Entrepreneur teams from Boise State, as well as Brigham Young University Idaho, College of Idaho, University of Idaho and Idaho State University, each earned $12,000 in seed money at the recent Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge held at Boise State, March 15-16.
The annual competition, hosted by the College of Innovation and Design, lets students pitch their new business ideas to a panel of judges.
The top finishers were Boise State’s Lumineye, which makes wall-penetrating radar sensors to help soldiers and first responders identify threats; BYU Idaho’s Rut On, which has developed a solution to eliminate ruts caused by traditional pivot wheels used by farmers; College of Idaho’s Green Mind that sells plants through a social entrepreneurial model to support mental health; University of Idaho’s Virtual BLOCK Fest that creates STEM-based educational materials, and Idaho State University’s ReBox, which makes a compact exercise tool.
Six teams, three of them from Boise State, were runners-up. Each team won $5,000. Eight teams won honorable mention and each took home $1,000. Three of the eight were from Boise State.
The Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge is in its fourth year. Teams across the state are charged with the challenge of coming up with “an idea that will change an industry, change a process and make an impact,” said Jeff Benton, a Boise State director of development and the director of the competition. Student teams compete in one of four tracks, agriculture and agricultural technologies; health and healthy living; social/cultural/environmental impact, and technology/consumer products/services.
This year, more than 80 teams from nine Idaho schools vied for 24 spots. The competition enlisted the help of 31 judges from the Treasure Valley and across the U.S. to choose the winners.
Zions Bank was the main sponsor of the challenge, and donated the prize money, along with Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center that sponsored the Health and Healthy Living track.