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PCHS business students compete for funding in annual Invest Nest

Park City School District
The public is invited to watch the six finalists make their pitches at the Park City Eccles Theater Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

The 7th annual statewide Invest Nest competition is in its final stages. The winner of Park City High School’s this week will go on to the state finals April 29.

Invest Nest is a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition that offers high school students in Utah investment opportunities for their business ideas, giving them the financial backing to make their ideas a reality.

High school student Dylan Rifkin is part of the PC CAPS program which is organizing and marketing the competition. Some of the students involved with the program from last semester he says were responsible for raising the money to fund the local competition.

“Invest Nest is a separate organization that comes to a lot of CAPS programs at schools, and has students help them organize their competitions during the year,” Rifkin said.

The competitors, however, do all of their invention work outside of school hours.

“There's everything from apparel brands to renewable energy ideas, and crypto,” he said. “There's really a wide, wide variety of things being pitched us.”

Some of the ideas, he says, he’d be excited to use.

“There's definitely some that are really there and ready to be real companies,” he said. “And there's going to be some that aren't, especially in the judges’ eyes.”

The public is invited to watch the six finalists make their pitches at the Park City Eccles Theater Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Judging is based on how well the ideas have been developed, how they’re presented and how realistic it would be for the business to get up and running if it has the money.

Students will present their elevator pitches. The judges, investors and the public will vote for the winner. Rifkin says the winner will receive $5,000 and go on to the state finals April 29 in Provo to compete for a $20,000 prize. The second-place finisher Tuesday will receive $5,000 and third place gets $2500. The rest of the competitors will receive $1,000.

According to the Invest Nest website, the program has helped more than 100 high school student business startups and 40 of them are still active. Park City and Wasatch County School Districts are two of the eight districts in the state competition.