Anna Perry MBA ’11 sold the judges on her idea and won the Annual Mason Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center and the MBAA Entrepreneurship & Innovation Club.
She pitched her business idea – called "Where Yat?" – during the competition finals on Wednesday, April 27 at Alan B. Miller Hall, before a panel of distinguished judges: Thomas R. Frantz, CEO of Williams Mullen; Charles A. Banks, former board member of Wolseley PLC; Catesby Jones, founder and president of Peace Frogs, Inc.; Connie Desaulniers, an artist and former marketing executive; Mike Bowers, President of Comark Building Systems; and Kermit Buntrock, founder and CEO of Buntrock Industries, Inc.
Where Yat, billed as "a location-based social networking smartphone app with a new twist," replaces street addresses with GPS locations for purposes of delivery.
"The idea came to me during a day at the beach with my dad," she says. "We ran out of food and thought, 'How cool would it be if we could call and have something delivered.'"
Where Yat is the tool that would make that possible. The application, still in its conceptual stage, would connect restaurants to its customers. Through the Where Yat app on their smartphone, customers would place an order and pay, and the restaurant would use the phone’s GPS location to deliver to the customer.
"Right now, GPS technology is not accurate enough to find a person in a crowd," Perry says, but once it is, she sees how Where Yat could be used by people tailgating before a game, in a park – or even the beach.
Perry earned $1,000 for winning the competition. She says she’ll need $750,000 to fully develop the application, but in the short run could use $10,000 to build a prototype. She plans to continue working on Where Yat after graduation, while pursuing a career in Commercial Real Estate.
Annual Mason Business Plan Competition Results
First Place ($1,000)
WhereYat is a location-based social networking smartphone app with a new twist.
Second Place ($400)
Corbett Drummey, Alex Kocher and Michael Whalen
The Company offers a premium 1-on-1 tutoring service that connects local parents with professor-recommended William & Mary students.
Third Place ($200)
Everything Near me
Provides a location-based online classifieds service, allowing people to limit their search to a certain radius from their geographical location, thus eliminating the majority of unwanted results.
Honorable Mentions ($100)
Sans Gluten Brewing
Stan Jackson, Brian Rothenberg and Eric Scalzo
Sans Gluten brewing will produce a better tasting, gluten-free craft microbrew initially to be marketed and distributed throughout Virginia.
Whispering Squirrel is a mobile application and website that gives businesses the ability to send targeted alerts, discounts and notifications on-demand to that have opted-in to the system.
Hayley SooHoo, Nishad Samant
We provide high quality and environmentally-friendly cleaning services to professional organizations seeking to maintain their places of business in an eco-conscious manner.
Eric M. Kirshenbaum, Bryce Ritter
MyGreenPad.com looks at the apartment rental industry in a unique new way. For the first time real estate developers will have the ability to market their LEED certified buildings on a national level.