KAM Accelerometer, Inc., a company touting an electronic personal fitness device that measures expended kinetic energy, walked away—make that ran away—with first place at Brigham Young University’s annual Business Plan Competition.
A panel of business and venture capital professionals awarded KAM $50,000 in cash and in-kind services for the victory. Second place, with a prize valued at $35,000, went to Precision Surveying Solutions, which sells a data-collection device for surveyors and civil engineers. Third-place and $20,000 in cash and in-kind services went to Teton Recreation Cabins, a company that provides affordable, easy-to-assemble, pre-fabricated cabin kits.
“The endorsement of the judges and business plan professionals is just as much or more valuable than the award,” said co-founder of KAM Accelerometer, Stas Getmanenko, a business management student from Moscow, Russia. “The competition was impressive, with many strong teams—and for these respected people to say our idea has merit, adds to our credibility and helps to jump-start our business.”
This year’s judges helped whittle down 79 business plan entries to three finalists by examining each team’s understanding of the market, detailed evidence of potential success, experience and dedication. Business plans were submitted by students from more than 30 different majors on campus.
In addition to prizes awarded by the Business Plan Competition, several BYU centers awarded promising upstarts. The eBusiness Center awarded $5,000 to Collaborative Medical Technologies for being the best e-business venture. The Center for Economic Self-Reliance presented Radius with $4,000, naming it the top business plan with a strong social mission. The Global Management Center awarded $4,000 to the best new international business venture, Core Footwear.
Founded in 1993 by BYU’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the annual event is recognized as one of the top-tier business plan competitions in the nation in terms of prizes and participation. The competition is run by two dozen MBA students and a faculty adviser.
Past Business Plan Competition winners have gone on to build thriving business including 1-800 CONTACTS, uSight, Property Solutions and Alianza. Two past winners gained national recognition by also winning Fortune Small Business magazine’s MBA Showdown and placing among the semi-finalists in the Global Moot Corp Competition.
Last year’s winner, Alianza, has since raised more than $2 million in investment capital and was recently featured by BusinessWeek as one of “Academia’s Brightest Tech Stars.”