The Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy in partnership with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business welcomed 47 founders into the award-winning Master of Business Creation (MBC) program starting fall 2023. They will be accelerating their startup companies in this rapidly growing program with help from personalized mentoring, applied curriculum, generous scholarships, access to grants and more.
Nineteen of the founders who started 18 companies are enrolling in MBC Online, a virtual, part-time option that spans three semesters. Twenty-eight of the founders who started 26 companies are enrolling in MBC Full-Time, an in-person option that spans two semesters. Some of the startups have more than one founder in the program.
The founders enrolling for fall 2023 have already made progress establishing their companies and are looking to increase sales and attract investors, among other goals. Their startups range from mobile emissions testing to clinical trials. See a complete listing of the startups below.
“This is our largest cohort since we launched the program in 2019, and we look forward to working with them one-on-one to address their business challenges and help build their companies into sustainable operations,” said Paul Brown, co-director of the MBC program and a professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy. “The program is designed to give founders the skills and experience they need to succeed.”
Applications are now open to join the MBC Online and Full-Time programs in 2024. Founders who want to enroll in spring 2024 should apply as soon as possible, while the priority application deadline to enroll in fall 2024 is Feb. 5. Space and scholarships are limited, so early applications are encouraged. Apply and learn more here.
“We invite all founders to explore this program, attend our online information sessions, and contact us with any questions,” said Taft Price, co-director of the MBC program and a professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy. “There is only one Master of Business Creation program, and we designed it to provide exactly the resources and information that founders need to grow their companies.”
The Eccles School created the MBC program to blend the best attributes of a top-tier business curriculum with a startup accelerator. The founders develop their startups during the program while taking classes from leading experts and receiving extensive resources and mentorship to help them address their immediate business needs.
The founders in the program are all entrepreneurs focused on creating a new business through applied curriculum, practicum labs and learning by doing.
The MBC program is one of the latest additions to the Eccles School entrepreneurship program, which is ranked among the top-10 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The MBC program also was recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) in the 2020 “Innovations That Inspire” member challenge.
Becki Wright is one of the founders in the MBC Full-Time program this year. She is the founder of Proximity, a political-campaign-management software tool that is improving the way campaigns are run and won.
“More than theoretical, the [MBC] program asks founders to use actual issues and tasks they face in their startup to fulfill program requirements,” she said. “Course instructors deeply understand entrepreneurial theory and best practice, and they are also storied and successful practitioners who share real-world expertise.”
By the time she graduates from the program, Wright expects to build the skills and confidence she needs to thrive as an entrepreneur. “I’m thrilled to be in the program with other fantastic founders and look forward to a productive and positive nine months,” she said.
Domus Go is another new founder in the MBC Full-Time program. He is the co-founder of Dash-P, which provides software that helps pest-control companies manage crucial metrics and insights for their sales representatives.
“The MBC program has given me a one-of-a-kind opportunity to grasp essential business principles from a truly personal perspective,” Go said. “What sets this program apart is its remarkable faculty and mentors, who are not just educators but successful entrepreneurs and founders in their own right. Each one brings their distinctive approach to teaching, offering invaluable insights.”
Arjun Gill enrolled in the MBC Online program from Fort Collins, Colorado. He is the founder of securesample, which provides a secure method for people to submit body-fluid samples. The company’s patented auto-locking cap prevents contamination from the environment when giving a sample.
“The MBC program is very unique because the goal of the program is to make your individual business successful,” Gill said. “The material learned in class is directly applied to each founder’s business. We are essentially ‘graded’ on how well we apply the course concepts to our individual business.”
He added, “The online program benefits me greatly as I live in a different state and didn’t have to pack everything up and move to Utah. Its flexibility allows me to continue pursuing other hobbies I have, such as coaching high school basketball.”
Daniel Diehl enrolled in the MBC Online program from Logan, Utah. He is the founder of Utah Mobile Emissions, which allows customers to test their vehicles whenever and wherever it is convenient.
“My background is not in business, and running a company is intimidating,” Diehl said. “I enrolled in the MBC program to gain the skills and knowledge needed to effectively run this business. … My favorite part about this program is how hands-on it is. What we learn during class I can apply immediately to my business and see an immediate impact.”
Here are more founder statements:
- “Because I am in the online courses, I am able to dictate my own time, plan my own days. My business still gets 100% of my focus during work hours, and my class gets 100% of my focus outside of work hours. I believe this really helps especially where I am at in my business.” – Brandon Brooks, MBC Online founder of Vit Brand Entertainment
- “I hope to gain the skills and make the connections necessary to realize our overall strategic objectives to move from making it from paycheck to paycheck to truly thriving and accomplishing our goals of building, growing, engaging and empowering communities through clinical research.” – Bella Tukuafu Johnson, MBC Full-Time founder of Kalo Clinical Research
- “The unique part about the MBC is the people that are in your cohort. You get to be in the same room with some of the most incredible and smartest individuals who also have a business that are wanting to make an impact in their communities.” – Zully Davila Amenero, MBC Full-Time founder of Mahalo Car Share
Learn more about the Master of Business Creation program and apply at eccles.utah.edu/mbc.
MBC Online Founders Fall 2023
Here are the startups and the founders enrolled in MBC Online program starting fall 2023 (in alphabetical order by company):
- Bodomint (Rebecca Waldron) – Online premium diaper bag designers and sellers.
- Clear Water Distilling Co. (Matthew Eau Claire, Stephanie Eau Claire) – A distillery that crafts and sells premium spirits.
- Gforce Learning (Susan Kingsley) – Software to convert PowerPoint documents into e-learning compatible files.
- Ghost 13 (Landon Hull) – Limited-edition firearm cases and accessories.
- Hope in Art Association (Kassidy Ricks) – Art supplies and instruction for women in need to help the healing process of trauma.
- Idaho Barkery (Sabrina Sherwood) – Gourmet, all-natural dog treats.
- Leorian Education Refugee Service Provider (Susan Knott) – Unique curriculum and childcare centers for refugee children.
- Maintain Bicycles (Michael “Tiger” Chase) – Mobile bike maintenance and repair.
- Mandala Pies (Caitlin LaComb) – Pie bakeries on the Maryland shore.
- Zippi Pops (Dane Eyerly) – Shelf-stable, caffeine-infused freeze pops.
- securesample (Arjun Gill) – Secure fluid-sampling technology.
- Sexy Donut Company (Christine Mather) – Meal and treat preparation service for college students, ordered by parents.
- Small Business To Go (Jeffrey Lunt) – Marketing and operational services for small businesses.
- Utah Mobile Emissions (Daniel Diehl) – Mobile auto-emissions testing.
- Vida (Samuel Mehr) – Data and analytics for marketing teams in a cookieless tomorrow.
- VitBrand Entertainment (Brandon Brooks) – One-stop-shop for artist booking, management and production services.
- Wonder Arts (Alexanna Wonder) – Artwork based on tarot, witchcraft, herbalism and nature.
- Guided (Connor Chase) – Guided combines meditation with AI to unlock effective and affordable mental well-being
MBC Full-Time Founders Fall 2023
Here are the startups and the founders enrolled in MBC Full-Time program starting fall 2023 (in alphabetical order by company):
- Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service (Kevin Chavira) – Professionally guided fishing and quality boat and equipment rentals.
- Argus Entertainment (Austin Birch) – Argus Entertainment uses AV tech, performance and crowd interaction to elevate event experiences.
- Benji Card (Cory Morin) – Fintech that issues business credit cards.
- Board Budder (Erik Smith) – Board Budder sells eco-friendly snowboard and ski wax and Board Budder branded apparel.
- Bombora Ties (Greg “Zeke” Greer) – Producer of men’s neckties from a recycled material, designed around lifestyle sports aesthetic.
- Category One Games (Scott Church) – A leading resource for out-of-print collectible card games and trading cards.
- Cortex Evolution (Dan Lathen) – Personal development with science-based brain coaching and peer partnerships in 3D virtual worlds.
- Crossover Clothing Co. (Bo Wilkinson) – Empowering college athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness through clothing and merchandise.
- Dash-P (Domus Go, Isaac Tai) – Software that helps pest-control companies manage crucial metrics and insights for their sales representatives.
- Dirt Club (Boston Richins) – A producer of organic fertilizer and soil amendment using a process called vermicomposting.
- Emi & Co. Art Inc. (Emi Dalton) – Fabulous, fun, affordable fine art for homeowners and interior designers.
- Foam Laundry (Carson Young) – Laundry service for students and young professionals. It provides laundry washed, dried and folded in under 24 hours.
- Insighta (Matthew Liu) – Cloud-based data insights platform that helps D2C companies make data driven decisions.
- Iskanchi (Kenechi Uzor) – Utah-based publishers of African Literature.
- Kalo Clinical Research (Isabella “Bella” Johnson) – Providing pharmaceutical companies with clinical data from study participants to improve medicine.
- Ki Coffee (Brooke Hundley) – Curated coffee subscription box that focuses on culture of coffee
- Mahalo Car Share (Zully Davila Amenero) – Car rental company, with hourly and daily rates that allows customers to conveniently reserve and pay online, self-serve pickup.
- Off The Rack (Susma Gurung) – Off The Rack aims to cultivate a community for young entrepreneurs while mitigating fast fashion.
- One Goal (Cory McArthur) – One Goal is an app on iOS, Android and web that helps couples stay unified in their financial goals.
- Onehealth (Osei Boatang) – Providing quality primary healthcare services and an innovative financing system.
- Poiz (Chase Austin) – Poiz is a digital training and coaching platform for athletic mental performance.
- Proximity (Becki Wright) – A political-campaign management software tool, disrupting how campaigns are run and won.
- Sellaboo (Adam Wilson, Terry Wilson) – Sellaboo is a business-to-business software solution providing an automated customer nurturing process to small business.
- Studio Newf (Faith Ivory) – A design studio serving large and small companies, for-profit and non-profit companies. Services include video, photography, design and interiors.
- The Boob Bus (Rena Vanzo) – A mobile-screening mammography, genetic testing and Botox service.
- Yubedo (Kian Torimi) – Making real estate investment accessible to all through intelligent analysis.
About the David Eccles School of Business
The Eccles School is synonymous with “doing.” The Eccles experience provides a world-class business education with a unique, entrepreneurial focus on real-world scenarios where students put what they learn into practice long before graduation. Founded in 1917 and educating more than 6,000 students annually, the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business offers nine undergraduate majors, four MBAs, eight other graduate programs, a Ph.D. in five areas and executive education curricula. The School is also home to 12 institutes, centers and initiatives that deliver academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit Eccles.Utah.edu or call 801-581-7676.
About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at Lassonde.Utah.edu.