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Sam Penrod ReportingA group of BYU students is heading home from New York City after receiving a prestigious honor. The student efforts to start a new business has landed them on the front cover of a national magazine, beating out entries from the nation's best business schools.
Inside a humble looking cinderblock building on Provo's south side could be some of America's rising business stars. Now gracing the cover of Fortune Magazine's small business edition, employees of Property Solutions got a big surprise this week when friends started calling.
Ben Zimmer, Property Solutions: "She said one of her friends had already seen the cover and that we were on it."
Along with gracing the front cover of the magazine, the prize includes a 50-thousand dollar check, handed out in New York City.
The company started as part of a contest at BYU's business school. An idea surfaced when founder David Bateman's wife came home complaining about her job managing an apartment complex.
David Bateman, Property Solutions Founder:: "I looked at the list of things that were bothering her and realized that just about everything could be solved with a better piece of management software."
From that Bateman and his partners developed what's become an online computer software package to help manage apartment complexes. The students, not all of whom have graduated, plan to re-invest their prize money in the company and use the national exposure to springboard into the property management marketplace.
Jeramy Morrill, Creative Designer: "I think we're just going to go up and up. I actually left a job, it seems like here it is such an opportunity"
Better yet, Property Solutions is already making a lot of money, but they say they are earning every penny they make.
David Bateman: "Hard work is what makes it happens. Everybody here has been very dedicated to the business."
Still, with a national award in hand these entrepreneurs are off to a great start. The company's software is already being used by 45 companies in several states. Incidentally, the company's founder is still 18 credit hours short from earning his degree from BYU.