BSU’s hacking competitors win $16,500-plus | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Boise State University’s Venture College, in collaboration with Boise Entrepreneur Week (BEW), recently held its annual competition event, featuring the Hacking for Homebuilding, Scrap to Sculpture and Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge Mini-Pitch reverse pitch competitions. The event awarded more than $16,500 in cash prizes.

Hacking for Homebuilding

In partnership with Boise State’s College of Engineering, Hacking for Homebuilding is a statewide competition aimed at addressing construction industry challenges. Participants chose a problem statement from industry partners and worked with mentors and industry leaders to propose innovative solutions.

Winning Teams:

  1. PrinTimber: Mallory Buscemi, Tavia Dahl, and Jim Severt from the University of Idaho. They use wood waste to create reusable and stackable blocks molded from leftover wood products.
  2. MM Sensing: Ben Miller and Alex Parker from Brigham Young University – Idaho. They use magnetometry to measure and detect formations and materials within subsurfaces at construction sites.
  3. Ayprox: Youssef Ben Ameur from Boise State University. Ayprox offers a forecasting and machine learning platform that integrates with user platforms.

The 2023 Hacking for Homebuilding was sponsored by Franklin Building Supply, Boise Cascade, Masonite, Rugby Architectural Building Products, the Azek Company, Orepac, HUB International, J.M. Thomas Forest Products, Big D Builders, Inc., Trimco Millwork, Tamarack Grove Engineering, Therma Tru Doors, and Mokelumne River Forest Products.

Scrap to Sculpture

In partnership with Franklin Building Supply and Boise State College of Arts and Sciences, students created sculptures using leftover materials from the FBS lumber yard. The sculptures focused on creativity, originality and craftsmanship.


  1. Bronze in Bloom: Kaylee Wade from Idaho Fine Arts Academy.
  2. Samurai: Amity Rogers from Capital High School.
  3. Sugar Soul (Audience Choice Award): Andrea Leon from Capital High School.

Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge

Presented in partnership with Boise State’s Institute of Pervasive Cybersecurity, this challenge featured two competitions: A Mini-Pitch in the Fall and a larger competition in the Spring. Students with cyber solutions competed for $1,500 in cash prizes during the in-person Mini-Pitch.

Winning Teams:

  1. Protecto: Youssef Ben Ameur from Boise State University. Protecto offers a user-friendly cybersecurity browser extension providing real-time website safety assessments and proactive warnings for secure online browsing.
  2. Protech (Audience Choice Award): Olimakhon Ergasheva from Boise State University. Protech is a cutting-edge website and extension serving as a personalized AI-driven network security companion for small businesses.
  3. Pacific Software Ventures: Aidan Scudder from Boise State University. They specialize in developing web and mobile apps tailored to meet the unique needs of early-stage startups and small businesses. They pitched the use of geofencing to prevent password sharing on subscription-based websites and applications.

The 2023 Cybersecurity Entrepreneur Challenge was sponsored by Clearwater Analytics and Boise State University.

Students who participated in the Mini Pitch Competition are encouraged to continue developing their ideas and return for the spring competition, which is open to all higher education students interested in solving cybersecurity problems from industry leaders.




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