University Business Plan Competitions
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“The quality of the business plans was very high,” said Trevor D’Souza, a managing director of Mason Wells and competition judge. “I would hope it to be one of the driving forces of entrepreneurial activity in the state.”
Terrence Chatwin, Ph.D., director of the UEES, sees great promise for the Innovations Awards winners. "We’re excited about the potential of these Utah innovations to secure SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research grants) and venture funding to further develop their products and take them to market," Chatwin said. "We hope that the Edison Conference and the Innovation Awards help give our emerging high-tech innovators both the visibility and the guidance they need to compete, because we’re poised to be a leading high-tech center."
The “Eight Great” finalists in the 2003-2004 Wharton Business Plan Competition – the Great Eight, as the organizers call them – want to save the world with solar energy or cutting-edge medical devices, or see it from afar via a reusable space capsule, to name a few of the business plans presented.
Glennon said the conference for the first time will have a track of programs on tech transfer from universities. He said the presenters include Motorola, Battelle/ NASA, Caterpillar, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Purdue University and IllinoisVentures from the University of Illinois.
The competition was very close, said Gregg Adkin, general partner with Scottsdale-based Valley Ventures and chairman of the judging panel. MotionEase came up the winner because its product seemed to be further along in development and because of the size of its potential markets, he said.
other contestants will emerge from business plan contests at Marquette University and UW-Madison, two founding partners in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
This year competition organizers attempted to get more participation from the whole campus instead of just BYU’s business school. The campuswide push netted a 40 percent increase in business plans submitted, pitting 55 groups against each other in the for-profit category.
Dog-and-pony show for venture capitalists – Business school students compete for $25,000 and a chance to be heard – Pennsylvania team wins USF prize
The competition, which ends today, drew 25 teams of business students from as far away as the United Kingdom, India, China and Israel. The total prize pot was only $25,000 — a drop in the bucket compared with grand prizes offered by other competitions.
But organizers of the USF contest, now in its sixth year, say it is a major draw — more than 150 teams from 12 countries applied — because it gives would-be entrepreneurs the chance to be seen and heard by representatives of some of the bigger venture capital firms in the VC-rich Bay Area.
According to the plan, MRT produces a filtration tank designed to remove heavy metals from industrial wastewater. The product, created by CU associate professor Mark Hernandez, will reduce the cost of filtration by 35 percent.
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.
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