updated 9/9/2010 5:21:00 PM ET 2010-09-09T21:21:00

PHOENIX, Sept. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- iMergent, Inc. (AMEX:IIG), a leading provider of e-commerce software, site development, web hosting and search engine optimization for businesses and entrepreneurs, discussed results of a contest they held at Brigham Young University (BYU) where students were provided free website hosting and a chance to build and run an e-commerce website using the Crexendo web building platform. All the students who entered the contest were full time students and were required to carry a full course load. Seventy student teams entered the competition, 17 completed and published websites by the contest deadline. The results showed that 13 of those 17 teams managed to in the contest time develop an e-commerce website which was profitable. All the teams were allowed to retain their website after the contest and many are intending to continue to use their websites.

The competition's student lead, Thomas Gosney, said the competition motivated teams to try entrepreneurship in the form of online marketing. "As a critical first step in entrepreneurship, a website allows students to create a business without the large amounts of capital that other types of businesses require," he said.

First-, second-, third- and fourth-place websites won $8,000, $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 respectively.

Fourth-place winner Adam McMurtry commented, "One of the best things about this contest was Crexendo's execution. They taught us how to build a business from nothing, and get web presence in just 3 months. The execution on awards and prizes was incredible." Adam still operates his site and maintains a #1 position in his search rankings using what he learned from Crexendo. His site, www.SimplifyEngineering.com , sells a plug-in for Microsoft Excel that automatically converts units of measure.

Perhaps the best example of lasting effects from the contest is its winner, Brady White. He and his teammate, Kyle Klein, built the site www.NoteSync.com to sell a computer application Brady had created. Since then they've had over 60,000 downloads and have signed on as an early partner in the Adobe Melrose project. It will enable them to sell their application as part of an Adobe storefront with other top applications.

Third-place winner Devin Collier was working in marketing part-time while attending BYU and decided to build a website for a local chiropractor. He still operates a similar site because of his experience and says the chiropractor's current success is directly attributable to the Crexendo contest and tools.

Curtis Heyman and his partners, Shane Larsen, and Dustin Cook, didn't win the contest but managed to use the site they built to pull in about $35,000 of new business for a pool maintenance company. The business owner still gets leads from the site. "The customer support played a big part in helping us complete the project," said Curtis. You can still see the site they built at www.AZPoolRepairService.com . Partly because of the work Curtis did on that website, Crexendo hired him shortly after the contest ended.

Competing websites were scored on appearance (15%), mechanics (35%), marketing (25%), overall idea (25%), plus there was a bonus category called Traction, wherein contestants could earn up to 10% extra points for actual leads or sales their websites brought in.

Crexendo President Clint Sanderson stated, "I am pleased with the results of the contest. We think it is remarkable that students, many with no web building skills who were carrying a full-time class load, took the time necessary to develop what in some cases were extraordinary websites. Both we and the students were able to use this as a learning experience. We have learned more about the needs of our customers, and this contest will help us to continue to optimize our software. We believe the university contest is a model we can and will replicate at other universities. We hope it will provide an opportunity for potential customers to learn the benefits of our platform and for us to continue to improve the experience of our customers."

Crexendo intends to extend the contest to the University of Utah and California State University at Fullerton in addition to repeating the contest at BYU. The program is an ideal way to give students free experience in entrepreneurship and website-building.

The Crexendo Business Solutions, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7604

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