Utah High Schoolers Compete for Cash Prizes in Entrepreneur Challenge

Utah High Schoolers Compete for Cash Prizes in Entrepreneur Challenge

Innovative ideas from Utah high school students have the chance to win up to $10,000 in the Lassonde Entrepreneur Challenge at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.

Utah high school students are showcasing their entrepreneurial spirit and problem-solving skills in the annual Lassonde Entrepreneur Challenge. The challenge, organized by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah, offers students the opportunity to win cash prizes of up to $10,000 for their innovative business, app, and product inventions. With applications open from September to January, these young entrepreneurs are eager to present their ideas and potentially revolutionize day-to-day life.

Fostering Innovation and Problem-Solving

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Challenge program director, Anne Bastien, revealed that the program receives approximately 90 applications each year. From these submissions, 20 finalists are selected to present their ideas. The inventions are evaluated based on four criteria: problem identification, unique solution, target market, and prototype. The application process aims to answer crucial questions about the proposed idea’s viability and differentiation from existing solutions.

Water Testing Innovation Takes the Lead

Vivek Anandh and his business partner Adrian Sucahyo secured first place in the 2022 entrepreneur challenge with their water tester invention. The device reads the composition of plumbing and drinking water in households. Anandh’s inspiration came from noticing a white residue on his family’s kitchenware after moving into their Holladay house in 2017. Determined to find a more affordable solution for families to test their water quality, Anandh and Sucahyo developed their invention. The duo, lacking a business background, found support and guidance from the Lassonde Institute at the University of Utah.

Learning Opportunity and Prizes

Anandh emphasized that participating in the challenge offers students a valuable learning experience. While the cash prizes are enticing, the knowledge gained throughout the process proves invaluable. Anandh encourages other students to take the leap and apply, even if they lack a finished product. Presenting a well-developed idea and prototype can impress the judges and open doors to further development and sales opportunities.

The first-place winner of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Challenge receives $10,000, while other top winners are awarded varying cash prizes. Additionally, all 20 finalists receive a $1,000 housing scholarship and a spot in Lassonde studios’ entrepreneurship program at the University of Utah. The cash prize can be used at the winner’s discretion, often contributing to product development and educational expenses.


The Lassonde Entrepreneur Challenge provides an exceptional platform for Utah high school students to showcase their creativity, problem-solving abilities, and entrepreneurial potential. The program fosters innovation and encourages students to think critically about real-world problems. With the opportunity to win substantial cash prizes and access to invaluable resources, these young entrepreneurs are poised to make a significant impact on society. The deadline to apply for the challenge is January 16, 2024, and aspiring student entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit the Lassonde website for more information and application details.