KLOS Guitars Serenade Judges for Win

PROVO, Utah – Mar 20, 2017 – Jacob Sheffield put on quite the show at this year’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year competition sponsored by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. After blowing away judges with a presentation that included swinging his guitar like a baseball bat to smash a ball into the audience, Sheffield won first place and the crowd favorite award to take home a total of $11,000 in cash. 

Hitting guitar to ball demonstrated the durability of a KLOS guitar. Sheffield and his team wanted to create a sturdy yet smooth-sounding guitar that could be taken on the road or out for a hike. Their product is a hybrid of wood and carbon fiber.

KLOS has come a long way in just a year and a half. With a growing presence on social media, the guitars have been reviewed by famous musicians and experimented with by customers on the golf course, in a canoe, at the top of Squaw Peak, and a variety of other locales.

“I think either way, no matter what would have happened, just the opportunity to pitch in front of everyone was a great learning experience,” Sheffield says. “The Rollins Center has provided a great platform for funding and mentorship.”

Following KLOS guitars, Tayler Tanner, a second-year law student from Orangeville, Utah, and his company Bookroo won second place and $5,000. Tanner and his family created Bookroo to help parents build their children’s book collection through curated monthly book deliveries. When customers receive the package, each book is giftwrapped, giving children an exciting experience each time they read a new book.

In third place, Zach Estiva, a biotechnology senior from San Jose, California, was awarded $2,500 for his company Dentium Club, an online teeth-whitening company designed to save people a trip to the dentist. Customers subscribe to receive a whitening tray molding kit and whitening gel on their doorstep for what they say is less than a quarter of the price typically charged by dentists.

These three winners were picked from this year’s forty applicants. Each competitor had five minutes to pitch their idea and five minutes to answer questions from the judges.

“I remember competing for similar business competitions when I was a student more than ten years ago,” says Davis Smith, a judge and CEO of Cotopaxi. “The quality of these companies is far beyond any that competed then. I think it says a lot about BYU, the entrepreneur community here in Utah, and the quality of entrepreneurs coming out of the program here.”

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Jacob Sheffield accepts his first-place prize.
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Three SEOY finalists three competitors pose with this year's judges.
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Jacob Sheffield pitching his business, KLOS Guitars, at the SEOY competition.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Heidi Zundel