Tucson students competed for prize money to fund their startups in front of a group of the citys entrepreneurs on May 10.

The Gregory School in midtown held their 4th annual entrepreneurship pitch competition. The contest is put on at the end of each school year by the schools Entrepreneurship Institute.

Since January, these students have worked with their teachers and local entrepreneurs to create a unique product, along with a branding and marketing plan, with the goal of creating a real startup.

Gregory School junior Avery Johnson knows firsthand how busy students can be.

We have a lot going on, Johnson said. We need energy drinks or coffee to keep us going.

With caffeine comes more anxiety, which often students treat with drinks containing melatonin. This is what Avery and her friends call the toxic beverage cycle.

In response, Averys pitch created Sen, a drink containing all-natural ingredients meant to calm the effects of all those energy drinks and coffee.

This negates the negative effects of caffeine, Johnson said, holding up a bottle of Sen. By using ingredients that promote natural production in the body, you can help your body fight off cortisol, which makes anxiety and stress.

Sen was one of the four products presented at the competition to a panel of judges including members of Startup Tucson and Social Venture Partners.

Dan Young, who co-directs the Entrepreneurship Institute along with fellow teacher Dennis Conner, says that the students are given autonomy on the project and were given a basic roadmap for what an entrepreneur does.

We told the students ultimately the job of an entrepreneur is to find a solution to a problem that exists, Young said. And then take that solution and find a way to make it marketable for people around them.

These solutions included technology, such as Snowbank.

Its a portable charger specifically designed for skiers and snowboarders, said Matias Naiman-Molina, one of the team members who created the product. All of us are skiers and snowboarders and we wanted to find the one common interest and issue and solve. Thats the case with a lot of these groups.

Another product, called Spiced, creates spice kits designed for specific meals involving uncommon ingredients.

Were tackling the problem that oftentimes people go to the grocery store and they dont know what spices to get, said Addison OBrien, a member of the Spiced team. As new home cooks, were all intimidated by trying new cuisines, so we wanted to tackle this problem to let people be able to cook what they love to eat.

There was also Carraway, a stylish clear book cover that aims to help book lovers find like-minded friends.

We found that there are a lot of people that are introverted and they have a lot of struggles and anxieties when with meeting new people, said Braeden McDowell, one of the creators of Carraway. We found a lot of introverted people are book lovers.

The Carraway team first presented their product at this years Tucson Festival of Books to see what book lovers thought of their product. McDowell says that this experience helped the team make this the best it can be for the most people possible.

Sen ended up winning the $1,200 prize. By next year, SEN hopes to be doing pop-up events on the U of A campus, along with launching their website.

Dan Young says all the students gained valuable skills in the process.

Really its about problem solving, Young said. Its how do I work best with other people, what skills do I bring to a team to help my group be more successful.