Arizona students nominated for 'Entrepreneur of the Year' - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Arizona students nominated for 'Entrepreneur of the Year'

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Jared Schoepf, SafeSIPP Jared Schoepf, SafeSIPP
Stephen Ost, Ufree app Stephen Ost, Ufree app

Two Arizona college students are among a handful of national finalists for Entrepreneur Magazine's "Entrepreneur of the Year" for 2013.

ASU chemical engineering student Jared Schoepf developed SafeSIPP, a water purification system, following a visit by one of his teammates to South Africa.

"The problem was not only could people not obtain clean water, but they had to walk up to a mile to obtain the water," said Schoepf.

SafeSIPP features a recycled 30-gallon plastic drum retrofitted with a handle.  It not only transports the water, but also cleans it as it rolls across the ground.  With a patent pending on the actual cleaning process, we can't give you those specifics - yet.  Regardless, Schoepf is getting plenty of interest in his product.

"This can be potentially used in developing countries, that's our main focus.  Also, we're looking into having it used for camping, as well as disaster relief, where people don't have that immediate access to water," added Schoepf.

U of A computer science student Stephen Ost has developed Ufree, a smartphone app that allows others to know if you're free to hang out.

"It shows your friends live availability right on the spot.  So any time you want to hang out, rather than texting or calling them, you open up Ufree and you see a list of your nearby free friends who are ready to hang out in real time," said Ost.

The app went public only a week ago and already has more than 500 users.  It's currently available on the iPhone but is expected to be available on Android in a few months.

"You get out of class, you have an extra hour, you go get lunch, but you don't know who's free at that time.  You don't know if there's somebody sitting across the room so you look at Ufree and see who's there, who's nearby, also looking for someone to hang out with," said Ost.

So what would it mean to be voted "Entrepreneur of the Year?"

"That's awesome because that's seriously a great way to grow virally, that's the initial seed that we need," Ost said.

"Ultimately means reassurance for us that we really doing something that's significant," said Schoepf.

To learn more about both products and cast your vote for Schoepf or Ost, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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