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MSU hosts business plan competition series

April 25, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

Carr’s Cords are more than just a fashion statement.
Chandler Carr, founder of Carr’s Cords, said each of his handmade bracelets contains 10-12 feet of military-grade paracord that can hold up to 550 pounds. He offers them to retailers across the South in custom colors suited to the retailers’ clients, he said, and he wears his own product to school, the gym, church and business meetings.

“If you ever do need it, you can actually use it,” Carr said. “Let’s say you broke your arm or anything like that, and you needed a tourniquet. ‘Stylishly Adventurous’ is my whole logo.”

Student entrepreneurs like Carr competed Wednesday at Mississippi State University’s 2012 Business Plan Competitions, a set of five separate competitions culminating in an award ceremony in McCool Hall’s atrium.
Carr won $5,000 for Carr’s Cords in the MSU New Venture Challenge. Other business plan competition categories included energy, e-commerce, engineering, and Android apps. Thanks to high-profile sponsors like Talos, Tellus Operating Group, the Thad Cochran Endowment for Entrepreneurship, Mark Dumas and C Spire, winners received large prizes to help capitalize their businesses.

Ben Nearn, a partner with Mulberry Ventures, served as a judge for the New Venture and engineering competitions. Nearn said he enjoyed the experience, and he felt several of the companies he saw deserved to be funded.

“I think they’ll go out into Mississippi and employ people,” Nearn said. “They will create wealth in their communities and learn a whole bunch in the process.”

Nimbus Mobile, LLC won $5,000 for first place in the Android App competition, and team member John Gazzini said the name references its focused on computer cloud-based services. Nimbus Mobile’s key product is Pool Doctor, a pool chemical calculator which stores chemical records online.

“This was one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had,” Gazzini said. “Nothing better could have happened for this company. To have seed funding like this, it’s just beyond a breath of fresh air. It’s a foundation you can actually build a business on.”

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