Meet the winners of the 2019-2020 Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition!

Posted by the Blue Ocean Team

The Blue Ocean Student Entrepreneurship Competition, the most prestigious pitch competition in the world for high school students striving to create their blue oceans, has just announced their 2019-2020 winners.

For this fifth edition, the virtual entrepreneurship competition saw over 750 students, comprising 275 teams and over 120 high schools, submitting their pitches. Beyond the 25 US States participating – ranging from New York to California, Florida to Arizona, Maine to Indiana – 12 other countries, including Denmark, Kenya, Russia and Korea, joined the competition this year.

Four judging rounds were needed to select the winners given the high number of submissions. A total of 50 judges from across the US participated, ranging from entrepreneurs to CEOs, senior executives and college professors. Judges also included some college students focused on entrepreneurship courses.

The winners of the 2019-2020 competition

We are super excited to share with you the winners of this year’s Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship High School Competition! Congratulations to all!

1st Place Winner and Most Popular Idea: Botana by B Fiber
Janani Elumalai, Saloni Patel
Stanford Online High School, Redwood City, California, USA.
About 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually, with a very low percentage recycled. Making plastic containers is also harmful to the environment. Current reusable solutions – hydro flasks, glass bottles or carton water bottles – are either not eco-friendly, or too expensive or impractical. Botana is a cheap, 100% biodegradable solution made of banana stem. Botana turns this biowaste into pulp to create environmentally friendly products. Beyond achieving 1st place, Botana also won the prize for the Most Popular Idea! Huge congratulations to both Janani & Saloni!!
2nd Place Winner: EpiBracelet
Sahil Mantha
Sunset High School Portland, Oregon, USA.
Anaphylaxis, a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction, affects millions of people in the US. In case of anaphylactic shock, current auto-injectors have three major problems: high cost, limited portability and difficult use. Epibracelet solves this problem by offering a low-cost wrist wearable that takes 5 to 7 seconds to perform, compared to 15 to 20 seconds for traditional auto-injectors. Congratulations Sahil for creating this lifesaver!
3rd Place Winner: Fision Lens
Eva Tuecke, Krisha Patel, Emily Sho
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, Illinois, USA.
A 9-year-old girl, Louise, loves playing basketball. But Louise has a big issue. She has a terrible vision. Every 6 months her glasses prescription needs to be updated. That means paying $120 twice per year to replace her lenses. Fusion lens is a thin film that molds directly onto the existing glasses lens, exactly like a permanent pair of contacts, but for your glasses. With a retail price of $22.99, Fusion could be an affordable solution for all those whose prescription changes rapidly and for potentially 200 million users of glasses and contacts in the US. Congratulations to Eva, Krisha & Emily!

Because the competition not only aims to create businesses that do economic good but also wants to inspire students to build businesses that do social good, a special Best Social Entrepreneurship Idea prize has been added this year at the request of high school students themselves.

Best Social Entrepreneurship Idea:
Groundify
Gurnoor Narula, Arshia Narula
Liberty High School, Frisco, Texas, USA.
Spent coffee grounds represent 23 million tons of global waste in the US alone, causing large greenhouse gas emissions. Little attention is paid to the potential positive environmental impact of spent coffee grounds. Rather than being a harmful pollutant in landfills, Groundify aims to turn these spent coffee grounds into eco-friendly byproducts: water treatment sponges, fire logs, agricultural compost, facial scrubs and vermiculture. Congratulations to Gurnoor and Arshia for this very promising idea.

On top of this social prize, there were also two school prize categories: The Top 5 schools that brought in the most submissions, and one special prize for the school that had the most students or teams that made the Top 30 pitches. Congratulations to all of them!

Top 5 High Schools with the Most Submissions

  • Skyline High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
  • Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, New York, USA.
  • Spanish River Community High School, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
  • South Brunswick High School, Monmouth, New Jersey, USA.
  • Herningsholm Erhversgymnasium, Herning, Denmark.

Top High School most Pitches in the Top 30

Basis Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

Congratulations to all the winners. You should be very proud of your achievements.

Warm thanks to the judges and to the teachers involved for guiding your students. You are an inspiration to us all.

And big thanks to all the participants. You may not have won this year, but we hope you had fun getting your innovative ideas heard, and learned a lot in the process. You are an inspiration.

Last but not least, a VERY special thanks to Ted Dacko, the Executive Director of the Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition, for leading this incredible competition.

For all high school students who are not graduating this year, stay tuned and register for next year’s competition!

To watch the videos of all 10 finalists and other participant’s, head to the Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition YouTube channel.

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