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Celebrating Our e-Fest 2022 Winners

Celebrating Our e-Fest 2022 Winners

A University of New Hampshire Team, shown here with Best Buy Founder Dick Schulze at right, won both the $50,000 Grand Prize and the Global Impact Award for their business idea. The team includes Jason Plant, Katie Remeis, Matt Oriente, Daisy Burns, and Derek Long. Their faculty advisor is Ian Grant.

MINNEAPOLIS — e-Fest 2022 came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday afternoon, April 30, with an amazing Championship Round judged by top business and entrepreneurship professionals: Dick Schulze, Michele Henry, Justin Kaufenberg, Damian Novak, and Lisa Shannon. These five judges had the difficult task of determining which team business ventures would take home the trophies and prizes totaling over $215,000!

The competition started back in March, when participants submitted their concepts and a talented nationwide community of faculty, entrepreneurs and business leaders served as first round, online judges with the difficult task of selecting 25 teams to advance to the finals. This year we received 96 submissions to the competition, from 250 students representing 58 different universities.

The Top 25 Teams arrived in Minneapolis on Thursday, April 28, to compete in three days of business competitions and events designed to inspire these young entrepreneurs to follow their passions. e-Fest and the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge are about energizing the entrepreneurial spirit of our rising generation of young leaders. It is about encouraging students to explore their potential, search out new opportunities and use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to make a difference in the world.

After the Championship Round on Saturday, our judges had the tough job of choosing a winner. Once deliberations concluded, the e-Fest team hosted an Awards Ceremony to announce the winners for the weekend. For more information about The Top 25 Finalist Teams, check out their profiles here.

Now, for the big news: the winners at e-Fest 2022!


$50,000 Grand Champion: Hydropos Solutions (Top Photo)


$30,000 Runner Up: Reboot Reforestation from University of Alabama: Dalton Morris, Hunter Cejka, and Bryan Gyenes. Advisor: Gina Simpson


$20,000 3rd Place: Manser Edbrooke Technology from FAMU – FSU College of Engineering: Patrick Manser, Charlie Edbrooke, and Mario Vega. Advisor: Kaitlin Simpson

$15,000 4th Place: Casgains Terminal from the University of Chicago: Caleb Chan and Kasen Yip. Advisor: Lucas Peralta


$10,000 5th Place: Resense from Grove City College: Luke Gilligan and Ethan David. Advisor: Logan Hammerschmitt


Social Impact Award:Conserve from Georgia State University: Nicole Toole and Minal Dalwadi. Advisor: Dr. Isabelle Monlouis

Global Impact Award:

HydroPhos from The University of New Hampshire: Jason Plant, Katie Remeis, Matt Oriente, Daisy Burns, and Derek Long. Advisor: Ian Grant


The Top 25 Finalist Teams arrived at The University of St. Thomas on Thursday and kicked off the weekend with the Pitch Slam! No slides, no props, no videos, just a microphone and 90 seconds to pitch their business ventures to the audience. All 25 teams delivered 90 second elevator pitches with the top 3 teams sharing prize money totaling $17,500.

1st Place – $10,000: Let’s Tap In, LLC from Towson University: Ryan Rutkowski and Conrad Brake Advisor: Patrick McQuown

2nd Place – $5,000: Reboot Reforestation from the University of Alabama: Dalton Morris, Hunter Cejka, and Bryan Gyenes Advisor: Gina Simpson

3rd Place – $2,500: Fit Oven from Florida Atlantic University: Brandon Feinstein and Jonathan Soberon Advisor: Kevin Cox


On Friday night, students formed teams with members of other universities and had three hours to work through a challenge and create a presentation to pitch to judges comprised of our university advisors. The top three teams shared prize money totaling $35,000.

In third place, sharing a prize of $5,000, congratulations to

  • Joe Knopp, Free. Project, Walsh University
  • Payton Shull, Sav’s Syrups LLC, University of Northern Iowa
  • Colten Pfeffer, Chippit, Texas A&M University
  • Francesco Wise, SafeSips, State University of New York at New Paltz
  • Bryan Gyenes, Reboot Reforestation, University of Alabama

Taking second place and a prize of $10,000:

  • Jason Plant, Hydrophos Solutions, University of New Hampshire
  • Hunter Cejka, Reboot Reforestration, University of Alabama
  • Brandon Feinstein, Fit Oven, Florida Atlantic University
  • Jackelyn Diaz, Buzly, California State University Sacramento

And taking home the first prize of $20,000 was:

  • Nathaniel Klingensmith, Pallyt, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Srinjay Verma, Buzly, California State University Sacramento
  • Hao H. Tang, Local4Local, University of St. Thomas
  • Nicole Toole, Conserve, Georgia State University

Congratulations to all Top 25 Finalist Teams! It was an amazing weekend and we will all left e-Fest feeling more creative, more innovative and more inspired. e-Fest is not only a competition, but a chance for students and faculty to gain more insight about the entrepreneurial landscape, connect with industry experts and network with entrepreneurs from around the country.

A big thank you to Dick Schulze and The Schulze Family Foundation, The University of St. Thomas, EIX, judges, presenters, advisors, the e-Fest Team, and the 25 Finalist Teams for making e-Fest 2022 such a huge success!


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