Westminster Graduate Gets a Leg Up in the Sock Industry
A class assignment becomes a unique business through Westminster entrepreneurship program
SALT LAKE CITY – Jeff Bischoff found most socks to be boring, virtually unchanged for decades, and saw an opportunity to reinvent the staple accessory. While living in Korea Bischoff wore socks that massaged and relaxed his feet. After six years of searching for this type of sock in America, and not finding anything similar, he created his own.
Bischoff’s company, Massox™, started as an assignment in his business plan development course in Westminster’s MBA program where students were required to take their own business concept and identify a business model with commercial potential.
Bischoff took the basic premise he found in the Korean socks and incorporated patent pending acupressure massagers on the inside surface of the socks. Next Bischoff needed a business model to make the product marketable. Throughout his entrepreneurship courses Bischoff received one-on-one mentoring from Linda Muir, director of the Institute for New Enterprise at Westminster. Muir guided Bischoff through the process of developing and executing a business plan.
“Feedback from real entrepreneurs like Linda was crucial to learning the ins and outs of running my own company,” said Bischoff. “She also introduced me to local business leaders, helping me create a network.”
“The Institute for New Enterprise provides students with individual mentoring by faculty experienced in new ventures,” said Muir. “Classes are designed to increase students' understanding of entrepreneurial leadership, and key principles to building economically sustainable business models. We also reach out to our community network to further help students find additional expertise, resources, and industry knowledge. Jeff is an excellent example of a determined entrepreneur who was willing to learn and take advantage of every opportunity presented to him.”
Bischoff entered his business concept in Westminster’s annual business plan competition, Opportunity Quest. Massox™won first place in the 2010-2011 college competition. Bischoff then went on to be named a finalist in the statewide Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge, winning the Best Written Business Plan Award, $5,000 and the award for Best Brand Identity.
Bischoff graduated with an MBA and certificate in entrepreneurship from Westminster then launched Massox™ on Nov. 11, 2011. The initial launch of designer men’s socks are made of 75% bamboo, a sustainable, strong and soft fiber. The stylish socks also boast scientifically proven benefits of acupressure. The company is experiencing steady sales and is negotiating with online retailers as well as brick and mortar stores to widen distribution. The Fiscal Times recently named Massox as one of “9 Wacky Student Business Plans That Could Succeed.”
Bischoff credits the Institute for New Enterprise at Westminster with enhancing his knowledge, skills, and network to make his business idea a reality and turn boring socks into an exciting business venture.
For more information about Massox™ visit http://www.massoxshop.com.
Media Contacts: Krista DeAngelis and Arikka Von (801) 832-2682
Dec. 12, 2011
About The Institute for New Enterprise:
The Institute for New Enterprise is housed in the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. Its overall mission is to help individuals create organizations that promote independence and self-sufficiency, and make significant contributions to our communities. To accomplish this, the institute provides extensive training in the skills of entrepreneurial leadership: innovating, validating, planning, funding and launching new ventures. The institute offers an exciting learning format that bridges the gap between formal education and real-world experience. To learn more, go to www.westminstercollege.edu/ine.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu or follow WestminsterSLC on Twitter.