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USASBE 2008 Proceedings Page 0355 MASON BIODIESEL A FAMILY S NEW VENTURE IN A NEW INDUSTRY Matthew Eriksen Sykes College of Business The University of Tampa 401 W Kennedy Blvd Tampa FL 33606 813 257 3311 meriksen ut edu George H Jody Tompson Sykes College of Business USASBE 2008 Proceedings Page 0356 ACADEMIC ABSTRACT Mason Biodiesel LLC was a family business that opened in the spring of 2006 as the first biodiesel manufacturer in the state of Rhode Island Phil Mason was already the owner of a Service Master Clean franchise but was looking for another source of revenue and more predictable work hours Acting on the initiative of his middle son Phil studied the emerging biodiesel industry wrote a business plan and borrowed about 700 000 from a local bank With the help of his three sons he designed and built a manufacturing facility that was certified for production in the summer of 2007 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This case study describes the formation of a family business that was started in January 2006 in Rhode Island The family already owns a Service Master Clean franchise but is now diversifying into manufacturing biodiesel The setting of the case is the earliest stage of the organizational life cycle researching planning and launching the venture At the time of the case Mason Biodiesel has just obtained certification that its product meets industry specifications Now that the company is ready to begin producing it must focus on marketing and sales The decision point for students is to determine whether to focus on a single market or pursue multiple markets The case is also suitable for illustrating that 1 entering an emerging industry is more complex than a mature industry and 2 the decision making criteria used in a family business are often different than a traditional business The authors visited the facility in early 2007 and interviewed the Mason family During the same trip they also interviewed Dr Ihab Farag of the University of New Hampshire Biodiesel Group The

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