DENTON (UNT), Texas — University of North Texas students with innovative ideas for new businesses — including a company that produces a glossy fashion magazine staffed by UNT students — earned a total of $40,000 in seed money at the New Venture Creation Contest, hosted by the UNT Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship.
Out of 16 business plans presented to judges, four winners were chosen.
First place — $20,000: Method Seven Enterprises LLC, which aims to help retail clients better understand their customer base and retail environment to enhance the shopping experience, earned first place and $20,000. The company also produces Method Seven Magazine, a biannual fashion magazine designed and produced by UNT students for the 18- to 25-year-old demographic. A team of 45 people work on the magazine, including UNT students as models.
“We are very much committed to positivity using models of different body types and shapes to create a relatable publication,” said Adriana Solis, a UNT merchandising major who is founder and president of the magazine. “Our goal is not to dictate fashion but to interpret it.”
Second place — $10,000: Priscilla Montez, a fashion merchandising senior at UNT, earned second place and $10,000 for Priscilla Montez Designs, a company designing handcrafted leather accessories.
Inspired by mentor and Dallas leather craftsman Arthur Porter, Montez designs custom leather goods for men and women, working with the customer to produce one-of-a-kind products they can’t find in department stores. She designs, cuts and sews the custom leather goods herself – and handles advertising, sales and all other elements of the business, too.
“Now that I have the initial capital to move forward, there are no barriers stopping me,” Montez said. “I'm forever grateful for the opportunity UNT Murphy Center has given me.”
Third place — $5,000: Fly-Share, an app that simplifies the process of emailing attachments, clinched third prize and a $5,000 award.
“We’ve all gone through the email process, and if you’re sending a ton of documents, you don’t want to go through the attachment process 30 times as opposed to dragging and dropping,” said Corbin Fields, a UNT student studying business economics.
Social Enterprise Venture Contest — $5,000: Antwon Spears, who attended UNT from Fall 2012 to Spring 2013, earned a $5,000 award for Aha!, a non-profit that teaches elderly people how to use technology for free by offering workshops and more at retirement homes and community centers. The Social Enterprise Venture Contest award is given to a New Venture Creation Contest semi-finalist that demonstrates the greatest social impact through the new venture.
“People need a push financially, and this was my push,” Spears said of the award.
About UNT’s College of Business
The Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship is part of UNT’s College of Business.
With more than 5,600 students, UNT’s College of Business is one of the largest business schools in the nation and has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International since 1961.
With 112 full-time faculty members, the college offers 17 undergraduate degrees, 24 master’s degrees and 10 graduate certificate programs. Five centers and institutes in the College of Business create synergy among scholarship, research and teaching. Classes take place in the new 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building, which opened in 2011.
Students enhance their learning experience through student organizations, study abroad programs, internships and the Professional Leadership Program to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today's technological and global business environment.
Media: Photos of winners available on request.