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Boise State announces winners of 2022 Hacking for Homebuilding competition

The winners of Hacking for Homebuilding hold up their checks.
The winners of Hacking for Homebuilding hold up their checks at Boise Entrepreneur Week.

Entrepreneurs from all over the state of Idaho gathered on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 for the 3rd annual Hacking for Homebuilding, a statewide reverse pitch competition, offered in partnership by Boise State University’s Venture College, a program within the College of Innovation + Design, and College of Engineering.

Hacking for Homebuilding is a ‘reverse pitch’ competition, which means participants don’t have to bring their own idea. Participants choose a problem provided by industry partners and propose a solution in the form of a new venture. The competition was launched in 2020, enabling students and community members to solve problems in the homebuilding industry and pitch their solutions, while learning from industry experts and mentors. Winners receive funds to help them build on their ideas and take them to the next level.

Hacking for Homebuilding is sponsored by: Franklin Building Supply, Boise Cascade, House of Design, Masonite, Rugby Architectural Building Products, Syringa Construction and Orgill.

Three teams of entrepreneurs from both the student and public tracks pitched at Boise Entrepreneur Week, hoping to win their share of $40,000 in prize money. Students, representing University of Idaho, as well as community members competed to earn funding.

The student and public track teams competed at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) in downtown Boise and the judges included business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry sponsors.

Samuel Slusser from the University of Idaho founded StrapWell Bags, and won 1st place in the Student Track in the 2022 Hacking for Homebuilding Final Pitch Competition. Strapwell Bags is a bag that is designed to latch onto tie downs and be safe and secure for any type of hauling or moving, and solves the problem of stock transfers across locations for difficult to move items, such as a tube of caulk or a box of nails, that can easily get lost in transit.

Eric Morrison founded Alley Homes, and won 1st place in the Public Track in the 2022 Hacking for Homebuilding Final Pitch Competition. Morrison founded Alley Homes as a response to the problem of rising property taxes, inflation and the current housing shortage. Alley Homes sells accessory dwelling units (ADUs) directly to homeowners as a vertically-integrated design-build contractor. Alley Homes services will include floor plans, permitting, foundation, sewer and utilities, construction, furnishing, landscaping, and property management.

Student track winners were as follows:

1st Place: Samuel Slusser; StrapWell Bags; University of Idaho
2nd Place: Susie Johnson, Shane Elmose and Leonard Johnson; Heat2Go!; University of Idaho
3rd Place: Achiraya (Intty) Anantachote, Deanna Kienbaum, and McKenna Jacobs; GCC (Gamified Customer Care); University of Idaho

Public track winners were as follows:

1st Place: Eric Morrison; Alley Homes
2nd Place: Shashank Rayasam; Dirt Right Excavations
3rd Place: Ahron Barber; Brownian Motion Consulting