Video Game Creator Named 2012 Student Entrepreneur of the Year
From his humble beginnings as owner of a lemonade stand to becoming founder of a million-dollar gaming company, Brad Moss was rewarded for his latest entrepreneurial endeavors by winning the Student Entrepreneur of the Year. The competition, sponsored by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, recognizes student entrepreneurs for running profitable companies while in school and comes with a cash prize of $10,000. PROVO, Utah – Mar 1, 2012 –
"This is no small feat," says John Richards, faculty adviser for the competition and associate director of the Rollins Center. "These students carry credit hours, work hard and are running companies with a million dollars in revenue. It's incredible."
During the annual event, run by BYU's Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, student business owners competed for a chance to win a combined total of nearly $20,000 in cash. Three finalists presented their businesses in front of a live audience and a judging panel of successful entrepreneurs.
Rather than focusing on business plans and ideas, the annual competition evaluates student entrepreneurs on what has actually been accomplished in their businesses. Judges select a winner based on: demonstrated qualities and traits of a successful entrepreneur, lessons learned, revenues and profit, execution of sound business principles and job creation.
Moss, a second-year MBA student from Salt Lake City started his company, React Games, with a friend after earning his BA in film from the University of Utah. Today, React Games has partnerships with clients such as Electronic Arts, Intel, Lucas Arts, Sega and Hasbro. The company recently developed a PC game for Deseret Book, Helam: A Stripling Warrior Quest, and a Lego Star Wars Facebook application. Moss attributes the success of his company to his employees' hard work.
"In the game industry, the secret sauce is building and innovating all the time and having great people," Moss says. "We have a solid team that has grown from three people to 21."
Second place and $5,000, as well as the audience choice award, went to Robert "Lance" Wakefield, a junior studying French from Laie, Hawaii. His companies are used car sales Dakine Auto and the Awful Waffle, a popular breakfast food joint south of BYU campus.
T.J. Ruff, a sophomore pre-management major from Boise, Idaho, won third place and $2,500 for his company Vital Foods, Inc. His company sells food storage packages with a long shelf life.
All three finalists will compete in the Utah Student 25, a statewide awards program that recognizes the top student-founded businesses in a ranked list similar to the Inc. 500.
The BYU Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology established the SEOY competition in 1992 in an effort to reward degree-seeking students who manage their own businesses. Past winners of the SEOY competition include Dallen Allred, founder of Stubtopia.com; David Bateman, founder of DearElder.com; and Jonathan Freedman, founder of DownEast Outfitters.
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 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: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Janet Barton