The COVID-19 pandemic could not stop innovative, entrepreneurial-minded EWU students taking part in this year’s $40,000 Startup Challenge. Sixty teams, representing all five colleges, entered the event. $43,000 was awarded in prizes and business development money according to Bruce Teague, the founding director of the EWU Center for Entrepreneurship.

The top student business for the 2020 challenge earned $16,500 to get their company going Teague says. Also, all of the finalists had the opportunity to pitch their idea to Tom Simpson, president of the Spokane Angel Alliance. Full results are listed below. 

Final Results for 2020 EWU $40,000 Startup Challenge

Automated MicroMalthouse
Jake Hays and Cody Fox

  • Winner of the $10,000 Catalyst Prize
  • Winner of the Most Innovative New Product $3,000 Prize
  • Co-Winner of the Best Business Pitch of the Year $1,000 Prize


Company Description: The world’s first totally automated barley malting machine. I created a computer vision program that analyzes the length of barley rootlets to determine when to start the kilning process after germination. Pitch video.

GFG (Green Filtration Guys)
Lloyd V. Dees, Tanner Cunningham and Ryan Van Meter

  • Winner of the Best Technology Commercialization $3,000 Prize

Company Description: Our mission at Green Filter Guys (GFG) is to create a safer smoking experience that improves the act of smoking for the user, without taking away the desired effects. At GFG, we designed a filter and tip combo that slides over the end of joints and cigarettes. Our filters remove 60 percent of carbon monoxide, 80 percent of formaldehyde and up to 99 percent of particulate matter from smoke. Pitch video.

Eikasia
Alexys Preston

  • Winner of the Best Scalable Business $2,000 Prize
  • Co-Winner of the Best Business Pitch $1,000 Prize

Company Description: Eikasia is a sonic interaction and design technology business that focuses on innovative non-intrusive ways to transform the way musicians interact with their tools. Pitch video.

Spot
Chaz Hurd, Robert Moreno and Jose Garcia

  • Winner of the Most Market Ready New Business $2,000 Prize


Company Description: An application that you can choose to park your vehicle. Each parking spot is owned by an individual and rents it out for a specific amount of time for money, much like Airbnb. This solves two problems, the first is for someone to find a parking spot for their stuff (i.e. boat, car) and the person owning the land gets paid! Pitch video.

Winners of the Top-Ten Business of the Year $500 Prize:

  • Alliance of Adventures
    Stephanie Henry
  • Ambient Co.
    Ashley Croney
  • Astra eSports Financial
    Ben Bailey
  • Beacon
    Sukhleen Bolina
  • Endolysins
    Samual Hatfield, Toriana Kent, Daniel Carulli and Erin Smith
  • The Food Guide
    Kurt Lamon