2006 Business Plan Competitors Spar for Grand Prize Friday

More than $100,000 in cash and business services are up for grabs Friday as judges pick the most promising new enterprises at Brigham Young University’s Business Plan Competition. The final event, where one of three final teams will walk away with the grand prize valued at $50,000, will take place at 2 p.m. in room 140 of BYU’s Joseph Smith Building.

A panel of business and venture capital professionals will award second- and third-place teams $35,000 and $20,000 in cash and in-kind services. Additional cash prizes will be given to semi-finalists and honorable mentions.

This year’s judges consist of venture capitalists, private equity professionals, angel investors, CEOs and other entrepreneurs. The judges helped whittle down 79 business plan entries to three by examining each team’s understanding of the market, detailed evidence of potential success, experience and dedication. Business plans were submitted by students from more than 30 different majors on campus.

This year’s finalists include: KAM Accelerometer, Inc., touting an electronic personal fitness device that measures expended kinetic energy; Precision Surveying Solutions, selling a data-collection device for surveyors and civil engineers; and Teton Recreation Cabins, purveying affordable, easy-to-assemble, pre-fabricated cabin kits for families and camp directors.

In addition to prizes awarded by the Business Plan Competition, several BYU centers will be doling out cash to promising upstarts. The eBusiness Center will award $5,000 to the best new e-business venture. More than $7,000 will be given by the Center for Economic Self-Reliance to the top business plans with strong social missions. And, the Global Management Center will award $5,000 to the best new international business venture.

Spectators at this year’s competition also have a chance to win one of five iPod nanos and more than $1,000 in door prizes.

Founded in 1993 by BYU’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the annual event is recognized as one of the top-tier business plan competitions in the nation in terms of prizes and participation. The competition is run by a couple dozen MBA students and a faculty adviser.

Past Business Plan Competition winners have gone on to build thriving business including 1-800 CONTACTS, uSight, Property Solutions and Alianza. Two past winners gained national recognition by also winning Fortune Small Business magazine’s MBA Showdown and placing among the semi-finalists in the Global Moot Corp Competition. Last year’s winner, Alianza, has since raised more than $2 million in investment capital and was recently featured by BusinessWeek as one of “Academia’s Brightest Tech Stars.”

The Marriott School is 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