2012 2013


Rollins Center



Scott R Petersen Stephen W Liddle Jeff Brown Lauren Olsen Jeffrey Howlett Trevor Carver Jordan Grimmer Meredith Francom Elizabeth Portanova


Jason Longhurst

Brigham Young University 470 Tanner Building Provo, UT 84602 PHONE:

801-422-7925 EMAIL:




Scott R Petersen

Stephen W Liddle, PhD
Academic Director


Managing Director

tudent enthusiasm for Brigham Young University’s entrepreneurship program is at fever pitch. For the past four years we have been listed as a top ten national program by Entrepreneur magazine and the Princeton Review. However, rankings can account for only so many metrics; in reality, our program may be, pound for pound, the best in the country. On what basis would we make this claim? By the sheer number of scalable student ventures launching out of the Rollins Center. We don’t count the work of our efficient and capable Tech Transfer Office or professorial innovations. We don’t count businesses that boast seasoned non-student CEOs. And our program isn’t built around family or life-style type businesses. We are squarely focused on scalable ventures that come into being through student innovation: start-ups that are launched by students, led by students, and built by students. And we’ve established a repeatable cyclical program based upon four academic and experiential quadrants: 1) the idea stage, 2) the business model discovery and customer validation stage, 3) the launching stage, and 4) the scaling stage. Our vision of “becoming the global leader in successful campus-inspired entrepreneurial ventures” has been built upon four pillars: world-class curriculum, networking and real-world events, acclaimed competitions, and the largest university mentoring network in the world. In this report you will see how this vision has unfolded and how we are innovating and scaling our program further each year—just as we teach our students regarding the building of their own ventures. We express sincere gratitude to our donors, to our dedicated and accomplished mentors who generously offer so much time to student teams, to our exceptional professorial and professional faculty, to our supportive deans and department chairs across campus, and to our motivated, inspired, and ethics-driven students. There is no shortcut to teamwork. We are personally indebted—as is the university—to each stakeholder for working with us in harmony to achieve our lofty aims.

The Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology creates a supportive, nurturing environment for students of Brigham Young University who are interested in starting and growing tech and scalable ventures. We inspire the confidence, courage, and will to take the entrepreneurial first step. We create an environment that unleashes creativity, cultivates vision and innovation, and teaches the governing principles that are the foundation of most successful enterprises. We provide mentors who guide students as they navigate these new waters. We establish courses, lecture series, competitions, conferences, workshops, and other activities that nourish and sustain the entrepreneurial spirit in students. The ultimate test of how we’re doing is measured by the number of long-term successful ventures that come from students within our sphere of influence. Intermediate measures include the number of students who hold equity in a tech or scalable start-up by the time they graduate, and—more immediately—the number of students participating in the learning and practice opportunities we offer.


Become the global leader in successful campus-inspired entrepreneurial ventures


Inspire and prepare students to be world-class leaders in entrepreneurship and technology, foster interaction with successful role models, and support faculty research


• The creation of scalable ventures that make a difference in the world and reward their founders so they can be more influential • Technology fluency that leads to inherently scalable high tech entrepreneurship • Creativity and innovation—a pioneering spirit that pervades the BYU culture • Ethical behavior and work/life balance that is consistent with the culture of BYU • The larger community of entrepreneurship that surrounds and supports the core of scalable ventures

Learn, Earn, Return™

















Our stated vision is to “be the global leader in successful campus-inspired entrepreneurial ventures.” We achieve this vision by focusing our efforts on the following four pillars. WORLD-CLASS CURRICULUM We offer courses that are academic, experiential, and skills based that teach students the best principles, processes, and practices for successfully starting a new venture. QUALITY EVENTS & NETWORKING ACCLAIMED COMPETITIONS We have developed and refined world-class competitions that inspire student participation and provide early seed funding for BYU’s most-promising student ventures. ROBUST MENTORING


We engage with every colNew ventures succeed or lege and department on fail not based upon money campus; we have built a but, rather, “know-how.” Accommunity-wide network cordingly, we have over 200 of students, professors, and successful entrepreneurs THE ROLLINS CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND TECHNOLOGY professionals that regularly who regularly offer mentorcome together for networking services to student ening and entrepreneurial events that aid students in forming trepreneurs and student teams and guide them through the teams and exploring their business ideas. This network is supcritical hurdles of the startup process. ported by three student-led organizations: the Entrepreneurship Club, the Innovation Academy, and, from the engineering college, the Venture Factory.

“What starts right has a much better chance of ending right.” SCALE: Students learn that premature scaling is the death of many companies. They are taught to wait until they have achieved material success before establishing repeatable best practices, systems, and processes and before building a larger sales force. LAUNCH: Students launch their businesses when they have sufficiently tested and evaluated their business model; established sufficient traction with a reasonably developed product, service, or technology; and have already acquired paying customers who’ve given early feedback. The launch, as taught to students, entails early sales efforts (but not yet a scaled sales program), waiting upon serious traction to warrant scaling and raising capital.



IDEA: We first focus on ideation, innovation, and differentiation with our students. At this stage, we place special emphasis on making sure the idea solves a major pain or exposes a significant opportunity.

MODEL: This stage revolves around testing, learning, customer validation, pivoting, and LAUNCH MODEL the iterative process. Students interview real customers and stakeholders to discover and validate viable business models, pricing models, revenue streams, market channels, customer FEB–APRIL NOV–FEB segments, and a goto-market strategy. By developing, building, and testing a minimum viable product in the marketplace, students explore new venture creation economically and improve their odds of succeeding.



Businesses fail not because of a lack of money but rather a lack of knowhow. BYU’s world-class entrepreneurship curriculum is designed to guide students through the process of starting new ventures from idea to launch. The curriculum is based in experiential learning and focused on lean start-up principles. Below are a few examples of our unique and innovative courses. Creating New Ventures This course flips the traditional business plan course on its head, instead teaching students how to identify their key assumptions and then test them in the field with low-cost, rapid experiments. As one of the first courses in the nation teaching this methodology (discussed more broadly in books like The Lean Startup, Nail It Then Scale It, etc.), students are receiving the latest tools, which increase their chances of success. Crocker Innovation Fellows This groundbreaking interdisciplinary innovation program is designed to reshape the career trajectory of twenty top BYU students from all disciplines by teaching them the skills to innovate. Innovations and students from this experience-based program have received national press coverage and hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes and investment. Intro to Entrepreneurship This course focuses on self-discovery and growth within the framework of essential entrepreneurial skills, including challenging the status quo, leveraging limited resources, operating within constraints, and solving problems. This intro course takes pre-major undergraduate students through each phase of company building.

Entrepreneurship through Acquisition In this course students become immersed in learning about Search Fund teams, university-originated technology, and the interworkings of private equity investment firms. Students are trained to take target companies or university technologies through business model discovery and validation to test how commercially viable the business or technology is. Entrepreneurial Innovation This course focuses on the beginning of the start-up life cycle, in essence, the how to of generating ideas, eliminating the bad ones, verifying customer pain, presenting the solution, and performing a market analysis. Ideation, innovation, and differentiation are at the core of this class. Entrepreneurial Marketing The major premise of this course is that the traditional strategies and tactics of Fortune 500 companies simply don’t work for start-ups. The course is the result of a 10-year study that compares and contrasts why some start-up companies succeed and why others don’t.




Miller NVC Endowment

Miller Family

On 19 September 2012, hundreds of BYU students packed into room 3220 of the Wilkinson Student Center in anticipation of the kickoff to BYU’s new flagship entrepreneurship competition, the Miller New Venture Challenge. Formerly known as the BYU Business Plan Competition, the event was completely redesigned from start to finish. Students seemed to understand the import of the change and the atmosphere in the room was electrifying. The new competition format includes four phases that help students take their ideas from conception to launch. Phase one kickedoff in early October with the Big Idea Competition. Students submitted written summaries of their business ideas and the top thirty ideas advanced to the finals—a sixtysecond elevator pitch to a group of investors. The top four pitches won a $250 prize. Phase two encompassed most of the academic year and ended with the Business Model Competition. This competition, pioneered by BYU professor Nathan Furr, focused strictly on the key tasks of testing ideas in the field and developing validated business models. This phase also included training workshops that helped students learn and apply the lean start-up process. “The Business Model Competition rewards students who go through the process of validating assumptions,” stated John Hyde, Miller NVC student director. “At that point they’ve been vetted and evaluated in the marketplace so they will be investment ready.” Phase three included participation in the Miller NVC Final. This competition took the validated business models and helped student teams prepare to launch and scale their ventures. “It rewards sales and traction,” stated Scott Petersen, managing director of the Rollins Center. The Miller NVC ultimately named eight winners—each awarded at least $15,000 to grow their business. In an effort to further develop their business models and become investor ready, winning teams were invited to participate in the Rollins Center Founders Launchpad, a summer skills acceleration program which provided them with co-working space in addition to skills-based training and mentoring. Program participants developed their businesses over the summer which culminated in an investor’s demo day on 4 October 2013. “Because of this new competition,” said Petersen, “more BYU students than ever will realize their entrepreneurial dreams.” Larry and Gail Miller’s impact and legacy in the state of Utah and at BYU is far reaching. In addition to overseeing more than seventy business enterprises, Larry taught entrepreneurship classes at BYU for almost twenty years. “The class I took from Larry changed the course of my life and is a large reason why I’m doing what I’m doing today,” says Adam Edmunds, founder of Allegiance. The brand new Larry & Gail Miller New Venture Challenge is the latest contribution to that legacy. The competition is continuing to bless the lives of BYU’s student entrepreneurs. “At the beginning of the Miller New Venture Challenge we were in two stores and by the end we were in over 400,” says Derek Rowley, co-founder of FiberFix. “That success would not have been possible without the competition.” The Miller’s generous gift has positioned the Rollins Center as a leader throughout the world. “The Miller family donation has enabled our center to take a leadership role in not only the US, but around the world and is helping us to achieve our vision of becoming the global leader in campus-inspired entrepreneurial ventures,” says Scott Petersen, managing director of the Rollins Center.



Founded in 2011, Entrepreneurship Week (E-week) is a time for innovators at BYU to make connections, receive guidance, and discover new ideas. To inspire students, the Rollins Center invited three successful entrepreneurs to be part of a discussion panel to kickoff the week’s festivities. The trio of start-up tycoons—former BYU students Dave Bateman, Mick Hagen, and Garrett Gee—shared experiences and lessons they learned while launching their companies and encouraged those in attendance not to wait. “It’s never easier to start a business than when you are in college,” said David Bateman, Property Solutions founder and CEO. “Find your focus early and hit the ground running.” Bateman said he applied this lesson learned at BYU in developing each of his start-up companies—find someone who has a problem, find a way to solve it for them, and charge them for it. In 2002 Bateman won the BYU Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for his first start-up. He used the profits to start his current company, Property Solutions, which won the 2003 Business Plan Competition and 2003 Fortune Magazine MBA Showdown competition and has since gone on to achieve notable success. Both of Bateman’s start-ups have been web-based, and he encourages students to learn as much about coding as possible. “Many people fail because they can’t clear the technical hurdle,” Bateman says. “If you’re a business person and you figure that out, you’ve increased your likelihood of success.” Zinch creator and Provo native Mick Hagen agreed. “If I could start again I would have spent more time really honing my programming skills,” he explained. “I would have spent more time learning how to execute.” Hagen is currently working on his second start-up, Undrip, an app-based company that personalizes social media to bring forward the most relevant content. He related the importance of seizing the opportunity of a start-up now. “While you’re young and don’t have many big responsibilities, go swing for the fences,” he stated. “It’s hard, but it’s also rewarding. That’s why I do it—I love it.” Scan CEO, Garrett Gee, also feels the rewards outweigh the sacrifices necessary to get a company started. Gee’s company took off after he created an app, QR Code City. In just eighteen months the app scored 20 million downloads. Today, the company has evolved to include other technologies and continues to connect the real world with the digital universe in fun ways. “When people say they want to do a start-up, all the hard times come rushing back to me,” he said. “It’s almost hard for me to encourage them to do it. But, the more I think about it I realize the only thing harder than working day in, day out would be not doing what I’m passionate about. This is the time to learn who you are and what you love to do.”




You know the saying: it’s not what you know,but who you know. This idea drove a thousand people, from students to seasoned professionals, to the second annual Entrepreneur & Venture Ecosystem Networking nighT. The EVENT, co-hosted this year by both the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and Grow Utah Ventures, is the largest of its kind in Utah and is held annually as part of BYU’s Entrepreneurship Week festivities. In all, more than six hundred students and four hundred community and business professionals were present. Attendees were divided up into four categories to help facilitate networking opportunities, including student entrepreneurs, community entrepreneurs, institutional investors, and accredited investors. Booths representing companies and organizations that support Utah’s entrepreneurial ecosystem surrounded the BYU Hinckley Alumni Center’s assembly hall where the EVENT took place. Jeff Rust, president of Corporate Alliance, a company that helps individuals and businesses build successful relationships, was present to provide networking advice to the attendees. “I believe when you come to an event like this you should have a goal,” Rust says. “How many new connections are you goOne of the events of Eing to make tonight? And what will Week featured Founders, the value of those connections be?” Rollins Center donors, on Overall, the EVENT offered panels discussing a variety guests the opportunity to make of topics including building the perfect valuable connections to help start team, how to divide equity between or grow their companies which in business partners, finding investors, turn builds Utah’s burgeoning engo-to-market strategies, and protecttrepreneurial ecosystem. To these ing your business idea. budding entrepreneurs Rollins CenAt the team-building panel dister managing director Scott Peterscussion Eric Blyel, CEO at Enterbridge en offers his advice: “Relationships Technologies, gave advice to students rule the world, and this is where it about surrounding themselves with all starts.” trusted advisors. “When you’re the CEO people rarely challenge you, but you need someone who will hold you accountable,” he explained. “You need someone who will tell you, ‘This is crazy.’”

Barry Smith, CEO of Megellan Health, encouraged students to never give up when looking for investors. “If you’re not persistent in the face of adversity and don’t have personal strength, forget about it,” Smith says. “We have all seen the wall of flames we thought we could never get through; successful people march through with conviction.” Jan Newman, partner at Sage Creek Partners and a go-to-market strategies panelist, counseled students that, “A company’s leadership team and a strong sales emphasis—rather than focusing on raising money—is the best approach for early stage companies. It’s all about how you can get it out there and make the cash register ring.”



Baby Vitals Monitor


At the time of the Big Idea Pitch Competition, the student start-up company Owlet Baby Monitors was just an idea, some survey results, and a low-budget video. After the pitch, they had confidence and direction. Positive feedback from the competition judges coupled with optimistic survey results obtained around the same time gave them the validation they needed to continue making their idea into a reality. The Big Idea Pitch was only the very beginning. Looking from where they were to where they are currently, Owlet founder Jordan Monroe said that about 98 percent of the work happened after the competition. “Ideas are worth as much as [they] cost you—nothing. Go out and start creating value with the idea,” Monroe said. This advice that Monroe gives to other entrepreneurs is exactly what Owlet followed. They now have a market-ready product, a baby monitor that measures infant vitals including heart rate and oxygen levels, with hundreds of pre-orders that will be shipped at the end of the year.

It’s the moment you’ve prepared for. You’re not nervous. You’ve rehearsed your pitch. You know what to say. On your mark, get set, go—one minute to change the world. That’s the premise behind the Miller New Venture Challenge’s Big Idea Competition. More than four hundred students submitted their ideas; the top thirty were selected to pitch. Each team had sixty seconds to sell their business idea to the crowd. The pitches were judged by three groups: center donors known as Founders, local angel investors, and student attendees. Each group picked a winner. Once the competition was underway, the pitching was focused and fast-paced. MBA student Ben Miller’s pitch proposed a way to fund natural gas conversion for cars. Miller’s idea was given top marks by the angel investors. “I am excited about the exposure the idea got,” Miller says. “I’m not approaching this as an academic exercise. Instead, I want to see if this is something I can do after I graduate.” Kurt Workman, a chemical engineering student and part of the Owlet Baby Monitor team, also found success at the event. The inspiration for his business was born of tragedy—the death of his baby cousin to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Using pulse oximetry technology already available in hospitals, Workman and his team created a product that can be used in the home. “The Big Idea Competition was an excellent event for us,” Workman says. “It helped us nail down what is most important about our product.” Chosen by both the audience and the Founders, Workman’s team was delighted with the win and believes the competition and feedback they received will have a positive impact on the future of the venture.




The Rollins Center has provided training workshops on one of the newest approaches to entrepreneurship, the business model, which is a way for entrepreneurs to test assumptions about their business. The Marriott School introduced the Business Model Competition three years ago and programs across the country have since adopted the method. Professionals were brought in to educate students on what a model is and how it can help them in their business ventures. “The purpose of the workshop is to educate students on this new approach to entrepreneurship,” says Jeff Brown, assistant director of the Rollins Center. “We educate students on what business modeling means, what customer development includes, and the business model canvas.” This year Nathan Furr, BYU professor and author of Nail It Then Scale It, instructed students at the workshop. “The workshops provide students the tools, training, and feedback to be successful both as an entrepreneur and in the competition.” Furr says. “It puts BYU in the forefront because there are only a handful of schools that have done anything to develop the thinking and curriculum around this new entrepreneurship paradigm.” In the past start-ups would write a business plan which then encourages them to find information to justify the plan. The business model, or lean startup model, takes a new approach which allows entrepreneurs to make initial assumptions about their company and then test those assumptions with people in the market to see what changes are needed for success. “The workshop helped us understand that entrepreneurship is not a light version of big corporate business,” says Mark Neilson, an MBA student from Salt Lake City. “You really need a lean start-up process and every step of the way you need to check your assumptions so you don’t blindly believe in something that nobody else cares about. That came to me as a refreshing reminder.”


Discovery Simulations

The D in DSC really stands for dedicated. This start-up focused on making educational space simulations a real out of this world experience by going to the Business Model Workshops hosted by the Rollins Center. What especially stood out to to the team was how applicable the Nail It Then Scale It model is. “I would advise anyone to not only read [the book], but believe it and practice it from the very first day,” Skylar Carr, DSC founder said. The workshop helped DSC learn how to save time and money, as well as how to create real value in the customer’s mind. From the very beginning, DSC knew that if they built the company’s foundation on the customer, success would be inevitable. He was right. This summer, the team was invited to participate in Provo’s start-up accelerator program known as Founders Launchpad, which culminated into the opportunity to pitch before CET founders and investors at Investor Day.



Get Give your business idea a boost.
FiberFix “The Rollins Center bends over backwards to get you with the right mentor. The Get Mentoring program is huge. We cannot say enough good things regarding how helpful the Rollins Center was to our early success—not only with outside mentors, but also the vast experience inside their office.” Dark Energy “Mentors are everything—especially to an entrepreneur. [They] showed us exactly where we needed to go to learn very quickly who we needed to talk to. Mentors help you bridge the ignorance gap. You can get to the next level more quickly by having a mentor.” Invironment “Without the mentors we had, we would not have won the competitions we did win. Their expertise and wisdom was critical to our success.” Sales Rabbit “It was helpful working with mentors on different ideas and approaches and strategies we could take to fix the obstacle we were trying to get over. If you’re doing it by yourself, it seems unattainable, unreachable—but the mentors have been there before and they were able to help us over difficult hurdles.” Discovery Simulations “Of all the many resources available to us at the Rollins Center, the mentoring program has been number one. We came to Jeff Howlett and spoke to him about some of the things we were working on and asked what we should do. He immediately said, ‘You need to talk to this person,’ which shows how professional and well prepared the Rollins Center is.”

Based in part on the wisdom that, “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great mentor,” the Rollins Center has created a scalable world-class mentoring program that, simply put, is a game changer. Students go to and choose either: advisement mentoring, which is typically early idea stage and one-on-one, or team mentoring which is a custom, handpicked team of mentors for more developed ideas getting ready to launch. Once assigned, team mentors meet with student teams on a regular basis to help them identify next steps and to help them avoid the pitfalls most start-ups encounter. After selecting which type of mentoring the student is seeking they complete some basic prerequisites, which then qualify students to have access to our pool of over 200 mentors in either a student self-select or private-select by the Venture Mentoring Services (VMS) team. In addition to innovative ideas and having some of the top students in the nation, the real key to VMS success is its mentors. Not only do they have their own code of conduct, prerequisites, and screening process, they give freely of their time and expertise which is amazing considering that most are C level executives with family, community, and religious commitments. “Their time is our most valuable asset,” states Jeff Howlet, director of Venture Mentoring Services. Mentors come from all backgrounds and levels of success, and the relationships created between student and mentor can last a lifetime.



Thirty-nine teams competed at the 2012 Student Innovator of the Year competition for tens of thousands of dollars in cash prizes and the title of Student Innovator of the Year. The competition which is hosted by the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology and sponsored by the Rollins Center helps participants make connections, get feedback on their ideas, and ultimately take their innovations to market. On the first day of competition each participating team pitched to over twenty judges at booths set up on BYU’s Brigham Square. Students and other foot traffic were also able to get a first glance at the noteworthy innovations. “The student innovators love the exciting atmosphere and the opportunity to showcase their ideas to fellow students,” says Andrew Pack, SIOY student director and a mechanical engineering major. The top nine innovations were presented at the final event the following day. Each team was given four minutes to pitch to a live audience. The judges awarded prizes for the top three innovations and a runner-up prize for the idea with the most potential. Owlet Baby Monitors took first place and the crowd favorite award walking away with $6,000 in prize money. “We really want to create a safer environment for infants,” Kurt Workman, a chemical engineering major, explains. “We want parents to know their baby is okay. In a lot of situations, our product would warn parents before something tragic happens. Winning this competition takes us one step closer to making that a reality.” Second place went to, a website for family history buffs to connect with their ancestors on a deeper level with photos and memories connected to a family tree. Third place was a tie and went to business operations management software Intuiplan and to Leenovation for ByBell, a doorbell integrated with security-system technology. Hiven, a company that invented sensor technology to keep pipes from freezing, garnered the Great Potential Award.


Venture Factory
Build Your Dreams

Housed in BYU’s Fulton College of Engineering, Venture Factory combines entrepreneurial principles with technical skills, making it one of the most talent-rich organizations on campus. “Our organization is in the business of making student ideas reality,” said Steven Branham, president of Venture Factory. Venture Factory provides a variety of services. Students can attend an Ideathon to receive valuable feedback on their ideas. The organization also helps students to build prototypes of their physical products. Development teams are organized to help in the iteration and validation process of an idea. In addition, Venture Factory runs the Student Innovator of the Year competition, which has launched several successful products including PillSafe, Owlet, Flex Leg, Active Alarm, and LunchBox. “Venture Factory focuses solely on product development. However, we work closely with the Entrepreneurship Club, the Innovation Academy, and other clubs to provide a complete support network for student driven ventures,” said Branham.


Mobile Solutions for Sales

Sales Rabbit

Cat herding, ninja fighting or photo gaming—it could all be found at the fourth annual Mobile App Competition hosted by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. In order to help students better understand the importance of mobile devices in today’s business environment, the annual competition, one of the first of its kind, invites students to create App Store-ready apps. “The purpose of this competition is to help students get more excited Of the forty teams that registered, eighteen teams showed off their apps to a live crowd at the competition’s final event. “I was very impressed by the marvelous job the students did,” Liddle says. “Choosing a winner was a difficult decision—the apps and presentations were phenomenal.” None of the finalists walked away empty-handed. All were awarded a piece of the $15,000 prize money— each team taking anywhere from $250 to $3,000.

During the mobile app competition, Sales Rabbit was focused on creating a mobile app for door-to-door salesmen in the pest control industry, to help them in everything from managing leads to electronically signing contracts. Soon after the competition, founders Brady Anderson and Barima Kwarteng pivoted and decided to drop the pest-control industry for the satellite industry, where their product was gaining more traction. Sales Rabbit has made a lot of progress since the competition. A company that started with a functional, yet clunky app, now has two smooth, sleek, and very userfriendly apps available on the app store that cater to the door-to-door sales and satellite industries. The company has grown, but the founders will always remember the lessons learned from the Mobile App Competition. “Everything always takes longer than you think. If you think you’re going to be done in one to two weeks, you’re going to be done in four to eight weeks. We put tons of time into this mobile app and had a lot of late nights,” Anderson said.

about mobile development,” says Josh Nicholls, a second-year MISM student from Seattle, who helped run the competition. “These competitors have built really cool apps, and I hope it will motivate others to do the same.” Apps were evaluated based on user experience, design implementation, business application, and number of downloads. The panel of judges included Rollins Center academic director Stephen Liddle and MokiMobility executives Tom Karren and Jared Blake.

The grand prize went to Intuiplan’s app for simplifying daily operations for franchisees. The second runner-up was the ARD Sales app, now called Sales Rabbit, designed for sales reps in the pest control and home security industries. The Space Jumps game app came in third as well as being named crowd favorite. Awards were also given to the Growing Pains app (MoneyDesktop Ruby Award) and Ninja Tactics (Analytics Award).




Wrist Basketball Trainer

The Shot Coach

Ideas, products, and organizations are better equipped to achieve their potential through interdisciplinary collaboration. The mission of BYU’s Innovation Academy is to help create these connections. Founded and funded out of the Rollins Center, the organization gathers students from across BYU’s campus into a collaborative environment where they not only learn how to innovate through a series of workshops but also launch hands-on, innovative projects to solve real-world problems and gain experience through handson projects and workshops. “The Innovation Academy creates a platform of collaboration where students from all across campus can see their innovative ideas come to life,” says co-president Devin Basinger, a business strategy senior from Vacaville, California. Focused on a learn-do-teach model, the organization meets weekly with project teams to ensure teams are accomplishing the academy’s goal of validating ideas that can be taken to market. These meetings also allow teams to collaborate and learn from one another which in turn has created a sense of camaraderie and peer-topeer accountability. To sweeten the deal, the Rollins Center provides each team access to innovation mentors and $400 toward building their product. “The Innovation Academy is a spring board for business,” Basinger says. “People who participate make things happen. It’s a great organization for anyone interested in collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” One CET resource that helped BYU start-up company Shot Coach score was the Centersponsored club Innovation Academy. Innovation is really the essence of Shot Coach, which product is a wristband and basketball rim attachment that together track key shooting statistics. During one club activity, the team members learned from guest speaker and BYU adjunct professor Jeff Schwarting about the importance of pretotyping, which is validating an idea with a product that is a non-functioning and very cheap shadow of a prototype. The team decided to make a pretotype of their own and tested it out on their target market: basketball players. “The concept was a hit and allowed us some important validation without spending money,” Bassiger said. In addition to great advice from speakers, Shot Coach also received invaluable advice and input from other club members during project feedback sessions. These sessions happen at each Innovation Academy event, where groups are able to share their progress with like-minded entrepreneurs.


Dark Energy
The Reservoir

Mechanical engineering major Garrett Aida and information technology major William Lam make quite a team. Last November they founded Dark Energy, a technology company focused on offering stylish, powerful, and practical solutions using modern technology. On 11 February 2013, they launched a Kickstarter campaign for their first product, a portable charger the size of smartphone dubbed The Reservoir. In forty-five days 2006 backers provided them with $173,612, far exceeding their goal by 73.6 percent. One major thing they discovered about running a successful kickstarter campaign was the time-consuming task of answering the backers’ questions. “Kickstarter is like doing a round of funding with investors, but there are a million investors and each of them wants to talk to you,” Aida said. Aida and Lam are grateful for the experience and plan on releasing more products through Kickstarter. After all, their first campaign exceeded their funding expectations, and resulted in a flood of online publicity in Mashable, Uncrate, and Men’s Gear.

Following the crowd isn’t usually a good idea, but entrepreneurs can generate serious capital by jumping on the crowdfunding bandwagon. That’s the premise of an innovative new course at BYU’s Marriott School of Management. “This class is one of the first of its kind, and it gives our students a real advantage,” says Daniel Falabella, entrepreneur and course co-creator. The class takes students through the process of launching a business, starting with idea generation and validation all the way through product development, sales, customer management, production, and delivery. Special emphasis is put on proven crowdfunding methods. To create a realistic business environment, the class is set up in corporate hierarchy with students filling the roles of CEO, COO, CFO, etc. As a team the class members decide which products they would like to launch. The first semester’s class, comprised of nine students, created three group projects: LYKE, a line of customizable watches; Kubb, a handcrafted Viking party game; and Bundtastic Band, a bracelet that doubles as a hair tie. Once they developed an idea, the teams launched their products on Kickstarter. com, a popular online crowdfunding platform. “Many entrepreneurship courses emphasize bootstrapping,” Falabella observes. “Crowdfunding is an excellent way to save money because demand and validation are completed upfront.” At the end of the month-long Kickstarter campaigns the class had raised more than $40,000 from 843 backers. “I took the class because I wanted to have an entrepreneurial experience,” says class CEO AJ Christensen, “The class definitely delivered.”




In perhaps the most successful season ever for BYU entrepreneurship, innovating student teams generated over $700,000 for their start-up ventures. Validation and early success came from a variety of activities, including competitions and pre-sales campaigns. From a portable device that can charge a phone for a week to a spray technology that biodegrades plastics found in landfills, students have created technologies that are turning heads worldwide. “Student ventures have brought in more money this year at competitions than any other,” said Rollins Center managing director Scott Petersen. “But more importantly,” said entrepreneurship professor Nathan Furr, “the students are getting real traction with customers. The ultimate proof that you’ve nailed the problem is that people will give you their money.” BYU is already recognized as a top entrepreneurial university, with a tradition of high-performing start-ups (Omniture, 1-800-CONTACTS, Property Solutions, KT Tape), but this year’s crop has achieved unprecedented success. Here are some top performers. Owlet ($360,000) The Owlet baby monitor is a wireless, sock-like device that measures oxygen levels and heart rates of infants and then sends that data to a parent’s smartphone. Dark Energy ($173,000) BYU students created a portable phone/device charger they call the Reservoir. The Reservoir, which is similar in size to a smartphone, is designed to provide enough charge for phones, tablets or other devices for up to a week and beyond. Inviroment (104,000) A spray technology that speeds up the natural biodegrading process for plastic trash. The product can reduce landfill volume increase by 20 percent and increase methane energy output by more than 210 percent. FiberFix ($45,000) FiberFix is an industrial-strength repair wrap that combines the strength of an epoxy with the convenience of a wrapping material.



One month. That’s all this BYU studentfounded team had from its founding date to the beginning of start-up competition season. Talk about being in an accelerator. As they developed everything from their elevator pitch to their business model for their new patent-pending technology called PlasTek™, which decomposes plastic found in landfills, they learned what it takes to succeed. And succeed they did, they won $100,000 in the CU Cleantech Challenge Finals Competition in April. Founder Nathan Parkin shares three other things the Inviroment team learned through competitions: “The more you can validate your assumptions through industry experts or real data, the stronger and more competitive you can be. Practice your presentation in front of those who don’t know your business. The businesses that most often won either had contracts in hand or actually had revenue. The quicker you can get either of those, the more likely your business will win these competitions and succeed in the long run.”


With its foot-hugging baby breathing monitor already receiving notoriety from media across the country, this year’s Business Model Competition winner Owlet Baby Monitors knocked the competition’s socks off. The competition awarded Owlet $3,000 in prize money. Additionally, Owlet received BYU’s automatic bid to compete against student teams from all across the world at the International Business Model Competition this May at Harvard. “This is a unique competition,” says Nathan Furr, entrepreneurship professor and competition creator. “It encourages students to go through the crucial step of testing their assumptions with customers in the field to get a viable solution.” Owlet team member Jacob Colvin agrees and believes the competition has been crucial for the company’s early success. “BYU has been a fantastic springboard for our company,” says the European studies major from Alpine, Utah. “We look forward to participating in the international competition as an opportunity to get more feedback so we can take our idea to market.” In addition to the recent buzz from Mashable, Huffington Post, and ABC News, the Owlet team was honored as BYU’s 2012 Student Innovator of the Year and as the winner of the Big Idea Competition—proving them to be an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with. Owlet beat out four other teams in the final event where competitors gave eight-minute presentations about their business validation process. A question and answer period from the panel of judges followed the team presentations. Second and third place went to Vacation Races and Intuiplan respectively, with FiberFix taking fourth and MedLock, fifth.


Furr, who also served on the judging panel, said he was delighted with the way the event turned out. Before announcing the winners, he took a moment to reflect on the competition. “Judging this year was the most difficult yet,” Furr said. “I see every one of these teams as having massive potential. They have done something phenomenal and will change the world.” Furr said this year’s surge of successful BYU start-ups comes from a focus on getting student business ideas in front of potential customers. “The problem is that whatever you believe as an entrepreneur is a guess,” Furr said. “The time you spend planning or building on an unvalidated guess is usually wasted because you usually guess wrong.”




Mobile Tools for Franchises


Students knew they were in the right place when they saw the sign: “Be Awesome. Work for a Start-up.” Utah Startup Marketplace 2013, sponsored by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, is different than your typical job or internship fair. The one-day event gave 500 student attendees access to internships and full-time jobs at some of Utah’s hottest start-up companies. “When you work at a start-up you’re on the front lines making decisions that create immediate results,” says Jeff Brown, director of the event. “These companies need doers—people who will dig in and make things happen.” In past years USM has featured some of the state’s most successful and fastest growing start-ups, such as Qualtrics, Fusion-io, Allegiance, and Nicholls, a second-year MISM student from Seattle and student director of the event. “Being an entrepreneur is not about what you study in school; it’s about who you are and what drives you. That’s what start-ups are going to pick up on.” Derik Krauss, a junior from Bakersfield, California, studying entrepreneurship, hopes to start a business of his own someday. He attended the fair to gain experience at a start-up with the ultimate goal of launching his own venture. “Getting in early is the dream,” Krauss says. “I want to work for a startup to get some experience before I do my own thing. The people here are the ones to know.” But students don’t have to be entrepreneurs to make a connection. Sociology major Carmela Balter from Trujillo,

Intuiplan founder Josh Bird remembers marveling at Baskin-Robbin’s disorganized, and seemingly nonexistent, operating procedures. That is when he saw the customer pain point, and from there, he and his team set out to alleviate it by creating Intuiplan. Intuiplan remedies operational chaos by offering a software system that helps food establishments organize procedures, create employment accountability through checklists, and monitor employee productivity. The Business Model Competition helped Intuiplan become the organizational software provider that it is today. Filling out the business model canvas allowed them to evaluate all aspects of their business, from customer relationships to revenue streams. The competition allowed Intuiplan to think about these crucial elements and especially focus on the principles in BYU faculty member Nathan Furr’s book Nail It Then Scale It. Founder CJ Lewis said, “The whole competition was about [finding] the idea or nail[ing] the solution or value proposition before you scale.”

OrangeSoda. This year SolutionStream, ThinkAtomic, DropShip Commerce, and Scan, among others, scouted for talent. “There are jobs in every area. If you’re a rock-star programmer, a designer, or creative in any way, you could land a full-time job,” says Josh

Peru, came to the fair looking for a job in HR. For Balter, the idea of a start-up’s close-knit atmosphere was appealing. “I want to be known by name,” she says. “I see Utah Startup Marketplace as a great opportunity because the companies are small, and I want to help a company grow.”




Entrepreneurship Club

A restaurateur, a film producer, and an inventor squared off at the final round of the twenty-second annual Student Entrepreneur of the Year Competition sponsored by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Chosen from fifty applicants, these three entrepreneurs represent one of the most successful crops of student entrepreneurs in the competition’s twenty-year history. “The SEOY competition recognizes students for their entrepreneurial achievements,” said Scott Petersen, managing director of the Rollins Center. “This year’s finalists were some of the strongest we’ve ever had.” The red-carpet event, run by the and business growth potential. Jason Faller, a third-year MBA student from Ottawa, Canada, took the top prize for his film production company, Arrowstorm Entertainment. He attributes his company’s innovations to his graduate education. “In the MBA program I recognized a lot of business principles that could be applied to the film industry,” Faller said. “Streamlining our processes and leveraging our capital has allowed us to build brand equity and value.” Second-place winner Scott Walker, a business management senior from Corvallis, Oregon, walked away with $5,000 as well as the Audience Choice Award for his company, Underwater Audio, which waterproofs iPods and headphones.



Sometimes rebranding causes confusion, like how MBA player Ronald Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace or how in September 2013 the CEO Club (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization) changed their name to the Entrepreneurship Club. Despite the new name, the club and its mission are the same: to promote principles, practices, and benefits of entrepreneurship campus-wide. The E-Club’s focus is on assisting students in developing new ideas, writing business plans, accessing capital, networking, and mentoring. They do all of this so students will feel prepared to successfully launch and manage entrepreneurial ventures. This year, the E-Club strategically partnered with BYU’s two other entrepreneurial clubs: Innovation Academy and Venture Factory. Each club meets at the same time so students can conveniently use the variety of resources each club offers. While the E-Club focuses on introducing students to entrepreneurship and aiding students with their business models, Innovation Academy and Venture Factory fill in the gaps by focusing on innovation, validation, and prototyping. With the E-Club leading the way, entrepreneurship and innovation are getting more popularity and prestige on BYU campus.




Entrepreneurship Club, formerly the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization club, provides an opportunity for student business owners with profitable companies to win nearly $20,000 in prize money. Finalists were judged by a panel of successful entrepreneurs based on their entrepreneurial track record, current venture performance,

Lance Wakefield, a junior studying French from Laie, Hawaii, earned $2,500 and third place for his ventures—a used car dealership called The Car Depot and a restaurant called The Awful Waffle.

MARCH 2013



Underwater Audio
iPod Waterproofing

Underwater Audio, created by BYU student Scott Walker, was recently named the No. 1 student-run business in the state by Utah Student 25—an organization that recognizes studentfounded businesses. Utah Student 25 is the first statewide awards program that recognizes successful business execution while attending school. Program organizers believe students who accept the challenges of going to school and running a business deserve to be recognized and welcomed with open arms into the entrepreneurial community. “It was nice to receive recognition for all the hard work,” said Walker, a marketing senior from Corvallis, Oregon. “The number one listing has already opened all kinds of doors for me and my company.” The recognition provided Walker the clout needed to connect with several business entities that will help take his company to the next level. Winners were acknowledged at a black-tie optional event held on the University of Utah campus. In addition to Underwater Audio, which sells waterproofed iPod shuffles and headphones, fourteen other BYU businesses were honored out of twenty-five companies from colleges and universities across the state. The top twenty-five were chosen based on business revenue and profit. “These students are inspiring and deserve this recognition,” said John Richards, event founder and director of operations for Google in Utah. “Starting out in business takes many sacrifices. The gala was an opportunity for us to pay tribute to these innovative students.”

It all started when Scott Walker came up with the idea to waterproof iPod shuffles and headphones. In July of 2011 Underwater Audio was born. In March of 2013 Underwater Audio won the coveted first place position in the Utah Student 25 competition that recognizes Utah’s top studentfounded businesses. What set them up for the win was Underwater Audio’s finances. At that time, Underwater Audio had more revenue than any of the other companies considered. Also, they were completely self-funded until they took out their first loan in August of 2013. What determines success in this competition is a company’s growth rate of revenue and profits from each business. Underwater Audio hit the mark on both criteria. Now, Underwater Audio is on track to make $4 million in revenue in 2013 and has been approached by Amazon, who asked the small business to prepare for an increase in sales this upcoming Christmas season.


One of the largest, single-university venture competitions in the nation brought the aspirations of some BYU teams closer to reality. Sponsored by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, the inaugural Miller New Venture Challenge provided eight student ventures with cash to kickstart their companies and a summer immersion program to keep the momentum going. Named for entrepreneurs Larry and Gail Miller, the competition replaced BYU’s previous business plan competition, adding a fresh format and more prizes. “The Miller New Venture Challenge launches businesses in a way few other universities do,” says John Hyde, a secondyear MBA from Fallon, Nevada, and student director of the competition. “The Miller’s generous endowment makes it possible for us to provide more money to more businesses. It really sets us apart.” With over fifty entries, the competition included two rounds of judging by several panels of experts before being narrowed to the final eight who walked away with a combined total of more than $140,000 in prize money. The finalists included FiberFix, which produces a tape-like adhesive that hardens to fix broken household items; GearHead, which manufacturers a device that tracks mileage and other performance metrics in vehicles and alerts car owners about service needs; Intuiplan, a software service that auto-

mates paper processes and tracks employee performance; Medlock, which manufacturers combination locks for prescription pill bottles; Ori, which makes flat-folding plastic containers; Owlet Baby Monitors, which produces a baby monitor based on pulse oximetry technology; Sales Rabbit, which offers management software for door-to-door sales companies; and Shot Coach, which sells a wristband and backboard device to track basketball players’ shots. “The year-over-year improvement in the student teams is phenomenal,” says Barry Smith, judge and founder chairman for the Rollins Center’s advisory board. “The high level of performance speaks to the excellence of the students and the BYU experience. The competitive environ-

APRIL 2013


ment allows students to achieve more because of the high standard.” Winners were chosen based on three factors: the team’s understanding of the market, proof that customers are interested in the business or product, and a clear roadmap for growing their company. “Participating in this competition was invaluable for our company,” says Jordan Monroe, a senior studying management from Burley, Idaho, with Owlet Baby Monitors. “In addition to the benefits of the cash prize, the feedback from the judges was really helpful, and the buzz generated from the competition is giving us a lot of recognition. It’s exciting.”

Repair Wrap


Not only did the name of the New Venture Challenge change to Miller NVC this year but the name of the game changed as well. The Founders had enjoyed determining which one of the eight finalist teams deserved the Miller NVC Founder’s Choice award through Shark Tank-styled judging. Ultimately, the sharks decided to bite on FiberFix, awarding the team with the $5000 prize. “There’s something about that style of competition that is especially nervewracking. The Founders are entrepreneurs. They know what to ask. They know the things you haven’t thought about and they point them out,” Spencer Quinn, FiberFix founder, said. The competition proved to be good preparation for FiberFix, who presented on ABC’s Shark Tank 25 October 2013, and made a deal with Lori Greiner. FiberFix has been sold on QVC and is in over 6,000 stores, but they would not have been able to do it without the Founders. “The most important feedback we got was [about] positioning in the market. Initially, [we were] going after very specific repairs. But founders told us that we needed to reach out to more universal applications,” Quinn said.


Next Gen GPS Tracking


BYU’s Owlet Baby Monitors team won big again after taking first place and $25,000 at this year’s International Business Model Competition held at Harvard. The International Business Model Competition is the first and largest competition of its kind, rewarding student entrepreneurs for testing and validating all aspects of their business model with real, potential customers in a lean approach. Conceived at BYU in 2010, the annual event is co-sponsored by BYU, Harvard and Stanford and is open to all student entrepreneur teams in the world. Over one thousand student teams from over one hundred schools and ten countries participated in this year’s selected by Steve Blank, co-author of The Startup Owner’s Manual; Alex Osterwalder, co-creator of the Business Model Canvas; Tom Eisenmann, professor of entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School; and Nathan Furr, coauthor of Nail It Then Scale It. “We were very excited we were able to win with such tough competition,” says Jordan Monroe, a business management major from Burley, Idaho, and member of the Owlet team. “We worked hard to prepare and feel very fortunate it paid off. Our next step is to carry this momentum into the summer and make some initial sales.” Owlet joined six other BYU teams at the competition, which is a testament to the program and culture being developed at the university.


Not everyone can win first place. For Panx founder Christiaan Watson, going to historic Harvard to compete in the International Business Competition, being awarded an Honorable Mention, and having a reason to sharpen up his company’s business model and elevator pitch were reward enough. But it still did not hurt that Panx received exposure and publicity as a result of the competition and made some influential contacts with investors. Watson said that it was also “great to compare with other companies at the competition and see how far along they were.” They realized that Panx’s innovation, a technology that allows customers to locate someone within a building through tracking devices and software applications, was as impressive as any other team’s and that it also had the potential to be used on multiple platforms and in a myriad of industries. The IBMC was the only competition this start-up, established in 2010, participated in. Now, founders Chistiaan Watson and Alex Curtis are busy making contracts with health care facilities and hotels in the west, using the skills they developed at the IBMC.

event, held at Harvard’s Innovation Lab. Twenty-eight teams advanced to Boston for the semi-final round and were judged by a panel of local investment professionals. The winner was

“By leading the way in this event, BYU is establishing itself as a credible thought leader in the entrepreneurial world,” Furr says.

MAY 2013



Contextual Mobile Ads


Located in the historic and aptly named Startup Building in downtown Provo, Camp 4 provides a place for student business teams to grow and develop during the summer. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Camp 4 was held on 1 May 2013. tor for BYU companies, began on 13 May with sixteen student-led ventures. Sponsored by the Rollins Center, this 16-week program provided student teams with the tools necessary to launch their businesses. These amenities included training curriculum, mentoring services, program interns, Google Fiber gigabit internet, and a dynamic co-working space and learning environment. The curriculum for the program included trainings on topics ranging from leadership and sales management to company culture and brand management among other things. Trainings were delivered by some of the top entrepreneurs in the state including Ryan Smith, co-founder of Qualtrics, and Mark Hurst, CEO and owner of three companies in Utah and Silicon Valley. While the Founders Launchpad program closed on 31 August, Camp 4 leadership has many plans for the future including a coding academy. “It’s exciting to see things up and running but this is just the beginning,” said Tom Taylor, current owner of the Startup Building, “It is [only] the first year and we have big plans for the future. Chatads, which monetizes text messaging apps by having paid advertisements appear when certain keywords are typed by the user, was relatively much less of a startup than the other teams that participated in Founders Launchpad. They were definitely among the veterans of the summer startup accelerator, especially when considering that most of the other teams had been founded less than a year before. “We had a pretty solid path paved before us, even before Launchpad,” Mike Evans, Chatads founder said. Being at Camp 4 was still an indispensable experience. The free office space and coworking environment were two things that Chatads found particularly helpful. In order to produce the greatest results, they used these resources in conjunction with other Rolins Center resources, specifically mentoring. “One of our mentors not only gave us a lot of great advice on how to reach out to individuals, build connections, and build our pipeline; but he also helped introduce us to a variety of very important people,” Evans said.

“It is really a significant day,” governor Gary Herbert told The Daily Herald, “as we work together to create more business opportunities.” The Camp 4 Initiative is part of a continuing effort to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Provo and Utah County areas. The Rollins Center, Franchise Foundry, Innovation Network, and BoomStartup among other invested parties have all worked together to help aspiring entrepreneurs experience rapid growth and development in their budding businesses. The Founders Launchpad located at Camp 4, a summer skills accelera-




Chatads provides advertisments and mobile ads for texting and VoIP apps. Founders: Mike Evans Number of employees: 23 Over $10,000 in monthly recurring revenue 50 clients 11 million users

SaaS solution for streamlining the standard operating procedures of franchises. Founders: CJ Lewis, Josh Bird, Tyler Slater, Chase Wasden Number of employees: 16 (9 part-time, 7 full-time) $35,000 in revenue In 25 different franchises including Subway, 7-11, Buffalo Wild Wings, Firehouse Subs, and Edible Arrangements Projected to sign 173 accounts valued at $300,000 with 9 companies before year’s end

Dark Energy
Creator of The Reservoir, an extremely thin, extremely powerful portable charger. Founders: William Lam, Garrett Aida $1,000,000 in 2013 revenue Raised $173,000 on Kickstarter Negotiating contracts with 4 companies valued at $600,000 Featured in at least 25 different online blogs, magazines or websites including Mashable and Uncrate Releasing 3 new products in 2014

On 4 October 2013 there was a flurry of activities on the eighth floor of the Zions Bank building on University Avenue, Provo, Utah. The caterers were preparing a breakfast buffet for a crowd of over 200 people. CET staff members were managing the checkin table, distributing name tags, and fielding questions. In a back room, undergraduate and graduate students were in an assembly line, making packets of information to be distributed to all the attendees. Student entrepreneurs were excitedly putting the finishing touches on their company pitches. Investors, Founders, community entrepreneurs, and media members were filing into the Rock Canyon Room, ready to hear ten BYU start-ups pitch their companies. This is how Investors Day began. The Center completed a revolutionary process when it hosted its first Investors Day. The ten companies that presented in Investors Day had gone through the idea, model,

Discovery Simulations
Education through simulation technology. Founders: Skyler Carr, Brandon Wright, Brandon “BJ” Warner, Casey Voeks $350,000 in 2013 revenue Raised $150,000 in venture funding 20,000 simulator visitors in 2013 5 simulators in operation 15 simulators valued at $640,000 in production or negotiation

The world’s strongest repair wrap. Founders: Spencer Quinn, Derek Rowley, Chris Quinn $2,000,000 in 2013 revenue Sold in 6,000 stores Sold 45,000 units in 8 minutes on QVC Deal signed for nationwide product roll-outs in Home Depot and Lowes stores Appeared on Shark Tank and made a deal with Lori Greiner




Created PlasTek™, an environmentally safe, chemical solution for decomposing plastics. Founders: Brock Bennion, Devan Bennion, Nathan Parkin, Nate Alder, Aufbau Laboratories LLC Won over $104,000 in international business competitions Received two written LOIs & permission to conduct landfill pilot tests in Utah and Massachusetts Filed an SBIR EPA grant Highlighted on hundreds of news web sites across the globe

Baby monitor that sends heart rate, O2 levels, skin temp., etc. to parent’s smartphone.


Founders: Kurt Workman, Tanner Hodges, Jacob Colvin, Jordan Monroe, Zach Bonsta Ranked #4 college start-up in the nation by $300,000 in 2013 revenue Raised $225,000 in venture funding Won $200,000 cash and prizes from competitions

The world’s first pre-launch platform for crowdfunding projects. Founders: Daniel Falabella, Jeff Schwarting, Andrew Jensen Number of employees: 4 Prefundia users raised $2,500,000 in first 3 months Projects that go through Prefundia experience a 71% success rate as compared to Kickstarter’s 44% and Indiegogo’s 9%

Sales Rabbit
Mobile SaaS solutions for door-to-door sales companies. Founders: Brady Anderson, Barima Kwarteng, Jeff Lockhart $110,000 in 2013 revenue Used by 4 largest door-to-door retailers for DISH network Raised $218,000 in venture funding

and launch phases, and the Rollins Center had been there every step of the way—offering mentoring, events, and competitions. The entire process culminated with Investors Day—which provided teams the opportunity to complete the last step of the start-up life cycle and scale their companies through outside investment. As the teams presented their ten-minute slideshows before the investors’ scrutinous gazes, they were in fact presenting the capstone of hundreds of hours of work innovating, pivoting, validating, and designing. The ten companies listed here are just the first graduates of many yet to come in the years ahead who will go through the entire start-up life cycle offered each year through the Rollins Center. They were the Investor Day pioneers and have already experienced significant success. But they have only just begun to fill the vast potential within themselves.

Teddy MD
Creators of Tired Teddies, a natural sleep aid for little kids and toddlers Founders: Sam Harrison, Jessica Marshall Vitamin-shaped teddy bear that tastes like bubblegum candy Scientific formulation makes it the best dosage on the market $30,000 in revenue 1,000 online customers 90% of reviews are 5 stars Over 65% reorder rate


The Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology is unique at BYU. We support our programs entirely from the contributions of successful entrepreneurs called Founders. This year we gave away $276,544 at our various competitions and launched over 20 scalable ventures, of which the top five generated over $3.76 million in revenue. As our readers can see from the contents of this report, these achievements are just the tip of the iceberg. Without the generous support of our Founders and donors, this would not have been possible.

In 2000 the Marriott School established what is now known as the Kevin and Debra Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Kevin is currently a senior advisor on global investment strategies in the technology sector to TPG Capital L.P., a private investment firm. Kevin served as president and CEO of Dell Computer Corporation and also as chief operating officer, vice chair, and president of Dell Americas. Prior to Dell, Kevin was a partner and director at Bain & Co. in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned his MBA and two bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University. He was born and raised in Utah and is an accomplished violinist. While attending BYU he met his wife, Debra Skinner. The Rollins are the parents of four children and are members of the BYU President’s Leadership Council and the Marriott School’s National Advisory Council.

Founders are successful entrepreneurs who financially and experientially support BYU’s entrepreneurship events, programs, and curriculum. Founders and Associate Founders teach or lecture in entrepreneurship classes and serve as mentors to students interested in starting businesses. The Founders Organization, started by a small group of determined entrepreneurs in 1986, is now comprised of more than two hundred members who have been instrumental in helping the Rollins Center become one of the most successful and highly ranked entrepreneurship centers in the country. The group is guided by the motto to Learn, Earn, Return.™

Dear Friends, The success of the Rollins Center this year is both gratifying and inspirational. With all that we are accomplishing we are foremost building capable and ethical leaders in the rising generation and thus a brighter future for our country. As a long-term investor in the Rollins Center I am proud of what we have achieved and what we will yet achieve through the remarkable students here at Brigham Young University. I am pleased to be serving as the Chairman of the Founders Organization, a group of bright, energetic, and accomplished entrepreneurs who are giving so much of themselves in time and treasure to support such a wonderful cause. I invite you to join with us in this worthy and worthwhile endeavor. Barry Smith Chairman, Founders Organization

CEO, Magellan Health Services

Barry Smith





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