Topic: Miller College of Business
April 9, 2008
A Ball State University entrepreneurship major recently won his second major business plan competition for his fledgling firm that combines a novelty gift with social networking.
Matt Bare, a 22-year-old senior from Yorktown, Ind., was the winner of the Nascent 500, a collegiate entrepreneurship contest sponsored by Ball State March 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He is the first Ball State student to win the annual competition.
Earlier in the month, Bare claimed first prize and $1,000 in an elevator pitch contest staged as part of the annual Collegiate Entrepreneurship Bootcamp sponsored by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Entrepreneurship.
During the Nascent 500, Bare had 500 seconds to put his PooYou.com business plan before judges while riding in a limousine around the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He advanced to the final around against three other teams and claimed the top prize of $10,000, a jug of cold milk and a spin around the historic oval in a Corvette pace car traveling at 80 miles per hour.
"This was a great experience to put my business idea on the line against some of the best college entrepreneurs in the country," Bare said. "The judging was extremely tough, as it should have been, considering the contest. This gives me a great deal of confidence to go forward."
PooYou.com features a novelty gift of worm poo. A "Poo-You" message is 100 percent organic and biodegradable, making it a perfect fertilizer. While it's real worm poo, it's been naturally sterilized and is odor-free. Worms consume dead plant matter, and in doing so, they excrete a natural fertilizer that provides food for plants.
In addition to the poo, offenders receiving one of the packages also get a small supply of seeds that they can bury with their Poo – and their bad behavior – in hopes that doing something good will make up for their evil deeds and wretched ways.
"Matt, who is a great student, produced a quality business plan and gave an excellent presentation," said Larry Cox, director of Ball State's Entrepreneurship Center. "We believe he will develop into a top flight business professional."
Rounding out the top four finishers at the Nascent 500 were teams from the University of Manitoba, University of Houston and Illinois Institute of Technology.
Achieving top national rankings since it was founded more than 20 years ago, Ball State's entrepreneurship program has become well known as the "ultimate entrepreneurial experience" because of the immersive learning opportunities provided to both undergraduate and graduate students. More information may be found at www.bsu.edu/entrepreneurship.