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BYU student teams compete in multiple competitions

Published: Saturday, April 14 2012 1:17 p.m. MDT

Students in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University are keeping up with their meritable national rankings, and from award-winning business plans to No. 1 CPA pass rates, students are making headlines across the nation.

“We’re convinced that our students are our best form of advertising,” said Joseph Ogden, assistant dean of the BYU Marriott School of Management. “They typically perform very well when matched up against students from other top business programs in the country.”

For example, BYU students ranked among the top 10 finalists in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Software Design Competition. The team will be the only one from Utah in the finals later this month, according to an article by KSL.

The software, titled LegenDairy, is intended to help dairy farmers both lower the cost of feed and increase efficiency of cattle reports and lower the cost of farming. Team member Kevin Brown said he hopes the product will have an impact on the industry.

The team can either advance to the worldwide competition in Sydney, Australia, through either the formal judging procedure or get the Peoples' Choice Award through social media sites.

A group of BYU students and alumni are also competing at the Rice University Business Plan Competition this week, according to CNN Money, with a product that disinfects phones while the owner is sleeping.

This could well be the "next big thing," according to the article, because it is "the perfect product for a germ phobic nation."

There is more than $1 million that goes to winning competitors every year. BYU will be up against 41 other schools around the nation, including Stanford University, which will be presenting a technology that can help tell the age of blood at crime scenes.

Additionally, the Tulane Entreprenuers Association and others have chosen a BYU team among five other finalists for the 2012 Tulane Business Plan Competition and Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge.

The students created EpiQi Sciences, which "is a drug repositioning firm formed to reposition an already FDA approved drug from its existing disease to treat anemia of chronic inflammation." After the three-year window to complete this process, EpiQi will license the patent rights to pharmaceutical companies, according to a press release.

"The six companies chosen as finalists represent the value of conscious capitalism, making a difference in the world," Tulane Entrepreneurs Association President Court Robinson said in a press release.

The team was chosen out of 52 other student-founded companies and could win $50,000 if its company has the best sustainable model. This competition will happen later this week.

“Some of the factors that contribute to our students’ success in national competitions or on professional exams include the excellent instruction and coaching they get from our faculty as well as their solid preparation before coming to BYU,” Ogden said. “Many of them have great role models at home who encouraged learning and instilled a strong work ethic.”

BYU students are excelling more than just outside the classroom. The accounting program of the Marriott School, which ranks No. 1 in the nation, also leads nationwide with the highest CPA exam pass rate, according to U.S. News & World Report. BYU scores almost a whole three points over the second-place school, the University of Michigan, with BYU's 79.1 percent pass rate.

“It’s exciting to see them apply their knowledge and skills in so many different practical ways," Ogden said.

Email: tackerman@desnews.com

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