MBAs to represent Colorado University in national business plan competition – huge honor for CU

CU’s team shoots for win with network security business

A team of four second-year MBA students at the University of Colorado will be in San Francisco today , trying to grab a top prize for a business plan they created.

By Erika Stutzman, Camera Business Writer,1713,BDC_2461_2645051,00.html

NetDog, the name of their proposed business, was built around technology developed by Antonio Carzaniga and Alexander Wolf at CU’s Computer and Communications Security Research Center.

NetDog, which is designed to work in network security, is already a winner: It won second place in the Leeds Business School’s graduate business plan competition.

The Licensing Executives Society selected the NetDog team to represent the Western United States. The LES is holding its first business plan competition during its annual meeting, being held today through Friday.

The competition was for plans that included a significant intellectual property element.

Carzaniga’s and Wolf’s invention is a multiclassifier technology that allows the automatic routing of separate packets of data to an appropriate process rather than routing all the data along the same path.

Chris Cahill, a member of the NetDog team, said the professors presented the technology to the business plan class he and his teammates were taking. Cahill, David Parkhurst, Jay White and Chip Fuller thought it had a shot at being at the base of a viable company.

"So the four of us formed a team to see what we could do with it," Cahill said.

The team devised a business plan that would use the technology in network security, trying to block hackers, viruses and other attacks. By routing pieces of the traffic to the right detection process, the team’s plan suggests NetDog can beat two problems in intrusion detection today: slow systems and dropped packets.

"Security is such a hot area right now," White said.

But the multiclassifier technology could be used in a variety of ways, Wolf said.

"It’s a pretty general technology that we’re developing and there are a number of ways that it could go," he said.

White said she doesn’t think NetDog has the right application for the technology. When the team was asked what they thought a winning application could be, there was no clear answer.

But they were clearly enthusiastic about the chance to represent the Leeds program in a national competition.

"I think it’s a huge honor for CU," Cahill said.

Other teams attending the competition include one from the University of New Hampshire and another from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Contact Erika Stutzman at [email protected] or (303) 473-1354.

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