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Waterproofing company wins 2009 BYU Business Plan Competition

The next generation of waterproofing is durable, breathable and environmentally friendly — and it is already here. The patent-pending technology, Hydrapel, can even make a paper towel withstand water absorption. Hydrapel was developed by Xeromax, the first-place winner at the 2009 Brigham Young University Business Plan Competition, taking home the grand prize of $50,000 in cash and in-kind services.

At the beginning of the event in October 2008, Xeromax entered the competition with 44 others. As one of three finalists, Xeromax presented their plan to venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and hundreds of students at the final event in April.

“The overall quality of the plans submitted was very impressive,” said Jonathan Ward, BPC director and second-year MBA student. “Several judges commented on the quality of our students' work. I anticipate great things are going to come from BYU's entrepreneurial-minded student body.”

The Xeromax team consists of Chris Bryant, a second-year MBA student from Leesburg, Va., and Jason Huntsman, a second-year MBA student from Cedar City, Utah.

Winning second place and $30,000 was KT Tape, a company that brings kinesiology therapeutic tape directly to the consumers. The tape has the same elasticity as skin and relieves pain by lifting skin off of the injured location to increase circulation. KT Tape already has an exclusive endorsement from Kerri Walsh, U.S. Olympic volleyball player who wore the tape at the Beijing Olympics.

Terra Nova came in third, winning the $20,000 award. The company provides environmental remediation for chemical contaminates in the soil. The natural elements take decades to break down harmful chemicals in soil — Terra Nova can do it with its patented technology in 21 days.

In addition to the Business Plan Competition prizes, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology awarded $5,000 each to Pink Coconut Design for best home-based venture and Fly Wheel for best Web-based business. The Global Management Center also awarded $4,000 to Yo-Kid for best new international business venture.

Jonathan Coon, CEO of 1-800-CONTACTS and winner of the 1995 BPC, spoke at the final event. He advised students that there is no better time to start a business than in college and specifically at BYU with all the resources at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Coon joked that the best way to become CEO is to start a company and appoint yourself.

BYU’s Center for Entrepreneurship founded the Business Plan Competition in 1993. The annual event, run by more than two dozen MBA students and a faculty adviser, is recognized as one of the top-tier business plan competitions in the nation in terms of prizes and participation. Winners from past BYU competitions include Klymit, Calle, 1-800-CONTACTS, uSight, Property Solutions and Alianza.

Xeromax also won second place at the Wake Forest Business Plan Competition in late March. KT Tape won first place and $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the San Diego State University Venture Challenge. They also received first place and $50,000 at the University of Oregon New Venture Challenge and first place and $40,000 at the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at the University of Utah. Terra Nova won second place and $1,000 at the University of Louisville Cardinal Challenge Fast Pitch competition.

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Jason Huntsman presents for Xeromax at the 2009 BYU Business Plan Competition.
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