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Students Finish in Top 10

Chase Anderson


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Outdoor Weber
Josh Kumpf, Makell Garrett, and Haley Bennion refining their Jeanius chalk bag

Two teams of students in the Outdoor Product Design & Development program recently competed in the Outdoor Weber product pitch competition against 83 total submissions from across the U.S. and Canada and finished in the top 10. Haley Bennion, Makell Garrett, and Josh Kumpf designed a chalk bag made out of repurposed denim. Their business model aims to provide a sustainable and stylish option for rock climbers.

Haley Bennion, the creator of the Jeanius chalk bag said,

“Outdoor Weber has been an experience that has completely changed how I see my future. Before this competition I was doubting my abilities as a designer. Competing, making top 10, and receiving the excitement and support from potential customers has been so eye-opening.  This new experience would have never of been possible without the resources given to me through the Outdoor Product Design & Development program.  I owe a big thanks to the OPDD program for helping me achieving my goals and dreams.”

Jayson Boren, Adam Hebert, and Tate Floyd also advanced to the top 10 with their innovative Powder Sole snowboard binding that allows for quicker release in deep snow. Their product allows  a snowboarder to detach more easily in case of emergency.

Creator, Jayson Boren said of the competition,

“Competing in this business competition has been an eye opener as to how demanding, yet rewarding, the entrepreneurship world is as you get out what you put into your work. My experience from OPDD has been more valuable than I anticipated when I signed up for the program. I had no idea how well it would prepare me for a career the outdoor recreation industry.”

The success of these entrepreneurs in the OPDD program showcases the incredible ideas and skills developed in this new and growing major. OPDD students are showing that not only are they developing the skills to work for large outdoor brands, but that they are building businesses of their own from the ground up.