Validated: Hard Work Pays Off for Winners at Business Model Competition

PROVO, Utah – Mar 09, 2020 – Every year successful student-run companies come out of BYU Marriott’s Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology through various competitions. This year’s Business Model Competition proved to be no different.

The Business Model Competition is phase two in the Miller Competition Series, a BYU student startup competition series that spans the early stages of creating a startup. The BMC allows student teams to test and validate their business ideas with customers and alter their businesses based on feedback until the businesses meets customers’ needs. At this year’s Business Model Competition finale, various student submissions competed to win a total of $20,000.

Senior computer science students Andrew Hirschi from Seattle; and Aaron Egbert from Henderson, Nevada; along with finance senior Parker Ellis from Sandy, Utah, and 2019 finance alum Crawford Gates, also from Henderson, took home first place and $4,000 for their business ControlAlt. ControlAlt is a software platform working to connect retirement accounts with alternative assets.

“The Rollins Center has provided mentorship with frequent feedback and lots of opportunities to talk to people in the space we’re pursuing,” says Gates. “These competitions have also allowed us to network with other young undergrad entrepreneurs who can provide advice on various steps down the road.”

Second place was awarded to Venture Validator, a startup that seeks to provide research and education to startups, and third place was given to Boost Bottle, a company that seeks to revolutionize hydration and camping gear.

“The Business Model Competition is the heart and soul of the Miller Competition Series,” says Jeff Brown, associate director of operations for the Rollins Center. “The purpose of the competition is to reduce risk and uncertainty in launching a startup, and when students abide by the processes championed in the competition, they increase their chances for launching successful ventures.”

Student submissions for the Business Model Competition tell the story of the validation process through a narrated slide presentation. This year’s competition had submissions from thirty-eight teams from majors all across BYU campus. Five finalists were selected to advance to the final stage of the event that was held 12 February 2020.

At the final event, teams pitched to a live audience and were judged by entrepreneur Startup Ignition founder John Richards, and BYU Marriott associate professor of entrepreneurship Chad Carlos; along with two student alumni of the Rollins Center: Giuseppe Vinci, co-founder of VolleyMetrics which was sold to Hudl, and Josh Horne, co-founder of Portal Entryways.

To learn more about the Business Model Competition and other competitions that the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship provide please visit the center's website.

ControlAlt, winnners of the Rollins Center's Business Model Competition.
ControlAlt took first place at the Rollins Center's Business Model Competition.
Contestants presented to a packed room.
Contestants at the Business Model Competition presented to a packed room of students and judges.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kate Monroe