Two Grand Valley State University (GVSU) student teams are taking the first and second place prizes back to Michigan in the first Outdoor Weber competition hosted by Weber State University’s Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center. A Utah State team won third place in the competition. The winning team received $30,000 toward funding their outdoor product idea. The second place team received $7,500.

The first place product, the Orindi mask by Jordan Vanderham and Jared Seifert of GVSU, enables easier breathing in cold weather by warming the air for the user. Second place product, Locker Lifestyle by Katarina Samardzija of GVSU, provides users with a place to keep small valuables when being active. Locker Lifestyle products are designed to be worn on the head or wrist.

“We couldn’t do this without pitch contests,” Vanderham said. “This was the most organized event we have ever been to,” he said.

The third place $5,000 prize was won by a team from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Their product, LIMID, provides consumers with water-activated beacon lights for life jackets. The honorable mention prize went to Zach Skoheim of GVSU whose product, the Trail Tracker, helps prevent off-road vehicles from colliding.

Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” mentored the winning students while on stage. Lemonis challenged the winning contestants, making them prove their ideas have the potential to be successful. Lemonis provided them with the same high-caliber opportunities that he would offer the participants on his television show in real time.

“This was a life-altering experience,” Samardzjia said. Lemonis offered Samardzjia an opportunity to visit his manufacturing facility in New Jersey to help develop her product.

More than 80 contestants nationwide submitted a 90-second video pitch of an outdoor-product idea. The top 10 met in Ogden from March 21-23 where they were mentored by Utah business leaders, entrepreneurs and outdoor recreation specialists. On March 23, the finalists pitched a panel of judges to compete for the $30,000 grand prize. This final pitch event was held at Union Station in Ogden in partnership with RecConnect, a hybrid outdoor innovation expo and networking event, spearheaded by Weber State University’s Outdoor & Community Recreation Education program.

RecConnect and the Outdoor Weber Pitch competition merged the innovative and entrepreneurial talents being incubated at college and universities across the United States with the booming outdoor recreation industry, positioning Utah as the true outdoor recreation capital.