Windstream Announces Video Finalists for Smart Tomorrow Start-Up Challenge

Monday, December 28, 2015

Windstream challenged high school students in Lexington, KY; Lincoln, NE; and Sugar Land, TX to design a start-up business offering a product or service that will improve our communities and the way we live. In addition to having already created a WordPress site, finalists were tasked with creating a 2-3 minute video as if they were pitching the business to a team of investors.

All three videos will be hosted on for one week in late January to allow visitors and supporters to vote for their favorite start-up idea. The results of the online vote will be considered alongside a vote from Windstream and an industry expert to determine the overall winner. Visitors can vote once daily through the duration of the online voting. These votes, alongside one from Windstream and an industry expert, will determine the overall winner.

The winning student(s) will receive $20,000 and an additional $20,000 for their school's affiliated organization. Further, the two runners-up will receive $5,000 and matching donation of $5,000 for their affiliated organization.

  • Thought Bubble (Carter Knopik from Southwest HS in Lincoln, NE): Thought Bubble is an app designed to create a collaborative, real-time brainstorm space.
  • Nextile (Anne Brooks and Josh Adams from Montessori School of Kentucky in Lexington, KY): Nextile is an eco-centric company focused on the production of textiles made from recycled papers and discarded books.
  • InnovaTech (Ahsan Zafar and Anya Arambulo o from Hightower HS in Sugar Land, TX) InnovaTech’s product NOVArescue is a ride sharing service that works in the place of ambulances to reduce wait times for people who need to get to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

 Check back to see the official winner! In the meantime, watch, be inspired, and vote for your favorite start-up idea.