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Past e-Fest Winners Continue Innovating

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A scene from e-Fest 2019 at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

Since 2017, e-Fest has given undergraduate innovators the chance to win money to nurture their business ideas; network with other students, professors and entrepreneurs; and learn from one another. The Schulze Family Foundation provides the funding for e-Fest. Until the pandemic in 2020 the finals of the competition were held at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. More information about e-Fest can be found here

The undergraduates who pitched their ideas at past e-Fest competitions, and who came away with cash prizes, have continued innovating since then.  EIX contributing writer and video editor John Buday caught up with several of these teams and their companies and developed articles and videos. We’ve learned that e-Fest gave them not only capital to nurture their businesses, but also connections, confidence and valuable experience.

In these articles they share their journeys since e-Fest, their perspectives on the challenges they’ve faced and the people who have helped them the most, and advice for students hoping to start their own ventures.

Student Entrepreneurs Tackle Clean Water Challenge

The team at LivingWaters Systems, which won the Social Impact Award at e-Fest2019, believes that clean water is a fundamental human right, but that not every corner of the world shares this right equally.

How Yellow Card Crypto Exchange Serves the Underserved

A Bitcoin exchange platform, founded by Auburn University students, is making financial management possible in Africa.

Vetiver Solutions Brings Practical Solutions to Sustainability in Haiti

This social impact award winner from e-Fest 2018 is promoting economic and environmental sustainability to help impoverished Haitian communities.

Go Goldens Drives Home the Importance of Pivoting

Our 2018 e-Fest winner’s transportation-based idea has evolved from school bus routing, to ride hailing at senior communities, and now to helping seniors stay healthy and safe.

Breathing Easier with the Orindi Cold Endurance Mask

This e-Fest winner wants cold storage workers, asthmatics and others to be as comfortable in the extreme cold as they are inside.

Helping Diabetics be Comfortable in Their Own Shoes

Our 2019 Global Impact Winner, Dr. Brinsley, is attracting new fans among diabetics who want fashionable shoes, and expanding into more sales outlets and parts of the world.

Vascugenix Assists Cardiovascular Surgeons in the Operating Room

The Speed Torque, developed by the third-place 2019 e-Fest winner, is helping surgeons increase speed and efficiency at critical moments. 

Student Innovators Give the Walker a Fresh Spin

This hi-tech walker looks more at home at the Apple store than alongside bedpans and crutches at a pharmacy.


Catching up With Two of 2022's Top Teams

HydroPhos Solutions from University of New Hampshire was the Grand Champion and Global Impact Award winner at e-Fest 2022; Conserve (now called ECGO), from Georgia State University, was the Social Impact winner. Here is a look at what they achieved in the year after winning their awards.

Meet the HydroPhos Team


Meet the ECGO Team


Jon Eckhardt
Jon Eckhardt
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Distinguished Professor / Wisconsin School of Business & Wisconsin Institute for Discovery / University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Cite this Article

Eckhardt, J. (2020, October 22). Past e-fest winners continue innovating. Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
Eckhardt, Jon. "Past e-Fest Winners Continue Innovating" Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. 22 Oct. 2020. Web 18 Jul. 2024 <>.