The Wasatch CAPS Investnest is an investing opportunity for all High School Students in Utah to receive investments in their business ideas. The Investnest program has helped 20+ active High School Student businesses start up.

The students in Utah have great ideas, and this is a fantastic opportunity to have their ideas heard on a deep and engaging level.
Entrepreneurship is an essential part of the American economy and to have the opportunity to start and grow businesses out of the school would benefit the school, valley, and even the state. We encourage all students to participate if they have an idea that can become a viable business, whether it be individually or as a team. The Invest Nest will be separated into three different phases:

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Phase I: 30 Second Elevator Pitch (January 27th)

An optional pairing of students to a coach will be available. An event will be held in which students will pitch their ideas (no more than 1-2 minutes) to our coaches.

Phase II: Polished Presentation (March 31st)

Students will be required to submit an application and once the application is reviewed and approved, students who have been approved  will present their business to our group of investors.

Phase III: Public Presentation (April 18th)

The investors, directly after Invest Nest, will choose the top presentations, based solely on content and presentation, not whether or not the student received an investment.



2018 Winner – Faith Fitzgerald’s Story, “Since I had the opportunity of doing Investnest, my business has expanded so much! I grew from just mule tape halters to adding leather work and am now able to make custom saddles! I wouldn’t be where I am today without Invest nest!”

2020 Winner – Ashlyn Frost’s Story, “Invest Nest first and foremost helped me to believe in myself. With the $10,000 dollars I won and lessons I learned, I’ve written 3 more children’s books for my series. And now I’m working on taking those books and mass printing them for online sales! I wouldn’t be where I am today without Investnest.

2021 Winner – Katherine Smoot’s Story, “With the $10,000 I won I invested into camera equipment like lenses and a drone! With some of it I’ve gone on trips with photographers to learn from them to further my skill. I’m currently saving the rest, but it’s helped to invest in equipment and classes I normally wouldn’t be able to afford for months. I wouldn’t be where I am in my business without having the Investnests’ support!!”

Get Ready for The Invest Nest. Phase One 
(January 27th)

Apply Now!

PHASE ONE: 30 Second Elevator Pitch

Many students will not have knowledge about how to prepare a business plan or start their business. Because of this, an optional pairing of students to a coach will be available. An event will be held in which students will give an elevator pitch about their ideas (no more than 1 minute in length) to our coaches. Watch the video below to learn more about elevator pitches. The coaches will select whom they would like to work with. Once paired with a coach, they will work with the coach on their own time, at their own discretion, doing as little or as much as needed.

Applications for the event are below, and the event will be held on January 27th at the Wasatch CAPS Facility: based on the first floor of the Utah Valley University (UVU) Wasatch Campus in Heber City, Utah. The address for the campus is 3111 College Way, Heber City, UT 84032. You are welcome to bring a video of your elevator pitch to the event. If you cannot make the event, you are also welcome to email a video to to help our investors get you paired more effectively. Videos will be accepted at any time throughout the next couple of months.

We understand that not all students who wish to participate in Invest Nest will be able to make this event. Because of this, students can still work with our mentors whenever they can. A list of mentors and their emails is provided below. Feel free to reach out to any of them at any time.

We encourage all students to participate in this event and know that it is very important and of great value, but still stress free. This event is not mandatory and students are still able to participate in Invest Nest if they do not participate in this one, but the perfect way for students to get ahead of the game.


(March 31st)

Participants, check your email to sign up for a time slot!

Invest Nest Event

This is the main event. Students will be required to submit an application and once the application is reviewed and approved, students who have been approved will be given a time where they will present their business to our group of investors (about 3-5 minutes). The investors are able to ask as many questions as they see fit to learn more about your business. They are able to invest in your company in any way they see fit, and the student is under no obligation to take any deal. Likewise, there is no guarantee that an investor will invest in your business.

For ideas on what the presentation will look like, watch this Shark Tank pitch below.

Although student’s businesses will not be as advanced as the Scrub Daddy, the student will need to know the business idea very well and be able to answer difficult questions.

The event will be held on March 31st at the Wasatch CAPS Facility: based on the first floor of the Utah Valley University (UVU) Wasatch Campus in Heber City, Utah. The address for the campus is 3111 College Way, Heber City, UT 84032.


(April 18th)

Post Investing

The post event will be one last chance for students to get money for their businesses. The investors, directly after Invest Nest, will choose the top presentations, based solely on content and presentation, not whether or not the student received an investment. These top presenters will present in front of an audience. At the end of the presentations, votes will be cast on which presentation was best, and a cash prize will be awarded to that student of up to $20,000.

All members of the community are invited to attend the event which will be held on April 18th from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm at the Wasatch High School Auditorium, 930 South 500 East Heber City, UT 84032.

Our Directors

Paul Ritchie

Paul W. Ritchie serves as Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer at The Ritchie Group, LLC (“TRG”). He co-founded the firm in 2005. Paul is responsible for managing the deal structuring and capitalization of the firm’s real estate development portfolio. He is proficient in strategy, deal sourcing, due diligence, valuation, deal and debt structuring and negotiation, investor and lender relations, and financial modeling. During the past three years, he has sourced and closed ~$325 Million of total capitalization required to sponsor the ground up development of ~1,200 multi-family units, ~65,000 SF of retail, and ~1 million SF of industrial self-storage projects. TRG has active development projects throughout Utah, Oregon and Massachusetts, but has developed projects throughout most of the western United States. Paul is a graduate of the Wasatch High School Class of 1991 where he graduated as its Senior Class President. He attended Brigham Young University and graduated in 1996, cum laude, with a degree in International Relations and a Minor in Business, and later with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from BYU’s Marriott School of Management in 1999. He served as missionary in the Mexico Puebla Mission from 1992-1994. He married Angela Edwards, also of Heber. He and Angela have five sons: Bryson (WHS Class of 2015), Garrett (WHS Class of 2017), Tanner (WHS Junior-age 16), Mckay (age 13), and Logan (age 10).

J.W. Davies

J.W. Davies is a co-founder and partner at Davies+Allen P.C., a local CPA firm with offices in Heber, Salt Lake City, Layton, Fillmore, and Orem. Davies+Allen currently has over 50 employees spread across those offices. J.W. has been practicing as a CPA and in public accounting for over 20 years. During those years, he has worked with over a thousand entrepreneurs helping them structure their business entities, set-up their accounting systems, track their profitability and proactively plan for income taxes. He has clients in a variety of industries including software development, creative and marketing firms, supply chain management, dentists, construction, real estate and others. He has helped many entrepreneurs successfully grow their ideas from concepts to profitable businesses. J.W. loves entrepreneurship and the agency that comes with that lifestyle. He considers himself an entrepreneur in the business of accounting. He also loves connecting people when he sees the needs of one can be fulfilled by another.

J.W. grew up on a dairy and crop farm in Fillmore, Utah where he learned there is no replacement for hard work. He served an LDS mission in Alberta, Canada. He met his wife, Jennifer, at Snow College and continued his studies at Utah State University where he earned a Master of Accounting Degree with an emphasis in Taxation. While going to school in Logan he started working at Cook Dorigatti, a local CPA firm, where he worked for 14 years. In 2005, after working there for seven years, he was offered a partnership opportunity and bought in as a partner. At that time, the firm was renamed to Cook Martin Poulson. Also at that time, his partners asked him to open additional offices for the firm. J.W. moved his family to Heber City and over the next few years opened offices in Salt Lake City, Heber City and Orem. He continues working with many of those team members and clients today at Davies+Allen. J.W. and Jennifer have five children. Wyatt and his wife Adysen are expecting their first child, making J.W. a grandpa for the first time. Tate is the coolest, best dancer ever, kid with Down Syndrome. Jackson loves basketball and can quote you any Donovan Mitchel statistic. Chezney is a lover of all things tennis and is an entrepreneur herself through teaching gymnastics to young children. Chandler is a hard worker and will most likely be found helping her dad shovel the snow, feeding the chickens, or helping her mom clean the house.

Danny Labrum

Danny Labrum is the owner of Labrum Chevrolet Buick and Labrum Ford.  He is also the majority partner of Rhino Linings of the Wasatch Back.  He was born in Roosevelt Utah.  After graduating from the University of Utah with a biology degree he moved to Phoenix Arizona to work at his stepfathers Lincoln Mercury   dealership.  Danny started as a lot attendant and worked his way through service, parts, sales, accounting and ended as the controller.  During this time he went to dealers school in McLean, Virginia at the NADA Dealers Academy and graduated in 1998. He married his beautiful wife Rachel and now has two wonderful daughters Savannah and Kenadee. In 2001, he bought the Chevrolet Pontiac Buick store in Heber and in 2009 he acquired the Ford store.  Danny is very active in his community and in his business association.  He is currently sitting on the Wasatch Education Foundation Board and the Wasatch High School Community Council.  He is also a Board member for the UADA Insurance Trust and is the Second Vice President of the New Car Dealers of Utah Executive Board.

James Ballstaedt

James is the Head Boys Basketball Coach at Wasatch High School and is the owner of Ball City Basketball Academy in Heber City, UT. James also works as a consultant in the Luxury Hospitality Industry. James and his brother started a luxury lodging company in Park City, Utah in 1999. James helped grow Resorts West into the leading luxury brand of property management in the Park City area. Through the nearly 20 years of owning and operating Resorts West, James started several related businesses to help drive revenue and support their core business and was named one of Utah Business Magazine’s “Top Forty Under 40” business owners during that time. James sold Resorts West in 2017 to an international property management firm. 

Following the sale of his business, James began coaching basketball full time and started a skills training business to help develop youth basketball players. He also spends time consulting luxury hospitality businesses. When James isn’t in the gym coaching or training, he is involved with several foundations. He is a Member of the Wasatch Education Foundation, Youth Development Now, and of course Invest Nest. 

James was born and raised in Midway, Utah. After graduating from Wasatch High School, he served an LDS Mission to Calgary Canada. While attending the University of Utah, James met, and married Kristen and they have four boys. 

James’ passions include his family, basketball, business, and life.

Todd Santiago

Todd Santiago is the Chief Revenue Officer at Vivint Smart Home. He leads the company’s sales and marketing initiatives, including the direct-to-home and inside sales teams, business partnerships and the development of new distribution channels. Before joining Vivint in 2013, Todd was President and Chief Executive Officer of 2GIG Technologies. 2GIG was a pioneer in the smart home industry, creating the first home automation platform for the mass market. While at 2GIG, Todd developed a network of more than 2,000 dealers throughout North America. Todd’s leadership was instrumental in the company’s acquisition by Blackstone in 2012 and then Nortek in 2013.

Todd received a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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