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Beacom's Invent-to-Innovate Competition Hosted at USD

Invent to Innovate Logo. USD hosted the fourth annual Beacom School of Business Invent-to-Innovate (i2i) Business Model Competition.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota hosted high school and college entrepreneurship teams at the fourth annual Beacom School of Business Invent-to-Innovate (i2i) Business Model Competition on March 23.

Competitors earned more than $7,000 in cash prizes and honed their entrepreneurial skills by reacting to the different types of challenges that occur during the startup process helping them learn what it takes to successfully launch a business.

“The students who participated in this year’s competition displayed incredible creativity and competed hard,” said Marcie Sariol, assistant professor at the Beacom School of Business. “This competition prepares students for success in the entrepreneurial world by allowing them to prepare the plans to start up a business.”

This year’s competition included guest judges Nate Welch, Executive Director, Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company; Michelle Maloney, Broker/Owner, Maloney Real Estate; Christie Lloyd Ernst, Vice President of Property Management, Lloyd Companies; Sue Stoll, Regional Director of the South Dakota Small Business Development Center; Mel Ustad, Director, South Dakota EPSCoR; and Ryan Taylor, Partner, Cutler Law Firm.

Full Results

High School Track
$1,000 - 1st place: Spot Seer. Heidi Boettcher, Grace Hoak. Vermillion High School.
App that helps people find parking spots in parking lots.

$750 - 2nd place: College and Beyond. Brody Spearman, Noah Smith, Erandi Zacarias, Abbigale Corey. Bishop Heelan/Sioux City Community Schools
Website that helps students figure out their futures.

$500 - 3rd place: Hot Heels.  Elaina Taggart, Lilly Johnson, Haylee Larson. Vermillion High School. Shoes with interchangeable heels sizes.

$250 - Crowd Favorite: Universal Robotic Signing Hands.  Annie Granaas, Anna Bottesini, Tatem Passick. Vermillion High School Robotic arms that translate English to sign language and vice versa.

University Track
$2,000 - 1st place: Shoe Directory.  Kevin Nam, Joshua Moore. University of South Dakota. Website that archives inventories for retailers in one location.

$1,500 - 2nd place: FourEyedZebra.  Logan Power. University of South Dakota. Company that aims to improve officiating in sports.

$1,000 - 3rd place: 100 Percent Hoops. Matt Mooney. University of South Dakota. Company that organizes and runs basketball camps and clinics.


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News