School name: Brigham Young University, Marriott School
Team members: Nate Alder, Benjamin Maughan, Brady Woolford, Nicholas Sorensen, Mark Spencer, Thomas Berry
Concept: Skiers have fantasized about this forever: one magical layer of clothing that would always be perfect for fickle mountain weather. Snowboarder and entrepreneur Nate Alder hopes to bring this fantasy to life with a new kind of insulation for outdoor clothing and equipment.
The company's "Warmth on Demand" technology allows a skier to use a lipstick-sized gas canister to fill (or deflate) special chambers in her clothing or boots, depending on how much insulation is needed. The colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-flammable, and non-toxic noble gases are dispersed via Klymit's proprietary valve system into special chambers that capture and evenly distribute the gas, allowing the user to maintain a desired comfort level.
The founders of Klymit are aiming first at America's 13.3 million snow sports enthusiasts. Next, Klymit will introduce its insulation for products such as sleeping bags and camping pads for the outdoor recreation market, estimated at 161 million in the U.S. alone.
The company also hopes to license its technology to major sporting brands such as Atomic, Salomon, and The North Face.
Timeline: Klymit would like to close at least three contracts this year. - Shara Rutberg
NEXT: 3rd place: How to live forever