Registration for the 2018-19 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HS UEC) competition is now open. All students in Utah, ages 14-18, are welcome to compete for $30,000 in cash and prizes. The grand prize is $7,500. The program is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and sponsored by Zions Bank.
Students can enter the competition by submitting their ideas online. Submissions are due by Feb. 28, 2019, at midnight. The final awards and showcase event will be held in the Lassonde Studios building on the U campus on March 30, 2019.
“Competitors have the valuable opportunity to not only pitch their idea to prestigious judges, but also to receive feedback on how to improve their presentation skills and business sense,” said Kearsa Hodgson, student director of the competition. “They will make valuable contacts through this challenge and will learn how to take their idea to the next level. Even if a team does not win a cash prize, high school students will gain experience speaking competently in a competitive business setting.”
The competition is designed to be a fun way for high school students to explore innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on problem-solving and the first steps in developing a business idea.
Students who already have a product or business idea are encouraged to compete, but this competition is not just for them. High school students across the state are challenged to think of a solution to any problem they may see globally, locally or individually, and then propose the solution in the form of a business idea. Students are encouraged to be as creative as possible.
“This competition is a great way for all high school students in the state to develop their ideas, learn about entrepreneurship and possibly win some prize money or scholarships,” said Anne Bastien, staff program director at the Lassonde Institute. “Every year, we are surprised and impressed by what students create. Some students advance to sell their product or service. Others use the experience to prepare for other opportunities in school and business.”
To participate, students form teams, develop an innovative idea and submit a presentation online to be judged for the first round. The top 20 teams will be announced on March 12, 2019. Those teams will be invited to the final presentations and judging event alongside with the collegiate Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Here is the full 2018-19 calendar for High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge:
- Application opens online: Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018
- Application deadline: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at midnight
- Top 20 finalists announced: Tuesday, March 12, 2019
- Public online voting: Wednesday, March 13, 2019, through Friday, March 29, 2019
- Final awards and judging event: Saturday, March 30, 2019 (judging of the high school competition will be held at the C. Roland Christensen Center and the final awards and showcase will be at Lassonde Studios)
The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the high school counterpart to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which is also managed by the Lassonde Institute and one of the largest collegiate business plan competitions in the country.
Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.
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 new five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students, in partnership with Housing & Residential Education. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.