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Venture College announces statewide competitions offering over $60,000 in cash prizes

Nick Steoppello and his business partner holding a large check for $10,000 after wining the Hacking for Homebuilding competition.
Check presentation from the 2021 Hacking for Homebuilding where Flashpoint Building Systems took first place in the public track.

The College of Innovation and Design’s Venture College is partnering with Boise Entrepreneur Week to host the third annual Hacking for Homebuilding and second annual Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge reverse pitch competitions.

Hacking for Homebuilding

Hacking for Homebuilding, presented in partnership with Boise State’s College of Engineering, is a statewide competition in which industry partners identify challenges they face on a daily basis and pose these as problem statements. Participants select a problem to solve and work closely with Venture College staff, a community of mentors and industry leaders to propose a solution in the form of a new venture.

Applications are due Sept. 15. The top three teams in each track will pitch on Oct. 25 at Boise Entrepreneur Week. Over $40,000 in cash prizes will be available.

Examples of previous problem statements include:

  • How can we reduce after-hours theft or vandalism of equipment trailers?
  • How do we more effectively onboard remote, customer-facing jobs?
  • How can we more effectively train and monitor third-party installers so they follow product procedures and do not cause costly mistakes?
  • How do we reduce the waste of unused materials?
  • Additional problem statement examples can be found here.

This year’s event offers two tracks:

  • Student: Open to higher education students across Idaho. At least one member must be a registered student at a college or university in Idaho.
  • Public: Open to the community and general public. Participants in this track don’t need to be a resident of Idaho to compete.

Sponsors for the 2022 Hacking for Homebuilding include Franklin Building Supply, Alturas Homes, Boise Cascade, Masonite, House of Design Robotic Solutions and Rugby Architectural Building Products.

Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge

Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge is presented in partnership with Boise State’s Institute of Pervasive Cybersecurity. Formatted similarly to Hacking for Homebuilding, this competition is open to higher education students across Idaho. Participants form interdisciplinary teams, select a problem provided by industry partners, and propose a solution in the form of a new venture.

Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge applications are due Oct. 6. The top three teams will pitch on Oct. 26 at Boise Entrepreneur Week to compete for over $20,000 in cash prizes.

Examples of last year’s problem statements include:

  • How do we reduce or eliminate password sharing?
  • How do we have visibility of cyber risks when companies primarily run out of the cloud with third-party services?
  • How can digital cybersecurity tools integrate more with physical security?
  • How do we balance insider threat detection with data privacy laws?
  • More problem statements are located here.

Micron Technology and PlexTrac are sponsors of this year’s Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge.