In an age when most people go straight to the internet for information, an effective website is key to a company’s success. Getting students to understand that reality and teaching them how to create and implement effective internet marketing strategies was the goal of the inaugural Brigham Young University Crexendo Online Marketing Competition, which culminated in an awards ceremony April 9.
Two master of information systems management students, Brady White from Orem and Kyle Klein from Provo, won both the $8,000 first-place prize and the audience choice award for NoteSync, a computer program for synchronizing to-dos and other notes with Google Docs. The team also received four tickets to a Utah Jazz playoff game and a year of free web hosting from Crexendo.
“The competition forced us to think outside the box and to look for new ways to do online marketing,” Klein says. “We had to build everything from scratch, but that gave us a chance to make the site look really good.”
More than 70 BYU student teams entered the competition, which was narrowed down to eight teams who presented their websites and marketing plans at the awards ceremony. Teams used Crexendo’s eCommerce Content Management System to build their sites and create a web presence.
A panel of three judges — consisting of a Marriott School of Management professor, a Crexendo employee and a third-party consultant — then selected winners based on the site’s appearance and mechanics along with the team’s business model and marketing plan.
Thomas Gosney, the competition’s student lead and a senior studying manufacturing engineering from Kingston, Wash., says the competition helped motivate teams to jump into entrepreneurship and the exciting world of online marketing.
“As a critical first step in entrepreneurship, a website allows students to create a business without the large amounts of capital that other types of businesses require,” he says. “It’s a simple step that almost anyone can take.”
Second-place team Leading Electric, third-place team CzechMate and fourth-place team Engineering Paradise each won $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.
The event was hosted by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and sponsored by Crexendo Business Solutions Inc. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Imergent Inc, Crexendo provides web services to entrepreneurs and businesses enabling them to market and sell their business products or ideas via the Internet.
Crexendo president Clint Sanderson says he looks forward to the future of the competition and the prospect of helping students start successful online business ventures.
“We are excited about enabling future entrepreneurs and technologists with the tools needed to start an online business,” Sanderson says. “We hope to inspire and recognize creative thought in an area essential to fostering workforce readiness, financial management and economic well-being using the Internet.”
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, please visit our online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.
Writer: Dustin Cammack