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Majors & Degrees

2022 business plan competition winners

April 26, 2022

During Entrepreneurs Day in March, students in the high school and college divisions of the business plan competition were awarded places.

This year’s Entrepreneurs Day featured three speakers, Jarod Keene, DSU alumnus local entrepreneur, Mike Vetter, DSU alumnus and founder of DataSync and Flywheel, and Kory Van Sickle, social entrepreneur in Sioux Falls.

In addition to the speakers, regional college and high school students participated in a 90-second pitch business plan competition. The winners for each division received $1,000, with second place receiving $500, and third place $250.

High School Division:

Olivia Grinager of Rapid City Christian High School earned first place for her idea called Your Neighbor’s Trailer. The company is a peer-to-peer platform that connects people who have a trailer with those who have a short-term need for a trailer, something similar to an AirBnB for trailers.

Olivia Zody of Brandon Valley High School earned second place for +You Bakery. Zody is founder of the bakery, which focuses on providing a welcoming environment for younger people in the community, all with fresh baked goods.

Dawson Seim of Florence High School earned third place for his company idea, Rugged Boxes. Rugged Boxes attach to UTVs, allowing users to store ice fishing gear, maintain bait, keep tools warm and clean, and power heating and electronic devices.

College Division:

Kaleb Roth from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology earned first place for Pony Engineering. Roth founded Pony Engineering, in which he designed and produces a product called Forever Fire. Forever Fire is a human-powered lighter that operates without batteries. It turns mechanical energy into electricity that is then stored until released. Once the energy is released, an electric arc is produced to catch fire to any flammable material.

Whytneigh Duffie from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology earned second place for her company Disappex, LLC. The company is a niche chemical manufacturing company that produces a platform of resins with controlled and predictable rates of disappearing. Duffie has applied for a patent and the product has a number of applications such as single-use medical devices, self-healing, coatings, and controlled-release applications.

Justice Forster from Dakota State University earned third place for his company Envision 3D. The company uses 3D printing technology and computer-aided design methods to produce a variety of affordable gaming accessories such as lighter, more comfortable controller grips and other accessory extensions.

Philip Litecky from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology earned fourth place for his company Li-Tech Lures LLC. It is a soft plastic fishing lure company that creates custom, high-quality fishing lures. The lures allow users to control the action of the tail of the lure dependent on the orientation hooking. Li-Tech Lures are currently available at retailers such as Scheels and Runnings.

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