From the University of Idaho:
MOSCOW, Idaho – Using innovative solutions in cybersecurity and construction safety, University of Idaho students won a total of $37,000 in Boise Entrepreneur Week, Idaho’s largest business competition.
U of I students have taken the top spot in an annual competition hosted by Boise State University. Laimesti supports the development of interdisciplinary, team-driven business plans to address unique challenges.
Cyber Security Contest First Place and Life’s a Pitch Winner Intija Anatahote, senior in virtual technology and design, earned $13,000 for her cybersecurity training tool, Gamified Scam Awareness Training. Her tool uses virtual reality to help educate senior citizens and students about the dangers of social engineering scams that exploit a person’s trust to obtain money or confidential information.
“As a student at the U of I, I am constantly encouraged to think about how to use my technological and design skills to impact healthcare, education and our society,” Anantahote said. “My education at the U of I was instrumental in helping me succeed in this entrepreneurial competition and create a product that will fill a gap in public cybersecurity training.”
Finance and PGA golf senior Sam Slusser of the College of Business and Economics (CBE) also won first place, taking home $10,000 in the $10,000 Hacking for Homebuilding competition for StrapWell Bags, a bag he designed to attach to a tether that is secure and secure any kind of towing or moving.
Competitors in the Home Building and Cyber Security Challenges offer solutions to problems presented by industry leaders and offer their solutions for cash prizes. It’s an opportunity for competitors to build viable businesses and network with mentors and industry leaders. Participants in the Life’s a Pitch competition are sponsored by U of I’s Idaho Entrepreneurs and pitch their unique business ideas to judges, including 50 Boise business owners and managers.
“Almost all great startups start at the intersection of skill sets,” said George Tanner, Director of Idaho Entrepreneurs and Division I Senior Instructor. “At U of I, we bring engineers, virtual designers, scientists and students together with entrepreneurs and business students. This strong mix of thinkers and doers is driving great results, such as success in competitions and real startups created by our students.
U of I teams also placed in the following categories:
Ian King, David Traill, Nathan Higley and Sophia Grace Sivula took second place, earning $4,000 for NADIS, a cybersecurity security company that helps companies verify users with access privileges.
Traill and Higley are seniors in the College of Engineering’s cybersecurity program, the first undergraduate program in Idaho and one of the few in the region. King and Sivula are senior computer science majors also studying in the College of Engineering.
Building a house:
Susie Johnson, Leonard Johnson, and Shane Elmos’ Portable Heat Solution for Winter Construction Sites Heat2Go! earned the team second place and $7,000. Susie Johnson and Leonard Johnson are studying Business CBE. Elmose is a senior in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering.
Deanna Kienbaum, McKenna Jacobs and Anantachote placed third, earning $3,000 for their training simulation Gamified Customer Care. A first-person virtual reality tool helps new hires develop emotional intelligence and career-specific skills in customer care. Kienbaum and Jacobs are CBE seniors in human resources.