Alianza Wins 2005 Business Plan Competition

Business Plan Competition winners from left, Brian Beutler and Scott Bell.
Business Plan Competition winners from left, Brian Beutler and Scott Bell.

Alianza, a company that offers reduced telephone rates to Mexican residents by routing calls through the Internet, was named winner of the 2005 Business Plan Competition. Brian Beutler, CEO of Alianza, and Scott Bell, CTO of Alianza, accepted the $50,000 award of cash and in-kind services at the BPC finals April 1. Additionally, Alianza received the $9,000 Global Award prize from BYU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Global Management Center.

Beutler, a history major from Orem, Utah, and Bell, an accounting major from Orem, Utah, started the company last summer. “It has been a very exciting and rewarding process for us,” Beutler says. “The feedback we’ve received during the three rounds of judging has validated our business model and provided valuable advice.”

More than 800 students and community members filled the Joseph Smith Building’s auditorium to watch the finalists’ presentations. PICS Auditing earned second place and $30,000 in cash and in-kind services. PICS supplies businesses with information they need to hire contractors who meet government and industry safety standards.

Members of PICS Auditing include Jeff Jensen, from Irvine, Calif., majoring in business and electrical engineering; Jared Smith, from Anaheim, Calif., majoring in finance and physics; Russell Lay, from Helena, Mont., majoring in civil engineering; and John Moreland, a former safety director at Timec and Matrix Service from Irvine, Calif.

Informera took third and earned $20,000 in cash and in-kind services. It offers advertisers access to audiences in restaurant waiting areas through plasma televisions that display waiting lists, sports updates, news stories, trivia, and restaurant features.

Members of Informera include Matthew Miller from Orange, Calif., majoring in business finance; Luke Sutton, from Rexburg, Idaho, majoring in business management; Jeffrey Watkins, from San Diego, majoring in zoology; and Kim Campbell from Provo, majoring in community health.

Jonathan Coon, founder of 1-800-CONTACTS and a former BPC winner, attended the event and presented the awards. “This competition forces participants to put their ideas into a plan,” he said. “It’s a great experience for all entrants; they’re more likely to do something with their ideas once they’re on paper.”

Of the 65 business plans entered from students representing 20 majors, 10 businesses were chosen to present their plans to judges in the semi-finals. The top three businesses presented at the final event on April 1. Numerous entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, accountants, lawyers, and partners from private equity firms volunteered to judge the event’s three stages.

“There’s an excitement and energy you feel from the students in the presentation,” remarked John Simcox, a BPC judge and chair of the Entrepreneur Founders Board of Directors. “The quality of the presentations and plans continue to amaze us. It’s exciting to see the success the students take from this experience into the world.”

The BYU Business Plan Competition has a proven track record for discovering talent. The competition has helped jumpstart a number of successful companies including Open Air Cinema, uSight and Property Solutions, LLC. The Center for Entrepreneurship and the BPC have aided BYU in creating one of the best programs in the nation for entrepreneurs. In 2003, Entrepreneur magazine listed BYU as one of the top regional programs in the nation. The 2003 BPC winner went on to win Fortune Small Business magazine’s first nationwide business plan competition, beating out more than 50 entrants from 49 of the top 50 business schools in the nation.

The Center for Entrepreneurship is part of the Marriott School of Management, located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems, organizational behavior and entrepreneurship. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938 or 787-9989
Writer: Emily Smurthwaite (801) 422-5083