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Six teams advance to final round of UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition
17 April 2001

By Ute Frey, Haas School of Business

Berkeley -The University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business today (Tuesday, April 17) announced the selection of six teams to compete in the final round of the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition. The finalist teams have developed ideas ranging from biotech to medical devices to software and wireless technology. They will compete for more than $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a $50,000 first prize.

More than 65 venture capitalists, angel investors and successful entrepreneurs served as judges and evaluated the submissions. Another 26 entrepreneurs, professors and other professionals served as mentors to the teams that qualified for the first round and helped the teams develop their plans.

By bringing ventures led by UC Berkeley students and alumni in touch with Silicon
Valley's community of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and technology companies, the competition serves as a springboard for the campus's most innovative ideas and technologies.

The following six teams were selected to advance to the final round:

* Aprotea has developed a patent-pending biochip for parallel analysis of 100 to 10,000 protein samples. The chip provides a rapid and easy-to-use protein measurement system to enhance drug discovery.

* RAPT Industries developed Reactive Atom Plasma (RAP) processing, a proprietary technology for etching and polishing optical and semiconductor materials that is 10 to 10,000 times faster than existing technologies and operates at atmospheric pressure.

* Windoscope plans to sell Web-enabled image visualization and diagnostic software to HMOs and large integrated health systems and to provide software maintenance, training and consulting services.

* TruVideo intends to take advantage of the convergence of wireless technology and the Internet to become the video platform of choice for the emerging Web-enabled wireless device market.

* Solocom Inc. offers an Internet-based communications software service that can save customers time and resources in researching and procuring next-generation voice, video and data services by matching them with the optimal service provider in the market.

* iMeda Solutions will develop and implement process management and collaborative solutions that allow companies to make better marketing decisions by focusing on creating efficiency in their media, product design and management of information processes.

Two of these teams already have received additional honors beyond the realm of the Business Plan Competition. Aprotea won the "Best Management Team" award at last Saturday's Haas Social Venture Business Plan Competition finals. Likewise, the TruVideo team will compete in the finals of MBA Jungle's first annual business plan competition, while Long-Arm Computing, not selected as a finalist, will be an alternate in the MBA Jungle competition. Finally, in an interesting turn of events, one of the second-round contenders was forced to drop out after the team received seven-figure funding for their plan from the investment community.

If past contestants are any indication, these six teams have good times ahead. To date, the finalists of the competition have secured more than $95 million in funding. This year, the contest's 1999 winner, Timbre Technology, was acquired by Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) for $138 million.

Judges for the final round are Steve Domenik, partner of Sevin Rosen Funds; Mark Gorenberg, partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners; Susan Mason, venture investor of Onset Ventures; J. Neil Weintraut, general partner of 21st Century Internet Venture Partners; Rebecca Robertson, partner of Palladium Venture Capital; and Gary Rieschel, executive managing director of Softbank Venture Capital.

The competition will culminate on Wednesday, April 25, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in UC Berkeley's Sibley Auditorium at Bechtel Center, with a final public presentation of pitches from the finalists and the announcement of the first, second and third place winners, as well as the People's Choice award.

Demonstrating broad-based commitment to the competition, venture capital and high-tech sponsors supporting the competition include:

* Corporate Sponsors: CommerceNet, IBM, and Synapta.

* Venture Capital Sponsors: ComVentures, Motorola's corporate ventures group, Redleaf, and Sevin Rosen Funds.

* General Sponsors, CampSix, Qualcomm, RedHerring, PaloAlto Software, SkyFlow, and HotPaper.



Business Plan Competition Web site