Students share startup stories

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    By Laura Ashby

    Members of BYU”s Collegiate Entrepreneurs” Organization shared startup stories last Thursday.

    Brant Choate and Cody Nolden are both juniors studying information systems, but that is not the only thing they have in common. These two student entrepreneurs started “simpleslice,” a simple and easy-to-use Content Management System for non-technical users.

    These two Web-savvy students said they started simpleslice because they saw a need for an easy-to-use Web site managing system at the McKay School of Education. They now have several clients using their Content Management System and are looking to employ additional Web developers. Their Web site is simpleslice.com and e-mail address is info@simpleslice.com.

    In consideration of the current state of the economy, Choate and Nolden formulated a strategic approach to gain new clients.

    “Our strategy at the moment is to build Web sites for people, put our product on the back end of it, let them use it for a month for free, and then after that they”ll hopefully realize they can”t live without it and then we”ll charge them a monthly fee,” Choate said.

    The real power of simpleslice is its ability to create customized add-ons for a company so the company does not have to hire outside professionals, Nolden said.

    “It”s beautiful, object-oriented goodness; I love it,” Nolden said.

    Dan Conger, a sophomore from Niceville, Fla., studying accounting, also spoke at the CEO meeting about his startup company.

    When Dan Conger, Ethan Choi and Lance Kohler served the people of Korea on LDS missions, they realized a need for English education in South Korea and started Eleet Education Solutions.

    “When we were over in Korea we saw that there was a need for quality English education,” Conger said. “There are a lot of English teachers that will skip out on their job, go country-hopping or show up to work hung over. It”s not fair to the institutions that hire them. We noticed that with the quality of students in the Provo, Utah, area we can really fill that void.”

    The company provides English education learning to Koreans by sending English teachers to English education institutions in South Korea. The teachers are offered a nearly all-expenses paid one-year trip to teach in Korea.

    Eleet accomplishes its goal not only through English teachers in Korea, but also through the use of Skype, a service that allows users to make phone calls over the internet free-of-charge. Koreans participating in the program can talk to English teachers using Skype.

    The company was started a couple of months ago and will be sending out their first group of English teachers soon, Conger said. Those interested in participating in the program can visit Eleet”s Web site at www.eleeteducation.com or e-mail info@eleeteducation.com.

    LDAshby@aol.com

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