Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, University of Utah

Top 20 Announced in 2023 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

The top 20 teams in the 2023 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 college students across Utah. Teams are competing for over $60,000 in cash and prizes, including a $30,000 grand prize. The winners will be announced online on Saturday, Feb. 25, following the final event competition.

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 Feb. 14-24. Vote online here.

“We are impressed by the quality of this year’s cohort of teams,” said Alex Louisot, 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 the U of U Alumni House.”

The Lassonde 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 2023 Top 20 Teams

Here are the top 20 teams in the 2023 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. These teams will advance to the final judging and awards event. They are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Beadology (Utah Valley University): Beadology is a DIY bead studio located in Provo. This is the place to create a beaded accessory that is unique, personal, and memorable. Beadology hosts workshops, birthday parties, church activity groups, and more. Hundreds of bead options are available and frequently updated, so customers can have a brand-new experience every time you come.
  • Budget Buds (Snow College): Budget Buds is a floral rental company. Their mission is to create a fast, easy, and affordable way for people to focus on the moment at hand.
  • Homestead Hands (Utah State University): Homestead Hands is an agricultural consulting company dedicated to teaching private landowners how they can successfully produce food on their property and maximize their land through renewable production practices. The company began in 2021 providing in-person consultations, and since then, they have created a consulting membership and a long-term, soil-health software.
  • House of Posters (Utah Valley University): The House of Posters designs and sells posters targeted to college students ages 18-24. They believe college students deserve to feel at home in temporary living situations and that walls deserve art. They are selling online, and they are in two retail stores in Utah County. This year, they are opening up a platform for other graphic designers to sell their posters on. They will handle print and fulfillment.
  • Hushie (Salt Lake Community College): Hushie is an exclusive and unique product that promises to change the lives of mothers and fathers. Hushie provides sound-proof, blanket baby-carrier covers. They block noise while still being breathable, durable, weather proof and cute.
  • Inxson (Southern Utah University): Inxson is an audio entertainment business. They produce audio stories using 3-D sound technologies to create realistic audio representations of the elements in a narration, giving the listener an immersive and engaging experience.
  • Mentally Real (Weber State University): Mentally Real provides advocacy and access to solutions for those with mental-health challenges.
  • MindSmith (Brigham Young University): MindSmith is a generative, AI microlearning authoring tool and learning management system.
  • Minnow (Utah Valley University): Minnow is an e-commerce analytics platform designed to help small businesses and solo entrepreneurs better manage their business. They get the data, provide insights, and encourage customers to take the next steps necessary in growing their business.
  • Off the Rack (University of Utah): Off the Rack is a brand that cultivates a community for young creative entrepreneurs. The company does this by hosting monthly pop-up events at universities.
  • On-V (University of Utah): On-V is designing a nano-camera system that can snap onto dental handpieces. Their mission is to improve customers’ work and leisure lives with better visualization. They will do this by improving ergonomics and reducing neck strain through using Bluetooth imaging during dental procedures. This will allow for long procedures to be done while sitting up straight and looking at a screen instead of being hunched over for a long period of time.
  • PhotoHive (Utah State University): PhotoHive is a hub for endurance race photos. Race participants can find their photos among thousands of others in seconds. Race directors can use the site to help them gain traction in the future, and photographers can use it to make some money and get their name out there.
  • Pure Solutions (University of Utah): The Pure Solutions Anchor Series is an innovative line of products that enables consumers to easily and comprehensively analyze water samples within seconds. Unlike current testers on the market, their design is reusable, affordable, and accessible, allowing anyone to learn more about the quality of their water. They hope to have a water tester in every home and community so that we can work toward preventing water-borne illnesses around the world.
  • Qwela (Salt Lake Community College): Qwela is a subscription-based, smart, scheduled, and subsidized bus system running on a mobile application for daily commuters. In most parts of Africa, Asia, and South America, the majority of the population relies on public transport for their daily commute. Qwela customers schedule their rides in advance and pay once a month. Qwela then partners with a bank that receives all payments and reinvests this money at an agreed interest rate, which creates profits for Qwela.
  • Santa Cruz Savory (Utah State University): Santa Cruz Savory is a shoppable ingredients business. Their mission is to get people cooking. They do this by letting foodies easily transfer recipe ingredients to grocery delivery services via their favorite recipe website.
  • SelMeat (Snow College): SelMeat Company is a wholesale meat-subscription delivery service that provides high quality, locally produced and processed lamb and beef from their pasture to your doorstep. This company strengthens the ranching industry as well as building strong relationships with local communities.
  • Swish (Brigham Young University): Swish provides pickleball tournament-management software.
  • The CR3W Museum (Southern Utah University): The CR3W Museum gives artists the opportunity to showcase their work to a global audience. With their innovative 3D technology, artists can create virtual galleries, upload their pieces, and provide information about their art and themselves. Their virtual museum offers an immersive experience that allows viewers to explore and connect with the art in a way that is not possible in a physical gallery.
  • Village Mobile-Based Rehabilitation Program (Weber State University): The Village Mobile-Based Rehabilitation Program is leveraging technology to improve development of children with disabilities.
  • Zaymo (Brigham Young University): Zaymo is a drag-and-drop, email-design tool that enables users to embed interactive web apps in an email. By reducing friction for calls-to-action, Zaymo clients can see up a three-times increase in response rates. Zaymo primarily works with Shopify stores to increase engagement and purchases from customers.

2022-23 Competition Timeline

  • Application Opens: Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022
  • Online Information Sessions: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Online Judging: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, to Monday, Jan. 30, 2023
  • Top 20 Announced: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at 5 p.m.
  • Top 20 Orientation: Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, 4-5 p.m.
  • Top 20 Video Submission Deadline: Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Public Top 20 Video Voting: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at noon to Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Top 20 Presentations Due: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Competition Final Event: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023

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.

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