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Undergraduate team wins student competition at the Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge


   

YouFolio Team Left to right: Alex Freedman, Steven Zimmerman, Matthew Moore, and Kayvon Nikbakhshian (Not pictured: Robert Wagner)


BLACKSBURG, Va., April 20, 2012 – In today’s job market, job seekers are looking to separate themselves from the crowd and better share their skills and qualifications. A group of undergraduate students at Virginia Tech believe their emerging business – YouFolio – can help.

The students are a step closer in the development of YouFolio after competing at the Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on April 11. A panel of judges selected the YouFolio team over four other student groups comprised of fellow Virginia Tech undergraduate and graduate students in the student section of the competition.

The winning team included founders

  • Matthew Moore of Vienna, Va., a sophomore majoring in finance in the Pamplin College of Business;
  • Kayvon Nikbakhshian of Vienna, Va., a sophomore majoring in business information technology in the Pamplin College of Business;
  • Robert Wagner of Roanoke, Va., a sophomore majoring in computer science in the College of Engineering;
  • Alex Freedman of Fairfax, Va., a sophomore majoring in hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business; and
  • Steven Zimmerman of Falls Church, Va., a sophomore majoring in business information technology in the Pamplin College of Business.

YouFolio is a website designed to help job seekers build an online portfolio of their work, skills, and areas of expertise. Users can upload documents, photos, videos, and other content to their profiles. In addition, YouFolio allows the user to tag words within their profiles, enhancing their chances of showing up in search engine results.

“Winning this challenge is just the first step to involve the community,” said Nikbakhshian, co-founder of YouFolio. “We see it as Hokies helping Hokies. We want more people tied to Virginia Tech to get involved in its development to help other Hokies find jobs one day.”

Moore, co-founder of YouFolio, says the encouragement they have received on campus has been amazing. “Our peers have believed in us so much. We have also had the opportunity to meet with some of the college deans and professors who have been very supportive.”

The YouFolio team won $10,000 in scholarships plus access to workspace within The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center this summer. They also qualified to participate in the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge in August. The team’s expenses will be paid for the week. They will compete against other entrepreneurship student teams from across the globe for a $25,000 grand prize. Two runner-up teams will receive a $5,000 cash award.

Universities Inc., a concept to allow students access to online courses from a variety of college and universities, won the Open Business Concept Competition. The group will receive $5,000 in start-up services from VT KnowledgeWorks as well as workspace in The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center for one year.

To read about the other competitors in the student and open competition, go to the VT KnowledgeWorks website.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a program of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation) and serves as a connection between the entrepreneur community and Virginia Tech. It is supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors, and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in Blacksburg, Va.