U of I Teams Earn $11K to Launch Sustainability and Home Gym Business Startups
April 20, 2021
MOSCOW, Idaho — April 20, 2021 — Two University of Idaho College of Engineering teams earned a total of $11,000 during the 16thannual Northwest Entrepreneur Competition to launch sustainability and home gym business startups in Idaho.
Biological engineering senior Addie White, of Boise, earned $10,000 for her first-place win in the Traditional Business category for her Campus Can Crushers, a durable, lever-action aluminum can crusher that helped U of I recycle 1.3 tons of aluminum during a campuswide competition this spring.
Campus Can Crushers are customizable to incorporate university and business logos. White intends to market Campus Can Crushers to universities to enhance their recycling programs and to help universities meet sustainability goals. White’s plan includes manufacturing the devices in a barrel-style for use on university campuses and at local businesses, as well as a wall-hanging crusher for home use.
“I have the engineering and manufacturing education, and I’m a problem-solver,” White said during the finals of last week’s virtual competition hosted by Spokane’s University District and North Idaho College. “But mostly I want this business to succeed because I care about waste management. I want to change recycling from a boring chore to something fun and exciting. I want the most interesting part of drinking a beer or soda to be recycling the can.”
Aluminum can be recycled indefinitely, White said, and saves more than 90% of the energy required to produce a new aluminum product. White is seeking manufacturers in Idaho, conducting market research and looking to expand her team to launch the business.
Mechanical engineering seniors Nicholas Daquila, of Bellevue, Washington; Zachary Laymon, of Willamina, Oregon; Siobhan McGuire, of Post Falls; and Justin Stephens, of Portland, Oregon, won $1,000 and third place in the Traditional Business category for their modular home and commercial gym rock climbing wall holds called Cruxion.
Their base hold offers 11 different grip positions in one compact device. Stephens said the device will help local climbing gyms and at-home users save time and effort in setting new climbing routes that would normally require removing every hold and selecting a new singular grip every time a new route is desired.
“Using Cruxion, the choices for different grip positions becomes as limitless as your desire to climb,” Stephens said.
The team is further developing its device. This year, the focus will be raising money and taking the device to climbing festivals nationwide. The team hopes to distribute to outdoor and sports companies in winter 2021.
Marketing & Communications Manager
College of Engineering
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu