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BYU student entrepreneurs rewarded for startups in annual competition

When they’re not studying, students usually fill their time by joining clubs, working side jobs or volunteering — but Brigham Young University's 2010 Student Entrepreneur of the Year prefers to spend his free time running a $1 million company.

For his first-place win, student Dallen Allred founded Stubtopia.com, a wholesale theater, concert and sporting event ticket retailer for in-demand shows around the country. He won $10,000 in cash and in-kind prizes and exposure to the Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology Founders, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who judge the annual event.

“The SEOY Competition honors students’ work ethic and courage to start a business while in school. It showcases student entrepreneurs commercializing their education — where they take their learning and ideas and make them come to life,” said Scott Petersen, Founders chair.

Rather than focusing on the idea, model or planning stages in business development, the annual competition evaluates student entrepreneurs on what they’ve accomplished with their businesses. Judged on their company’s revenue, percentage of growth and net profit, the three finalists compete for their share of $17,500 in awards.

Allred, a sophomore open major from Mapleton, Utah, conceived the idea for Stubtopia.com in 2005 when a friend paid nearly four times as much as he did for the same Broadway show after going through a last-minute broker.

 “I went home and withdrew $3,000 from my mission savings account and started to buy and resell tickets on eBay,” Allred said. “I learned the nuances of the industry and ended up with enough money to pay for my mission and then some. My mom was pretty happy with that.”

After securing investors, building relationships with entertainment venues and selling millions of tickets, Stubtopia.com is on track to make an estimated $1.4 million in revenues for 2010.

Eric Queatham, a senior studying entrepreneurship from Cody, Wyo., won the student choice award and came in second for his company, Great! Rooms and Mattresses. The retailer sells home furnishings and mattresses at a fraction of the price of big-name chain stores.

Popular local barbershop and salon Craig’s Cuts took third after a team presentation from Craig Guincho, a junior history student from Homestead, Fla., and Michael Perrone, a first-year MBA student from Austin, Texas. Craig’s Cut’s mission is to provide quality haircuts with great customer service for only $7.

Queatham and team Guincho-Perrone received $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

“The winners are role models to both aspiring entrepreneurs as well as students who already have their own companies,” said David Andrus, chair of the BYU–CEO club, the event’s official sponsor. “To see students who are doing well is encouraging for current and future student entrepreneurs.”

Past winners of the competition include Jonathan Coon, founder of 1-800-CONTACTS; David Bateman, founder of DearElder.com; and Jonathan Freedman, founder of DownEast Outfitters.

Supported by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, the SEOY Competition was founded in 1992 to reward degree-seeking students who manage their own businesses.

The Marriott School has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.

Writer: Carrie Akinaka

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