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From Hawaiian popcorn to a student-targeted workboard app, from personalized book-themed stickers to grant writing software for K-12 educators, our students brought their A-game to the Invest Nest regional competition.

Invest Nest is part of a statewide event founded and produced by Davies + Allen. Provo CAPS in Provo District is hosting the event, in which regional competition winners can earn up to 10,000 dollars to fund their business. 

Regional winners from the Provo competition will move to a state competition and win even larger cash prizes and earn the opportunity to network with esteemed professionals in their area of interest.

The regional competition saw nearly twenty students pitch their projects and business plans to pitch their project and business plans to a panel of judges consisting of local educators, entrepreneurs, and business professionals.

The surfeit of presented ideas was as unique as the students, reflecting their previous classroom and home experiences. Mirian Tippets, a bookworm from Provo High, pitched her business for book-inspired stickers; the stickers employ quotes and art from popular books. Chloe Rucker, an eighth grader, pitched customizable rings which she’d learned to design more than a year ago from her previous art teacher at Timpanogos Elementary. Jeffrey Smalley, a Timpview student, pitched his grant writing software idea because his favorite choir teacher is constantly pitching great ideas and classroom projects but needs more immediate funding to do so. 

Students answered the tough-but-fair questions of our local entrepreneur extraordinaires; they outlined the overhead costs required to produce and promote products, defended their marketing strategies, and distinguished their brand and its niche position in their given market. Each student had to know their company, inside and out. Or, if student answers lacked specificity, the judges offered suggestions and direction, both during and after the competition.

On one level, the event aids students by funding their business proposals and offering some students a chance to earn larger prizes and networking opportunities. But, at its core, the event provides students a chance to set goals, build project plans, envision the future they’d like to see, and practice using the tools they’ll need to reach their academic and professional goals. 

After three rounds of project pitches and judge assessments and feedback, three students placed first, second and third, earning prize allotments. Here’s a list of our many winners:

Invest Nest Provo Winners

  1. Duncan Hunter Nemelka – Provo High School – Teenwork, a virtual student job board  – $10,000
  2. Chloe Rucker – Ivy Hall Middle – Wrapped, a custom jewelry company – $5,000
  3. Zion Joseph Au & Kainoa Merrett Lam – Timpview High School – Kanutz Popcorn, a Hawaiian-themed gourmet popcorn business

Other Finalists:

  • Mirian Tippets – Little Lines 4 U, a custom-sticker creator for book-lovers – Provo High School
  • Collin Casperson – Caspy Cleaning –  Provo High School
  • Kara Miller – ORCA, an unclaimed fund recollection agency – Provo High School
  • Jeffery Smalley – GrantScout, grant-writing software for teachers – Timpview High School
  • Benjamin Moea’i – Blurz Barber Shop – Timpview High School

We thank our Provo CAPS students and staff for hosting. We also thank and congratulate all students for participating in the Invest Nest regional competition.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei