Canyon Challenge to feature GCU, high school entrepreneurs

November 12, 2020 / by / 0 Comment
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GCU News Bureau

It’s a good thing that the Canyon Challenge is all about the improvisational skills of entrepreneurship. Grand Canyon University’s twice-a-year competition has had to improvise, too.

With the pandemic precluding large gatherings, the event will be exclusively online for the first time Friday and can be viewed here. It is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and last until approximately 5:30.

Five GCU students will pitch their startups in hopes of getting a piece of the $5,000 in prize money, provided by Hool Coury Law and Michael Hool, the event’s sponsor. But they’ll have some company on the stage, and that’s where the other major change will be most noticeable.

The Colangelo College of Business (CCOB) also is giving Arizona high school DECA business chapters a chance to be part of the competition in the hope of creating future business leaders and innovative thinkers. They could choose from one of these categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Transportation

More than 30 high school student teams submitted pre-recorded presentations, and members of CCOB’s IDEA Club selected the four finalists for the Canyon Challenge livestream. The judges will choose the first- and second-place winners, who will receive a custom Canyon Challenge award.

The Canyon Challenge always has been a GCU-wide event that encourages all students to create a startup, find a problem to solve and propose a business model. This year, the spirit clearly has spread: Two of the five GCU finalists are not business majors.

Here’s a rundown of the finalists, their colleges and their startups:

  • Kailee Skubal (CCOB), Viva Brilhante: Affordable, comfortable and customizable swimwear company designed for women of all shapes and sizes. 
  • Asher Cameron (CCOB), Lopes Ride: Micro-mobility company that aims to provide transportation solutions for the students at GCU through rentable scooters. 
  • Erik Yost (College of Science, Engineering and Technology), Generate: Energy product that takes organic waste and produces sustainable energy from the waste. This product has been tested and tried by NASA and on the international space station. 
  • Wyatt Winfield (College of Humanities and Social Sciences), BioHark: Heart arrhythmia product that tracks and displays heart variability to users who may be at risk because of heart arrhythmia. 
  • Trace Walters (CCOB), SHARE: Stock market social network that allows users to follow their favorite stock traders and invest in their portfolio.

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Related content:

GCU Today: A first: Freshmen deliver Canyon Challenge title

GCU Today: Santa Calls dials up Canyon Challenge victory

GCU Today: O’Rea does the job, wins Canyon Challenge


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