by the quality of this year’s cohort of teams,” said Brad Wilcox, the student co-chair of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. “This year’s competition will be among our most competitive yet. We are excited to see these teams pitch in-person at Lassonde Studios on March 26.”
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 scholarships. Learn about that competition at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.
Learn more about the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/uec.
Utah Entrepreneur Challenge 2022 Top 20 Teams
Here are the top-20 teams in the 2022 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. These teams will advance to the final judging, showcase and awards event. They are listed in alphabetical order:
- 4 Pillar Health (University of Utah): A meal-preparation and nutrition/behavior-change counseling company. They aim to equip users with tools to overcome barriers to healthy living.
- BugBuddies (Snow College): A subscription service in which the customer will receive a new moth or butterfly chrysalis every other month and access online lessons teaching them about the species.
- Bundo (Utah State University): Helps structure loans between people, such as family, coworkers, or friends, by having a payment schedule, automatic charging, or automatic payment reminders.
- Calisto (Brigham Young University): The developer of the “Insight Smart Flow Meter,” a custom-made Bluetooth device that connects to a pest control technicians’ backpack sprayers. This device records data to help with quality control, government compliance, customer communication, and inventory management.
- Cambrio.app (Brigham Young University): A micro-patronage service that allows creative authors to share their work, grow their audiences, and monetize their content through monthly subscriptions.
- Cashboard (Brigham Young University): Simplifies and automates financial modeling and reporting for SaaS startups. Integrates with customers’ existing finance tools to provide operational metrics that are used as drivers in a cash-flow forecast to help founders make data-driven decisions and plan for the future.
- Crypto Whales (Southern Utah University): An innovative tabletop-game company focused on delivering one of the first crypto-currency-themed card games to the market. The flagship game is Crypto Whales, a unique spin off of Monopoly Deal and Cover Your Assets that blends real market events, risk and strategy into an addictively fun gameplay.
- Dormi (Dixie State University): Dormi provides software that simplifies the tasks and operations of vacation rentals, such as scheduling and tracking cleaning, live damage reports, and instant invoicing. The company offers a better approach to organizing and staying up to date with managing rental properties.
- Foam (University of Utah): Foam is the DoorDash for laundry, an innovative, direct-to-consumer laundry service for students living on campus. Foam’s mission is to make laundry as straightforward and stress-free as possible, all while disrupting traditional “communal laundry” facilities and making students’ lives easier. Foam solves three key issues for students: time, money, convenience.
- Lawn Games Unlimited (Utah State University): An event-consulting and hosting service for business, family, school and church events in Utah. The company offers a complete “Party Pack” with consulting, delivery, set up, hosting, and take-down.
- Lobo Way’s UHammock (University of Utah): An outdoor-product business focusing on hammocks. Their product integrates an inflatable sleeping pad into a hammock, making it good for backpacking.
- Ontray (Brigham Young University): An online marketplace for home cooks to sell food in the community.
- Recycling Experience Center (Weber State University): The Recycling Experience Center is an experience-based business that allows customers to bring in recyclable materials and turn them into fun and usable products. This helps people obtain a personal, positive experience with recycling and encourages more sustainable habits while providing a hands-on experience.
- Relay (Brigham Young University): A mobile app for team-based addiction recovery and self-improvement. Relay’s current focus is helping people who are working to overcome unwanted pornography habits, but Relay plans to use its platform to enable many types of self-improvement, including addiction recovery, mental health, and fitness.
- Scouter (Utah Valley University): A peer-to-peer marketplace where hosts rent out their homes, props, and equipment to photographers and filmmakers. Hosts have the flexibility to rent out individual rooms, backyards, barns, and more.
- SmackSocial (Brigham Young University): SmackSocial is the anti-FOMO app. It promotes and facilitates low-stress social lives by giving users an intuitive, streamlined platform to coordinate with family and friends and find things to do.
- StickyVendor (University of Utah and Utah Valley University): A service that provides wedding vendors with a quick and easy way to find and retain customers while saving time. StickyVendor allows vendors to send automated, handwritten notes to potential and existing clients.
- Tenno (Salt Lake Community College): Tenno is a clothing and streetwear company focusing its designs around Asian and Japanese culture – specifically, Japanese anime. Tenno aims to create high-quality clothing that fans of Asian and Japanese culture can wear without having to compromise on aesthetic quality, while still being able to freely express themselves.
- The Orion Belt (Brigham Young University): The founders discovered a personal pain around lighting safety while they would run in the dark. Through conceptual and physical prototyping, and hundreds of personal interviews, they found a need more significant than they ever anticipated. What was created as an LED belt for recreational enthusiasts has developed into a product for professional service workers.
- Veterans in Combat (Westminster College): Veterans in ComBAT (community-based adventure therapy) is a nonprofit organization that offers mental-health care interventions to veterans. In partnership with Westminster College, Veterans in ComBAT will integrate adventure therapy with outdoor leadership education to provide treatment and training to veterans. Their vision is to create a network of peer mentors that have experienced personal healing in the outdoors and are prepared to support other veterans in their journey.
- Walkbye (Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University): A singles-finding app. Not a dating app. No swiping, no matching, no messaging. Walkbye uses geo-fencing to find others within a certain area who also have the app. Users create a profile that shows their social media accounts. Instead of swiping, you go to their profile and find a link to their socials so you can get to know who they are without swiping.
2021-2022 Competition Timeline
- Application Opens: Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at noon
- Application Deadline: Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.
- Online Judging: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, to Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022
- Top 20 Announced: Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, at 5 p.m.
- Top 20 Orientation: Friday, March 4, 2022, at 4-5 p.m.
- Top 20 Video Submission Deadline: Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.
- Top 20 Video Voting Begins: Monday, March 14, 2022, at noon
- Top 20 Presentations Due: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.
- Video Voting Ends: Friday, March 25, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.
- Competition Final Event: Saturday, March 26, 2022
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.