Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, June 27, 2011

A Huntsman alumnus on entrepreneurship and what he learned from the Huntsman School

Today I had the opportunity to talk to a Huntsman alumnus about the innovations his company is making in the aerospace and wind energy industries.

Allan Wood is the CEO of AnalySwift (, a company that uses technology developed at Utah State to analyze composite materials and design structures made from them. From helicopter blades to bridges, companies like ATK, Boeing, Siemens and AeroVironment use AnalySwift’s software in their design and analysis. Wood said that they’re also getting involved with companies that produce the blades on wind turbines.

Wood said his experience at USU gave him key knowledge, experience and connections in building up his company.

Wood started AnalySwift this past March with Dr. Wenbin Yu, an associate professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering at USU’s College of Engineering. Wood graduated from USU with dual majors in marketing and finance in 2003, and followed that up with an MBA that included an entrepreneurship emphasis. He said the things he learned at the Huntsman School were invaluable when starting up AnalySwift.

Paul Lewis Siddoway
“My MBA classes were heavy with relevant coursework for the activities in which I’m now involved,” Wood said. “I think you get out of it what you put in, and I was thankful to have opportunities for real-life experience through coursework and internships.”

As part of his MBA program, Wood took classes uniquely suited to entrepreneurship, including studies on how viable business ideas are. When he was preparing to start his own business, he took the principles and procedures he learned in case studies and applied them to his own business plan.

“Starting in October, we went through the same feasibility study process for AnalySwift, and it looked very promising,” Wood said. “That gave me confidence that this was a good opportunity.”

Wood said it hasn’t all been very easy, but many of the resources used in the start up of AnalySwift came from connections made at USU, from the technology they use to legal agreements to the graphic design. They were helped by a grant from the state of Utah’s Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program.

“It took us a little longer that we though to get things moving and get things in place, but we’ve had some help,” Wood said. “We’re still fairly young, so we’ve been doing a lot of the ‘up-front’ stuff the past couple of months and we’re now trying to reach out and contact customers.”

Throughout the course of my experience at USU and the Huntsman School, I’ve made connections with other students and business professionals, and learning about what successful graduates are doing makes me excited to join the ‘real’ world.

Paul Lewis Siddoway

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