Students Get Their Startups Started

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What occupies your mind while walking to class? Waiting for a ride? Trying to fall asleep at night? For Kyle Taylor, it’s always been the same thing—his next big idea.

“I kind of have this disease where I’m always thinking of business plans whether it’s commuting to work, in the shower, or on a run,” says Taylor, a first-year MBA student from Dallas. “My whole life I’ve been coming up with different ideas.”

His passion for entrepreneurship is what brought him to Startup Boot Camp on 19 September. The event, put on by the Marriott School’s Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, is a day dedicated to getting your startup, well, started. Students spent a Saturday listening to guest lecturers, connecting with and getting feedback from other entrepreneurial-minded peers, pitching plans, and jumpstarting their business models.

“It’s nice to get a fresh mind on the idea or to find someone who’s not in love with it and hear their perspective,” Taylor says. “I was excited about what everyone had to say. I’ve learned things I had never considered before.”

This year Taylor brought his latest big idea, Latitude. He and fellow student Brody Horton, a second-year MBA student from Layton, Utah hope to create a platform that allows tour guides from around the world to offer their services digitally. With their app, guides will be able to lead tourists through GPS routes and audio recording. They believe this will give tour guides an additional revenue stream and tourists more flexibility.

Taylor and Horton plan to enter Latitude into several upcoming competitions and used the boot camp as a way to get ready. The event offers students the unique opportunity to get feedback from several individuals who will be judges during the competition season as well as refine or kick start their startup plans.

Doug Hicken, a second-year MBA student from Riverside, California who helped plan this year’s camp, says he learned the benefits of attending last year.

“Every year this thing gets better and better as we learn more and get feedback from the students,” he says.  “This year was even better than last year, and hopefully it continues to improve. The more students who learn the start-up method the better and more successful they’ll be in their career no matter what they do.”

The next Startup Boot Camp will be held on 16 January. Visit miller.byu.edu for details.