Park City High School has five teams that made the final round of the 2019 Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute High School Challenge.
The University of Utah based program is designed to encourage students to think about their communities, explore big ideas and pursue creative solutions. The five teams from Park City will be part of an on-line challenge where people can rate their top three choices.
Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute Program Director, Ann Bastien says they received 300 applications. From those submissions, the judges selected 20 finalists. She says the inventions are in various stages of development.
“They’re everything from concept to market. We have some students who’ve thought of a great idea. They’ve done some market research. They’ve drawn or used even physical materials to prototype their idea. And then they’ve identified who in the market could use the idea. Other competitors have already sold one of their products. We really welcome students from the whole spectrum. From just their idea to doing market research all the way to having already just entered the market.”
Bastien says the on-line contest is for laypeople to weigh in on their favorite inventions. The winner of this on-line contest receives $500 dollars.
The professional judging will determine which teams win the cash prizes. First place is $7000. Second is $5000 and third place will receive $2000 . Additional cash and housing scholarships will also be awarded.
“We have local intellectual property lawyers. We have educational psychologists that specialize in individual interface with technology. We have investors and venture capitalists. We have lots of different people that participate in the world of entrepreneurship locally that are coming to hear the student’s ideas, to give them constructive feedback and ultimately encourage them to keep going.”
Bastien says Park City High School has participated since the program started four years ago.
“And, you’ll see great showing from Park city High School. So, it’s important to know from Park City perspective that Park city students competed in the first ever competition, both on the student leadership side. So, they helped make the competition possible. As well, they helped make the student competitors side. So, we’ve always seen a strong showing from Park City and we expect that will continue.”
March 30th is the final judging session at the Lassande Institute on the University of Utah campus. It opens to the public at 2:30. An awards ceremony is scheduled at 3:30.
There, you can see the five Park City High School inventions and the other 15 from across the state. You can vote for your favorite invention on the site.