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UM $50K Business Plan Competition Winners Announced
The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) today announces the winners of the 2008 University of Maryland $50K Business Plan Competition, an event that has served as a springboard for several local technology companies.
Eight finalist teams comprised of faculty, students and alumni unveiled new technology companies to a group of distinguished judges from the region’s venture capital and economic development communities. First and second place winners were selected in each of three categories, as well as first and second place overall.
“This year's competition continues the event's strong tradition since 2001 of supporting innovative, commercializeable technologies created by members of the university community,” says Dean Chang, Mtech’s director of ventures and education and director of the Technology Advancement Program. “All of these teams displayed the same key traits in their plans and their presentations that past winners also displayed on their way to becoming vibrant, multi-million dollar businesses in this region. They all are attacking a significant source of pain with a combination of technology, diligence, and passion that may ultimately have a positive impact on society in areas such as medicine, infrastructure security, food safety, traffic management, and energy.”
Winners this year, broken down by division, included:
Faculty and Graduate Student Division
Undergraduate Student Division
Judges for the event were Henry Ahn, program manager of technology funding programs for the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO); Warren Citrin, co-founder and board member of Gloto Corp.; Ray Dizon, managing director of the Maryland Venture Fund; Wei-Wu He, general partner and co-founder of Emerging Technology Partners LLC; Mark Kass, member in the corporate practice of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo; and Karl Renner, a principal for Fish & Richardson P.C.
Sponsors for the event included: Fish & Richardson P.C.; the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development; the Maryland Technology Development Corporation; and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo.
The UM $50K Business Plan Competition promotes the commercialization of innovative ideas and University-created technologies by offering faculty, students, and alumni prizes for the best new venture plans. The competition emphasizes learning by offering one-to-one coaching for finalists, as well as the experience of presenting ideas to an experienced panel of judges.
In the seven years since its inception, the competition has served as a launch point for the commercial success of previous winners. Squarespace Inc. is now a top Web publishing and blogging platform on the Internet, with multi-million dollars in revenue. Another recent recipient, MacroPhage, developed a business plan centered on distributed denial of services detection algorithm. This innovation was licensed to RioRey, Inc., a leading provider of protection against distributed denial of service attacks.
AnthroTronix Inc. saw $2 million in revenue in 2007, spun off a subsidiary AT KidSystems Inc. in 2005, and has received grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation, Department of Education and National Institutes of Health for R&D in the educational and rehabilitation arenas. The company has contracted with customers such as the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, DARPA, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. Castle Duncan received $2 million in funding, went public through a joint venture with Real Logic Inc., and is purchasing a 146,000-square-foot factory to produce its vehicles.
Alertus Technologies cites millions in revenue, having sold thousands of its Alertus Notifications Beacons. The company's customers include universities, school districts, military bases and international projects.
Chesapeake PERL realized revenues of $2.8 million in 2007 and has grown to 13 employees. The company has had several grants from NIH, as well as small business innovation research grants from both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Energy. Chesapeake PERL is a supplied to a major agricultural chemical company. The company has expressed and received proteins in excess of 50, including some that no one else has done.
May 9, 2008