Two student businesses from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, Klymit and SchoolTipline, won honors and cash awards at the 25th annual Global Moot Corp Competition, considered the "Super Bowl" of business plan competitions.
Klymit, creator of a revolutionary insulation system for outdoor gear, won $5,000 as the first runner-up and was also recognized with the Outstanding Written Plan and Outstanding Product awards. SchoolTipline, an anonymous online communication tool to prevent bullying in schools, won $2,000 as one of six semifinalists and also received the Outstanding Presentation award.
“In our program we emphasize launching new ideas and disruptive technologies,” says Gary Rhoads, director of the BYU Center for Entrepreneurship. “The Moot Corp results show that our students are able to come up with ideas and products that allow them to make a real difference. Plus, they highlight the creativity and can-do attitude of our students.”
Held at the University of Texas at Austin, the Moot Corp Competition is the oldest and largest business plan competition in the world. It allows MBA student teams to simulate the process of raising venture capital. Thirty-two teams from around the world, each of which had won first place at a regional event, competed for top honors. NueroBank, a stem cell storage venture from Carnegie Mellon University, won the grand prize.
Klymit’s presentation team consisted of Nate Alder, a senior open major from San Diego, Calif., and Ben Maughan, a recent MBA graduate from Oak Hill, Va. Additional team members not at Moot Corp include Nick Sorensen, a recent entrepreneurship graduate from Salt Lake City; Mark Spencer, a first-year MBA student from Salt Lake City; Michael Albright, a second-year MBA student from Monument, Colo.; and Brady Woolford, a doctoral candidate in engineering from Spanish Fork, Utah. Klymit succeeded in seven other competitions this year, earning three first-place and three second-place finishes and collecting cash and in-kind prizes totaling $143,500.
Klymit’s patent-pending insulation utilizes noble gases instead of fabric for a thinner, lighter, warmer jacket that lets the user control the temperature. The technology has applications in a variety of outdoor gear, including sleeping bags, boots, pants and gloves.
The SchoolTipline presentation team included Justin Bergener, a senior sociology major from Zillah, Wash.; Barrett Edgington, a senior business management major from Orem, Utah; and Robert McMillen, a joint JD/MBA student from Twin Falls, Idaho. In two other competitions this year, the team placed first and second, winning $37,000 in cash and in-kind services.
SchoolTipline reduces school violence, bullying and drug use by providing an online communication service that encourages students to protect each other by anonymously reporting suspicious behavior.
“The reason these two teams did well is they have traction in the marketplace,” says Nile Hatch, the teams’ faculty adviser. “They are really unique because of the maturity of their ventures. They’ve put in a lot of work. They know their customers and have actually made sales. The students can show potential investors that they are able to overcome obstacles as they bring their products to market.”
For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.
Writer: Arie Dekker