The Outdoors Are Looking Great for BYU Students

Whether it’s finding a hiking trail in the Rocky mountains or a fly fishing shop in Australia, Brigham Young University students are giving outdoor enthusiasts, a new online business, categorizes outdoor equipment, outfitting and recreation sites according to region, interest and business description. is the brainchild of Ryan Nichols, an outdoors enthusiast and BYU political science major. With help from a Marriott School accounting student, Michael Phelps, Nichols developed a business plan for the national entrepreneur competition Incorporate This! The Internet Business Challenge. In May 2000, was announced the winner of the online business challenge. In addition to winning a $10,000 prize and a $5,000 scholarship for BYU, the students were awarded an all expense paid trip to San Francisco to visit Campsix, an e-business incubator company. The team will meet with Campsix this Friday, June 9. “If we sell them on our business, Campsix will help us find investors to assist our market growth,” Nichols said. “This event could be a huge boost for our company.”

The three category search engine of allows consumers to tailor their Internet searches to specific outdoor interests. “Consumers will now be able to avoid long lists of irrelevant results that standard search engines provide,” Nichols said.

Not only are consumers logging on to the company’s site, but businesses are also signing on for new customers. Businesses bid to pay a small price for each hit generated through the site. then ranks the businesses in order from the highest to the lowest bidder, Phelps said. “A company’s payments are directly related to how many customers visit their site,” he said.

Incorporate This! The Internet Business Challenge was sponsored by Competition judges included professionals from Ernst & Young, and Students at universities and colleges from across the nation, including many ivy league schools, submitted online business plans for the competition.

“The judges found the business plan for to be the most complete and well-articulated plan among the finalists,” said Brett Shellhammer, vice president of product management for Campsix and member of the Incorporate This! judging panel. “It was clear to us that Michael Phelps and his team have a solid grasp of business basics and show some real promise as budding entrepreneurs.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship at BYU’s Marriott School was established in 1989 to encourage and support students in understanding how to successfully start and open business ventures and to advance entrepreneurship internationally. Courses in entrepreneur principles, practical experiences and case studies are taught by faculty and practicing entrepreneurs.




Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 378-8938 or 472-4900
Writer: Carrie Beckstead (801) 378-1512