June 6, 2024, Salt Lake City, Utah

Forty-one founders graduated from the Master of Business Creation (MBC) at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business following the spring 2024 semester. This is the fifth and largest group to graduate from this unique and award-winning program designed specifically for entrepreneurs.

The group includes the first 15 people to graduate from the MBC’s online option and another 26 who graduated from the in-person option. The graduating MBC founders lead 39 startups in a broad variety of industries. Some startups had more than one founder in the program.

The MBC program is an academic offering provided by the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy in partnership with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Both are part of the Eccles School, which is ranked among the top 10 schools nationally for entrepreneurship by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.

“We are proud to be graduating our biggest MBC class ever and the first founders from the new online option,” said Paul Brown, a co-director of the MBC program and a faculty member in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy. “MBC Online allows founders to enroll in the program from anywhere, while receiving the same personal attention, applied curriculum, and opportunity to grow a startup. All program options provide a great value for entrepreneurs.”

Founders in the MBC program receive mentorship and resources to grow and scale their companies. All benefit from Eccles School courses, applied curriculum workshops, practicum labs, networking opportunities, one-on-one mentoring, and the intense learn-by-doing that occurs when lessons are applied to their own businesses.

The MBC program is one of the latest additions to the Eccles School, which celebrates entrepreneurship as a core value and fosters it throughout its undergraduate and graduate programs. The MBC program was recently recognized by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers for “Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation,” and the program won first place recently in the professional-services category in the Utah Innovation Awards managed by Utah Business and Foley & Lardner.

The MBC program was created to blend the best attributes of a business curriculum with a startup accelerator. The founders develop their startups while taking classes from leading experts and receiving extensive resources and mentorship to help them address their immediate business needs.

“We created the MBC program to be the perfect opportunity for working entrepreneurs that need support and structure to grow their business,” said Brown. “Founders in the program immediately apply everything they are learning to their businesses, and they graduate with the ability to scale a business and also an accredited master’s degree.”

Angela Grover is one of the first founders to graduate from MBC Online. She enrolled from River Forest, Illinois, and is a co-founder of Metopio, based in Chicago. The company provides access to simple data tools to analyze and share insights for public health, healthcare and community-based organizations.

Grover said she learned many things in the MBC program, including how to create a financial model to help determine where to deploy limited resources, evaluate the possibilities of channel partnerships, complete a competitive analysis and understand her personal leadership style.

“The MBC provides you with the knowledge you need to empower you to make key decisions,” said Grover. “The responsibility is with you, and the work you do in the MBC is absolutely necessary to running your business, so there is no wasted effort. Everything is additive and, I believe, made me more successful in my business.”

Justin Hicken was also among the first founders to graduate from the new MBC Online option. He enrolled from Spanish Fork, Utah, and is a co-founder of Sundial, a company that designs and manufactures residential solar trackers, which move rooftop solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, increasing their efficiency and broadening areas where solar panels can effectively be deployed.

“The MBC program helped me grow from just having a product to running a business,” Hicken said. “I learned how to be a CEO rather than just a product guy. I learned how to see a bigger picture and develop strategic plans for the future.”

He added, “The program helped me learn so much more about my business than I realized there was to know. It helped me become a better entrepreneur and business owner. I think anyone who is struggling with starting and growing a business would benefit immensely from the lessons taught in the MBC.

Hicken chose the online option because it fit his lifestyle. “The online option gave me so much flexibility for making time for both my family and my business,” he said.

Becki Wright graduated from the MBC In-Person option. She is the founder of Proximity, a software solution for political candidates, elected officials and governments that replaces the many disparate systems leaders use today. Proximity simplifies operations to connect current and aspiring leaders more closely with voters.

“The MBC program took what I understood about building a business and amplified it,” Wright said. “The accelerator-style format taught me to test, iterate and pivot to find the right solutions. With instruction geared specifically to my unique company needs, at times I felt the content was tailor-made for Proximity.”

Kian Torimi is another new graduate from MBC In-Person. He is the founder of Yubedo, a website that makes real-estate investing easy for beginners and empowers Realtors to add value to their clients through real-estate investing.

“I learned all the ins and outs of starting a company and what it takes to grow it,” Torimi said of the MBC program. “I also made incredible connections that are more valuable than any one class.”

Learn more about the Master of Business Creation and apply at eccles.utah.edu/mbc.

MBC Online Graduates for Spring 2024:

  • Boardlevel.io (Derek Wood, of Warner Robins, Georgia) – Provides stock option/compensation structures based on industry data.
  • Colter May Fine Art (Colter May, of Provo, Utah) – Fine art that honors the grandeur of the American West.
  • Essence of Ebony (Imani Powell, of West Jordan, Utah) – The natural-hair home for people of African descent.
  • Fabryc (Albert Candari, Bountiful, Utah) – A platform that simplifies the process of offering workforce benefits, including tax advantages, fringe benefits, lifestyle perks and well-being support.
  • Gorilla Shipper (Justin “JT” Mellecker, of Playa Vista, California) – Provides strong, reliable and eco-friendly shipping boxes for bottled products such as wine and olive oil.
  • goTeff (Saron Mechale, of Providence, Rhode Island) – A superfood and wellness brand using the ancient teff grain, the staple of Ethiopian runners.
  • Kings Music Studios (Angela Reyes, of Herriman, Utah) – Choir program and recording studio with choral-foundation teachings and performing opportunities.
  • Laketti (Kevin Lou, of Taylorsville, Utah) – Athleisure clothing that gives back by supporting organizations that support the community.
  • Lounge Littles (Zach Thurston, of Harrisville, Utah) – Premium children’s pajamas that are very soft and fit longer.
  • Metopio (Angela Grover, of River Forest, Illinois) – Easy data and tools to understand populations and places.
  • Mill Art Consulting (Camilla Fowler, of Cottonwood Heights, Utah) – Customized planning and advising on art-related projects for private and public entities.
  • NFUZ Tape (Steven Rosenbeck, of Nephi, Utah) – Kinesiology tape infused with essential oils.
  • RecoVRy (Christopher DuHadway, of Centerville, Utah) – Builds VR experiences to help physical therapy patients with dizziness.
  • SeedVue (Isaac Roach, of Salt Lake City, Utah) – Seed-management software developed for seed farms and companies.
  • Sundial Solar Components (Justin Hicken, of Spanish Fork, Utah) – Designs and manufactures single-axis residential rooftop-based solar trackers.

MBC In-Person Graduates for Spring 2024:

  • Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service (Kevin Chavira) – Professionally guided fishing and quality boat and equipment rentals.
  • Argus Entertainment (Austin Birch) – Uses AV tech, performance and crowd interaction to elevate event experiences.
  • Benji Card (Cory Morin) – Fintech that issues virtual credit card for healthcare-related payments.
  • Board Budder (Erik Smith) – Sells eco-friendly snowboard and ski wax and 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 high-end organic fertilizer and soil amendment using a process called vermicomposting.
  • Emi & Co. Art (Emi Dalton) – Fabulous, fun, affordable fine art for homeowners and interior designers.
  • Foam (Carson Young) – Laundry and dry-cleaning 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 direct-to-consumer companies make data-driven decisions.
  • Iskanchi (Kenechi Uzor) – Utah-based publishers of African Literature.
  • Ki Coffee (Brooke Hundley) – Curated coffee subscription boxes and pop-ups that focus on culture of coffee
  • Off The Rack (Susma Gurung) – Off The Rack aims to cultivate a community for young entrepreneurs while mitigating fast fashion.
  • One Goal (Cory McArthur) – An app on iOS, Android and web that helps couples stay unified in their financial goals.
  • OneHealth+ (Osei Boateng) – Providing quality primary healthcare services in West Africa using an innovative financing system.
  • Poiz (Chase Austin) – A digital training and coaching platform for athletic mental performance.
  • Proximity (Becki Wright) – A political-campaign and candidate/constituent management software tool, disrupting how campaigns are run and won and how elected officials can manage constituent services.
  • 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.
Share this article
The link has been copied!