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Meet our Most Promising Campus CEO Winners!

Meet our Most Promising Campus CEO Finalists!

Catherine Cook

Catherine Cook

Montgomery High

Location: Skillman, NJ
Year in School: High School Senior

myYearbook logo

myYearbook.com

Industry: Social Networking

Business Description

myYearbook is a social networking site built completely around the high school. I started it in April 2005, getting the idea from flipping through a regular yearbook with my brother. We both agreed that yearbooks should be online and started brainstorming possible features like superlatives, classes, groups, wills, and personal profiles. A few days later, I petitioned my older brother to invest $250,000 into my idea. myYearbook launched in Montgomery High School in April 2005. In the first week in my high school, 200 students signed up.

myYearbook became available to every high school in the world in September 2005. After 9 months in all high schools and colleges, myYearbook reached 1.3 million members. Now myYearbook has 1.7 million members mostly between 13-22 years. Unlike other sites, myYearbook has better search options, far more features including over 80,000 online quizzes and image contests, and has "the youngest users" (Media Metrix).

Launch: April 2005

Executive Summary: Most of my team is fresh out of college making them young and connected to the market. My brother, my first investor, works full time at my office and offers his experience of starting his own site while attending Harvard University. I have a programming team in both my office in New Hope, PA, and in Mumbai, India. Having both teams of programming allows me to have 24/7 attention to the site and very quick implementation of new features and servers. Members support personnel aid me in the 3,000 emails I receive daily and control the help desk.

MyYearbook's marketing strategy is simple: t-shirts and thongs. I offer my members a free t-shirt or thong with every five members that they get to sign up using email, MySpace, or instant messengers. As a result, hundreds of t-shirts and thongs are sent out every week. This strategy promotes the word of mouth advertising that site relies on. Even from the beginning, I spread word about myYearbook by wearing funny myYearbook t-shirts everyday to school. After hundreds of classmates signed up, they brought me all of there ideas for the sites so I could implement them into the site.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

I am one of the most accomplished entrepreneurs in the United States. In just one year, my website myYearbook.com achieved more traffic than even Friendster, with over 4 million unique visitors per month. As the founder, I wear many hats, including publicist, and have been written about on the front page of CNN.com, ABC News, Fox News, CosmoGirl!, Red Herring, and three mentions in BusinessWeek, among literally hundreds of smaller publications and media outlets. Since my launch, I have raised $4.25 million in venture capital, in a Series A financing as well as $500,000 in angel investments.

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Corey Kossack

Corey Kossack

Millionaire or Bust cover

Grand Canyon University

Location: Tucson, Arizona
Year in School: College Senior

Koss DVD, LLC

Industry: Internet Retail (eBay)

Business Description

Koss DVD sells DVDs, video games and books on eBay and kossdvd.com. After selling 25,000 DVDs and creating $500,000 in sales during our first year (2005), Koss DVD was given a "top seller" designation by eBay, placing us amongst the top 200 sellers in all of eBay. Koss DVD's products are all brand-new and sourced from the largest U.S. distribution companies. Aimed at the bargain shopper, Koss DVD offers competitive pricing below retail, professional customer service and hard to find media titles.

I am also the President and Founder of ProfitBuilder Software (risk and profit management software for eBay sellers) and Entrepreneur Education Group, an independent publishing company which published my first book. I am also the author of eBay Millionaire or Bust, a revolutionary new guide to profiting on eBay, and the President of Club Entrepreneur, which aims to be the largest entrepreneurs' organization in the world.

Launch: January 2005

Executive Summary: After already establishing Koss DVD as a major player in the media category on eBay, I have spent the last half of 2006 establishing a new IT system that will automate most of our order fulfillment needs, so that Koss DVD can grow sales without much increase in labor costs. A vast majority of other large sellers on eBay rely on service companies such as ChannelAdvisor and MarketWorks to automate many of their processes, which these companies perform in return for 2% of the seller's gross sales revenue. With margins getting tighter in the eBay market, this 2% loss of revenue will badly hurt the profitability of these large sellers. Conversely, I have had my own systems developed at low cost to handle these issues without any need to waste 2% on a service company.

In addition, I recently signed a new deal with the largest DVD distributor in the United States that will allow us to grow from our current line of 1,000 products to over 10,000 products by the end of the first quarter of 2007, all without any increase in inventory costs, which has been the primary growth deterrent for Koss DVD thus far. All products will be sourced from large warehouses spaced throughout the United States. As an added bonus, I have also negotiated an additional 1% rebate on our annual net purchase volume from our primary distributor. This extra 1% will allow us to keep an edge on the competition and maintain strong and stable profits. Furthermore, I have arranged for suppliers to produce exclusive bundle packages for Koss DVD that will not be available to other internet retail companies or eBay sellers. After sales of $500,000 in 2005 and an estimated $600,000 in 2006, the increase in product selection and the addition of the new automated IT system is expected to yield sales of $3,000,000-$5,000,000 in 2007.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

At age 23, I have created more than $1,000,000 in sales for Koss DVD, written and published my own book and created a patent-pending software program for eBay sellers. I have spoken at eBay's annual convention, eBay Live, in front of 1400 eBay PowerSellers and asked to train eBay's account managers. I have spoken at the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference and gave the Keynote at ASU's Business Skills Day in front of 1100 future business leaders of America. I have been featured by Entrepreneur Magazine's eBay Startup Guide and was named a leader of the "Power Generation" by the Business Journal.

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Seth Flowerman

Seth Flowerman

Career Explorations logo

Cornell University

Location: Morristown, NJ
Year in School: College Junior

Career Explorations

Industry: Education

Business Description

Career Explorations (CE), with programs in both Boston and New York City, is the premier residential summer internship program for high school students. Offering both 4 and 6 week options, CE allows participants to explore a field of personal interest through a tailored internship while gaining a competitive edge for college.

CE provides each program participant with housing and a meal plan at either the Juilliard School in New York City or Emerson College in Boston. Safety is our primary concern and we maintain a 7:1 student to staff ratio and provide two levels of security at both residence halls.

In addition to internships during the day, CE provides extensive evening and weekend activities in both Boston and New York including theatre, sporting events, concerts, cultural events, and much more. Program participants also gain insights into college and career options through expert seminars. More information is available online at www.ceinternships.com.

Launch: July 2003

Executive Summary: Career Explorations, LLC, (CE) based in Morristown, New Jersey, offers personalized summer internships in Boston and New York City to high-school students from around the world. Our structured and supervised programs allow students the freedom to explore an exciting host city, while maintaining an appropriate level of comfort and safety. Now in our fourth year, CE is a healthy, profitable, and growing company with a strong management team and competitive positioning.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

After a financial internship in London, I wrote the business plan that eventually became Career Explorations (CE). That business plan won the 2003 National Young Entrepreneur Challenge run by Saint Michael's College. Inspired, I incorporated CE, and by late 2004, I was named the National Student Entrepreneur of the Year by Junior Achievement.

At Cornell University, while simultaneously increasing CE's sales by over 500%, I became the president of the Cornell Entrepreneur Organization (CEO) and served as the sole student member of the prestigious Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year (CEY) selection committee. I have also been featured on Forbes.com.

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Melissa Amor

Melissa Amor

beautiphil logo

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Location: Baltimore, MD
Year in School: College Senior

Beautiphil LLC

Industry: Personal and Beauty

Business Description

Concept: A luxurious mobile salon that travels to its customers. Establish a reputation for top-notch service within major business districts in the Baltimore/Washington region; and revolutionize the beauty industry as the only traveling salon operating in this area.

Products/Services: Beautiphil offers high quality salon services including: hair cut and style, full manicure services, massages and facials. Services will be friendly, and in an elegant environment with personalized individual attention. Beautiphil understands that time is important; therefore customers are ensured a fast and memorable experience that can be completed within 30 minutes.

Target customers/market: Individuals with limited time or mobility. Business professionals, home-bound residents, residential college students.

Uniqueness: Beautiphil goes to the customers. Unlike traditional salons with wait times ranging from 10 minutes to 50 minutes, Beautiphil operates on a strict time schedule, allowing customers to have virtually no wait time and minimally interrupts their own personal schedule.

Launch: January 2008

Executive Summary: The love for beauty is at an all time high, and with countless Americans spending millions of dollars on their appearance, this presents an opportune time to invest in this fast-growing and never-ending market. Beautiphil, a love for beauty, is a traveling salon that brings the elegance and personal service of high-end salons closer to you.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

  • Finished second place with Off World Wealth Inc. in the MoshPit Business Plan Competition against approximately 400 other entrepreneur student lead teams/companies from the Baltimore area in the Spring of 2006.
  • VP of Marketing and Public Relations from 2004-2006. Helped the founders of Openposting.com market the first online classified community marketed toward college students.
  • UMBC Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization (CEO Club), cofounder, Chief Legal Affairs Officer (2005 - Present) and previously PR and Marketing personnel.
  • UMBC Toastmasters President. Previously VP of Education 2005, VP of PR 2004

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Kevin Azpeitia

Kevin Azpeitia

St. Mary's

Location: Stockton, CA
Year in School: High School Senior

Auto-top Industries

Industry: after-market auto parts

Business Description

Many pick-up trucks on the road today have hard-top fiberglass covers on the backs of the beds. These covers can weight up to 300lbs and have compressed gas shocks to make them able to be opened by the owner of the vehicle. But even with these shocks, lifting the lid can be a very difficult task. I have created a system using a simple wiring scheme and linear actuators to make these lids open and close automatically with the push of a wireless remote. My initial idea is to make kits that can be sold on the internet to the various installation businesses across the country that install the hard tops. The kit will include all the necessary parts and manuals to install the automation to any bed hard cover. Customers would include owners of trucks with hard-tops, installation businesses, and hard-top manufacturers.

Launch: July 2007

Executive Summary: I strongly believe that my proposed idea is one that has great potential. It is a business that can easily be managed due to the fact that it will be internet based. Orders will be taken online and shipped out accordingly. My product will involve the assembling of kits including various items necessary to automate pick-up truck hard covers. The parts necessary will be easy to package and ship out. The cost of these kits will be relatively inexpensive in relation to the cost of the hard-tops themselves.

Having an internet based company will mean little cost in running the company, leading to a large free cash flow from profits which can be used for expansion. There will also be no need for extra employees. Customer service will be the only glaring need for constant attention. Customers can contact via email or phone. This would make for the ideal business to run for a college student. Demonstrations could be sent to prospective customers through email and on the website. The kits would be made with a small number of options, including choices of wireless remote access to the cover, a hard-wired switch to control the cover from inside the cab, and instructions to wire the cover to an existing after market alarm.

Hard-top covers are a very common after-market product on pickup trucks today. My product would extend to a broad range of makes and models, including Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, and Dodge trucks. There are also numerous manufacturers of hard-top covers, most notably Snug-Top. My product will be able to be adapted accordingly to each brand of hard-cover. Wiring will also be simple as it only needs one connection to the positive lead of the car's battery and one to a grounded contact on any surface connected to the frame of the car.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

I believe I have to potential to become a promising campus CEO. With a class schedule that includes the highest math, science, and history classes available, I possess the necessary intelligence. I have worked as a forklift operator for the past 5 years at a packing shed near my home. This has enabled me to gain a strong work ethic and become familiar with mechanical and electrical tasks, such as the one I have discussed in my proposed company. I'm also familiar with money management, as I oversee several bank accounts including my own and those of family members, managing stocks and investments.

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Matt Lauzon

Matt Lauzon

Paragon Lake logo

Babson College

Location: Biddeford, ME
Year in School: College Senior

Paragon Lake

Industry: Jewelry Manufacturing

Business Description

I have a partner in the business, Jason Reuben. He is also a senior at Babson College.

Jason Reuben
Jason Reuben

Paragon Lake is an online supplier of fine custom jewelry. We hand craft each piece at the time of the purchase and maintain the highest quality controls in jewelry manufacturing. While hand crafted orders traditionally take about six weeks, our manufacturing process allows us to deliver our pieces to the customer in about one week. Our business has been in operation for four months and was named one of the top five businesses in America run by people under the age of 25 by BusinessWeek.

Launch: August 2006

Executive Summary: Paragon Lake is your online destination for fine jewelry hand crafted at the time of your purchase. At the time of purchase, one of our jewelers is assigned to your piece and work begins immediately. Our focus on keeping the entire process under one roof allows our company to save you money while insuring that each piece passes a series on quality controls. We have also developed strong supplier relationships which means we do not have to absorb inventory costs and we can pass a thirty day guarantee on for our customers to have their piece independently appraised.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

I am currently a senior at Babson College through the Arthur M. Blank scholarship program, which is given to Freshman with the most potential to start and run a company. I have also been selected by BusinessWeek as one of America's top five entrepreneurs under the age of 25.

I am proud of my background which includes growing up in a blue collar mill town. My father, who passed away in 2005, instilled the values of working hard in me.

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Sehba Mohiuddin

Sehba Mohiuddin

Kaplan University

oxygen8online logo

Location: Bolingbrook, IL
Year in School: College Senior

Oxygen8Online

Industry: Healthcare

Business Description

Oxygen8Online (O8O) is a comprehensive and interactive resource for individuals who have asthma. We seek to consolidate information from industry experts, local weather agencies, and users in an effort to streamline facts to clients upon demand. O8O has three main areas of focus: expert advisers, symptom tracking tools, and a virtual support group. We plan to generate income through the use of advertisers and sponsors, as we would like to provide a free service for asthma sufferers.

Our strategy is to provide a one-stop source for asthmatics to get accurate, relevant, and customized information; expert counsel; and support from other individuals with asthma. Our ability to help clients simplify their care by consolidating information is what gives O8O a competitive advantage in the marketplace. O8O's potential clients are a) individuals who suffer from asthma, and b) individuals who care for those with asthma.

Launch: August 2007

Executive Summary: Oxygen8Online (O8O) was founded out of the need to curb the incidence of asthma flare-ups with the utilization of interactive online tools. O8O is a comprehensive and interactive resource for individuals who have asthma. We seek to consolidate information from industry experts and local weather agencies in an effort to streamline facts to clients. We provide users with customized delivery of information upon demand. Our mission is to make asthmatics breathe easy by providing useful, accurate, and up-to-date information that will help manage symptoms effectively.

O8O is founded and maintained by licensed and credentialed professionals who specialize in treating individuals with asthma. We are constantly networking with various industry-related associations and experts to gather reliable and current information. We realize the degree of difficulty in breathing can vary from person to person. Therefore, we offer tracking tools for peak airway flows and local weather alerts, pollen count, and humidity. Users can ask our experts questions related to asthma; they can participate on discussion boards; and they can lobby local and federal legislative bodies about their concerns. Our competitive advantage lies in our ability to simplify and consolidate l information and deliver an action plan to our clients upon demand.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

My career as a Respiratory Therapist has provided me with 18 years experience of working with asthmatics, their physicians, and their caregivers. I'm a Certified Asthma Educator and I work as a Clinical Specialist in the field. I have a Health Care Management Certificate and I am on my way to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management from Kaplan University by March 2007. What makes me the Most Promising Campus CEO is my passion to launch and grow a business and in doing so provide a valuable and potentially life-saving service.

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First Class Laundry logo

Matt Newill

DePauw University

Location: Zionsville, IN
Year in School: College Junior

First Class Laundry

Industry: Delivery Services

Business Description

First Class Laundry is a delivery laundry business. We offer all students on campus the opportunity sign up to have their laundry done, as we pick up their dirty clothes at their dorm room, wash, dry, and fold the clothes, then return them back to the students within 48 hours. The service is offered to any and all students of the university, and the pick up and drop off time is agreed upon by our managing director. The target customers are always freshman, as they offer the longest potential revenue stream. We also market heavily to the male fraternities and off-campus houses that do not have laundry facilities in their homes. We are unique in that we are entirely compliant to every request of the individual customer, reinforcing our incredibly flexible and convenient service. We offer internet, phone, email, and direct personal contact to further service each customer.

Launch: August 2006

Executive Summary: First Class Laundry has broken through into an incredibly profitable market. The university market is one that somewhat resembles a monopoly, as the campus at DePauw University is very secluded from other towns, and no other delivery laundry service is present to offer competition. The potential clientele is an affluent, over-committed student population. With this clientele, our customers sign a year long contract that guarantees us upfront cash, while offering them an assured schedule of when their laundry will be picked up for the entire year. This customer market and contract plan has been a success, as the condensed and well-connected campus offers rapid word of mouth referencing and easy access to all students.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

I possess the ability to look beyond the daily trials of the business, and see the broader, brighter plan for success. A vital asset of successful CEOs is the ability to communicate with his/her coworkers. I can communicate with anyone from a CFO to an entry level employee. In the past I have been a White House intern, an assembly line worker, a commercial real estate intern, and am currently enrolled for an internship at the Treasury Department. I am an Economics and Spanish double major, the president of my pledge class, and was the president of my high school.

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Tian Tan

University of Illinois Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL
Year in School: College Junior

Emergence Technologies

Industry: Biotech

Business Description

Emergence Technologies is a fusion of existing biosensor and wireless technologies to monitor at risk populations for impending emergencies. We're unique in that we're able to detect, analyze and transmit emergency alerts unlike something like Life Alert. We're also unique in that we're able to detect for more than one emergency—for example, fusing a biosensor for temperature and heart patterns to detect for signs of sweat and irregular heart beat associated with stroke and transmit an alert before the victim has the opportunity to get to a phone. Our targets are the elderly, hospital emergency rooms as well as older populations at risk for heart disease.

Launch: December 2006

Executive Summary: Emergence Technologies is developing wireless medical devices dedicated to alerting medical officials to pending emergencies and hopefully save lives. Utilizing existing wireless and biosensor technologies, our patent pending product will analyze vital signs for patterns that lead to critical situations in at-risk populations and make interested parties aware of these changes. Our product will allow for timely intervention, which will decrease complications and hopefully, increase access to care. Emergence Technologies will eventually develop our product with the full realization of mobile ad-hoc networks, which will allow us to reach remote regions and markets of the world to bring medical attention to places that generally do not receive proper care. Emergence Technologies will also increase the precision of our biosensors as well as the number of biosensors utilized to increase our product line to analyze the vital signs of other diseases. Emergence Technologies is focused on bringing proper emergency care to at-risk populations in the Chicagoland area and will become the premier provider of wireless biosensors to nations and markets around the world.

Qualifications for Most Promising Campus CEO:

I am a triple campus rep for Dell Computers, Shock Magazine, and Experience which allows me to bring marketing and business experience to the table alongside my science/medical research. I'm also a biology major and have worked previously under a Department of Defense grant for breast cancer research as well as environmental research at Argonne National Laboratory. I currently also work as an intern at the City of Chicago Dept. of Public Health—bringing me first-hand knowledge on dealing with at-risk communities in Chicago. I am also the previous UIC Undergraduate Business Plan Competition winner from 2005.

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