Skip to main content

Beacom School of Business Hosts 6th Annual Invent-to-Innovate Competition Virtually

Invent to Innovate logo The Beacom School of Business hosted their sixth annual Invent-to-Innovate competition virtually in March. The awards ceremony was held April 24.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business featured a variety of high school and college talent at the sixth annual Invent-to-Innovate (i2i) Business Model Competition. The competition transitioned to a virtual format in March and the final awards ceremony was held on Friday, April 24.

The competition, which started in 2015, is a Shark Tank style competition that gives students the opportunity to present their business plan ideas, receive constructive feedback from a panel of judges and compete for prize money. Modifications to this year’s program included a video pitch that was reviewed by judges with comments and feedback being shared back with the teams. The program was launched to foster entrepreneurial education and interest among high school and college students throughout the region.

A total of 14 high school teams and 15 college teams pitched their business ideas for this year’s competition. Finalists in the high school category included eight teams from three different schools. The university category had 10 teams from six different universities.

Winners of the Competition Included:

University Track

  • $2,000 – 1st Place: “Aqua Smart Solutions” – Maryam Amouamouha; South Dakota School of Mines, South Dakota
  • $1,500 – 2nd Place: “SuperMoto” – Giselle Mawadri and Luca Amayo; Augustana University, South Dakota
  • $1,000 – 3rd Place: “HomeMetrics, LLC” – William Trevillyan, Tim Ford, Riley Kopp, Mike Ahlers, Mitchell Peterson, Field Mitchell, Antonio Bano-Sanoguera, Fernando Chavez and Vytas Solderholm,; South Dakota School of Mines, South Dakota

High School Track

  • $1,000 – 1st Place: “PupPod/PupPad” – Paige Pederson, Olivia Regnerus and Sophia Jerke; Vermillion High School, South Dakota
  • $750 – 2nd Place: “International Gifts” – Kylie Wiese and Aman Fatima; Sioux City Community Schools – Career Academy, Iowa
  • $500 – 3rd Place: Tie:
    • “Weightless Backpack” – Kaurie Lucas; Vermillion High School, South Dakota
    • “Reads & Riches” – Clara Engle; Florence High School, South Dakota

This year’s competition included the following guest judges:

  • Blaine Crissman, South Dakota Equity Partners
  • Courtney Deinert, Service Now
  • Brienne Maner, Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Dustin Pratt, Portfolio Analyst, Avalon Capital Group 
  • Michael Roach, Dakota State University
  • Karla Santi, Blend Interactive
  • Sue Stoll, South Dakota Small Business Development Center
  • Mel Ustad, Director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development / SD EPSCoR


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