"Ninja Shoes" Win Big at UT Dallas Innovation Opportunity Camp


Caleb Sharp of Team Surge, which won 2nd Place for their idea.

Photo by Ken Sharp
Caleb Clarke of Plano Senior High School was a member of Surge, the second-place Innovation Opportunity Camp team that created the Sonic Hair Dryer.

Teens Learn Entrepreneurship, Generate New Business Ideas

“Ninja Shoes,” a cordless hair dryer and a “Wireless Waitress” took top honors this year at a UT Dallas summer camp where high school students earned cash prizes for creating and presenting winning business ideas to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs.

The Ninja Shoes, children’s shoes with interchangeable soles for a variety of applications, took first place and $500 in the competition at the close of the two-week Innovation Opportunity Camp. The Sonic Hair Dryer, a quiet, cordless hair dryer using advanced technologies, came in second and earned its team of teen creators $250. Coming in third and earning $150, the Wireless Waitress was a mobile application designed for ordering food from a restaurant.

The Solutionz Team won 1st Place for their 'Ninja Shoes' idea.

Photo by Ken Sharp
Solutionz team members (left to right) Emily Marucci of The Hockaday School, Mijae Kim of Coppell High School, and Anand Shah and Aleef Ali of Plano Senior High School celebrate their first-place win for creating “Ninja Shoes.” (Team member Dalyn Hughes is not pictured.)

The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) at UT Dallas hosts the annual camp, and IIE Executive Director Joseph Picken observed that “the quality of work product produced by the high school students this year was outstanding — the best we’ve seen since we started the camp four years ago.”

Tour of the DLP Showroom at TI

The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas was established in April 2006 as a collaborative initiative of all seven UT Dallas schools: Arts and Humanities; Behavioral and Brain Sciences; Economic, Political and Policy Sciences; Erik Jonsson School Engineering and Computer Science; Interdisciplinary Studies; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and Naveen Jindal School of Management. The institute’s role is that of a facilitator, catalyst and program — leveraging the power of ideas and technology to create new ventures and add economic, social and cultural value to our community.