Westminster College Announces Opportunity Quest Business Plan Winners
Therapeutic sock company’s business plan takes first prize of $5,000
Contact Krista DeAngelis, (801) 832-2682
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 31, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College’s Institute for New Enterprise is pleased to announce MBA student Jeff Bischoff as the first place winner of the 2010-2011 Opportunity Quest business plan competition for his company “Massox,” a therapeutic sock company. The announcement was made at the fourth annual awards banquet on January 28 where he received an award check of $5,000.
Westminster’s Opportunity Quest is a campus-wide business plan competition that fosters and promotes business innovation at the university level by giving students a chance to create, develop and present their business ideas in front of a judging panel. Cash prizes were awarded to the first, second and third place teams during the banquet.
Massox is a sock manufacturer that brings therapeutic Asian well-being and combines it with classic American style. Massox is initially launching mens designer dress socks that contain patent pending therapeutic, acupressure massagers on the inside surface of the sock. These socks are made with 95 percent bamboo fiber.
“I believe there is a huge market opportunity in the U.S. for my product,” explained Bischoff, who came up with the idea after living in Korea for several years. “After conducting market research, I believe that now is the right time to take advantage of the current trend in footcare products and sustainable materials.”
And Bischoff is well on his way to establishing a successful company with his winning business plan.
“We are already building a website and the manufacturing and marketing are almost done. We will also conduct some large-scale consumer product tests as well as talk to some of the local retail outlets about Massox,” he added.
This year's competition included 20 teams and approximately 80 students. From September through January, students participated in educational forums on marketing, business plan writing, finance and intellectual property protection. In December, 10 finalists were selected from the executive summaries submitted. In January, 10 teams presented their business plans in front of a judging panel, and three winners were selected to receive cash prizes.
“The judging panel consisted of 10 judges, including local business leaders and venture capitalists,” said Garrett Clark, Opportunity Quest director. “The teams were judged on written and oral presentations and the scores were then combined.”
During the awards banquet, the 2nd place team, Wenxani, received $2,000. Led by team leader Eric Riddle, Wenxani is a non-profit organization that offers an online tool for tracking addiction recovery as a supplement to professional counseling. Xazzu Rice Pudding received a 3rd place check of $1,000. Led by David Dorris, Xazzu is a fast, casual and premium rice pudding restaurant that will launch in the Utah market based on a proven concept in New York.
As Westminster’s first place winner, Massox will automatically advance as a finalist in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (UEC), the statewide business plan competition open to all college students across the state. All teams participating in Westminster Opportunity Quest can compete in the UEC state competition. The first place winner of the UEC will receive $40,000 in cash to launch their company.
This year’s Opportunity Quest was sponsored by the KeyBank Foundation, Zions Bank and Strong and Hanni Law Firm.
To learn more about Westminster Opportunity Quest, visit www.westminstercollege.edu/opportunityquest.
About The Institute for New Enterprise:
The Institute for New Enterprise at Westminster College has established the Opportunity Quest business plan competition as one of its flagship programs to foster innovative ideas, and provide an experiential learning process to validate, plan and develop sustainable business models. The Institute for New Enterprise is housed under the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business with its overall mission to help individuals create organizations that promote independence and self-sufficiency, and make significant contributions to our communities. For more information visit: www.westminstercollege.edu/ine
About KeyBank Foundation:
KeyBank Foundation is a private foundation funded by KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY). Charitable grants are given by the foundation to charitable organizations in the communities that Key serves. Grants from KeyBank Foundation principally support organizations and institutions that promote economic independence through financial education and workforce initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion. Visit https://www.key.com/html/A-12.html to access Key’s Report on Philanthropic Investment, or download the report directly at https://www.key.com/pdf/philanthropicir.pdf.
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.