Undergraduate Team Wins $250K in Startup Funding

Marriott Alumni Magazine
October 1 2004


BYU startup Property Solutions won $250,000 in funding from the National Institute for Entrepreneurship's Venture Bowl 2004, the nation's largest college business plan competition. Despite their undergraduate status, the BYU team placed first runner-up among more than three hundred competing teams from national graduate and doctoral programs. Property Solutions representatives David Bateman and Benjamin Zimmer received the award at two special ceremonies at Forbes magazine headquarters and HSBC Bank headquarters in New York City. In October the team won $50,000 as first-place finishers in Fortune Small Business Magazine's first "MBA Showdown."

"Placing first runner-up among such amazing competition was incredible. The $250,000 of prize money is also very exciting," says Bateman, a BYU student and president of Property Solutions. "For the last twelve months, we've been almost entirely focused on software development, but now we will have an additional budget for really marketing the software."

Harvard MBA graduate team Lean Forward Media placed first. Other finalists included third-place Robotic Surgical Tech, from Columbia's School of Medicine, and fourth-place TulipMed, a joint venture between MIT's doctoral engineering program and Harvard's School of Medicine. Only the top four finishing teams received funding offers from sponsor Carrot Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm.

This year's top twelve Venture Bowl finalists included two student teams from BYU. The second BYU team, Shaggy Bag, is a swiftly growing, unique furniture company that sells an alternative form of furniture bags filled with shredded foam, designed to conform directly to your body. Property Solutions' software, called RESIDENT WORKS, is an innovative new technology for the management of multifamily housing. RESIDENT WORKS allows apartment residents to pay rent online, process maintenance requests, or submit online applications through individual apartment community web sites. For further information about Property Solutions' software and services, visit their web site at propertysolutions.com.

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