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Online shipping idea wins BYU Web Business Competition

With an idea designed to revolutionize online shipping, Marriott School student Matthew Pickard won the first annual Brigham Young University Web Business Idea Competition and a $3,000 cash award.

WEBIC is a new competition sponsored by the Rollins Center for eBusiness promoting the use of the Internet in entrepreneurship. Pickard’s business idea, eTake, is a Web site used to bid on shipping rates offered by individuals, not companies.

“eTake will connect people who need goods moved to a location with people who are going that direction anyway,” said Pickard, an MBA student from Green River, Wyo. “My father and Icame up with this idea last year while talking one evening. Ever since, I have wanted to develop it and try it out.”

Pickard’s business idea was chosen from 175 submitted to WEBIC. After the entries were narrowed down to 30, semifinalist students presented their ideas in a three-minute elevator pitch judged by successful entrepreneurs.

“We designed this competition as a link to the BYU Business Plan Competition, for which students can further their ideas into working business plans,” said Jeff Brown, program manager for the eBusiness Center. “Many of this year’s ideas have the potential to become successful e-businesses.”

As part of the competition, four finalists were each given mentors to help them prepare for final presentations, which were judged by the keynote speakers of eBusiness Day. Judges included Morgan Lynch, co-founder of Logoworks; Nick Efstratis, managing director of Wasatch Venture Fund; and Ben Peterson, founder of MingleMatch, Inc.

The second place winning idea was for Stream My Music, an online music server from which users can access their music anywhere. The Stream My Music team won $2,000 and was composed of Evrhet Milam, a junior majoring in information systems from La Crescenta, Calif.; Dan Posner, a pre-communications student from Avon, Conn.; and Nathaniel Graves, a senior majoring in information systems from Highland, Utah.

Angela Chau, a senior majoring in information technology from Broomfield, Colo., received third place and $1,000 for her Virtual Team Builder idea. When developed, this Web site will allow management within companies to build a virtual team of experienced professionals around the world.

“This year’s finalists planned viable business ideas, and the competition is an incentive for making them a reality,” Brown said. “We really hope these students take the leap to start their own e-business.”

The Marriott School i 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.

Writer: Irasema Romero

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