91 EnTERPreneurs Enter, Nine Remain: University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition Finalists Unveiled

The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) announces nine finalists for the University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition. Now in its twelfth year, the competition has spurred the commercialization of university technologies and served as a launch pad for multi-million-dollar companies.

Finalists were selected among 28 semi-finalists and 91 initial entries. Submitted as full business plans, entries were judged based upon their value proposition, competitive advantage, target market, business model, intellectual property, and clarity.

Finalists will present their companies in-person during the University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition finals, held on April 20 at the Riggs Alumni Center, during which a panel of judges from the regional venture-building community will decide which teams win a share of $75,000 in prizes.

Finalists, listed after the technologies they are developing, include:

Graduate Student, Faculty and Researchers Category

  • Contaminant Detection: Diagnostic anSERS is developing a system for detecting contaminants such as pesticides, explosives, and toxins in food products, ground water and other liquids.
  • Advanced Power Generators: RedOx is developing power generation technologies for a variety of applications.
  • Precision Nanometer-Length Machining: zeroK Nanotech is developing ion source technologies that enable the precise machining, analysis, and imaging of materials on nanometer-length scales.

Undergraduate Student Category

  • Precision Suturing Devices: Archon Medical Technologies LLC is developing suturing devices for gastrointestinal surgery that improve surgeon performance and patient outcomes.
  • Freshness-Indicating Milk Cartons: The ColorCarton Group is developing new packaging for milk cartons that show how fresh milk is and when it has spoiled.
  • Accurate and Better-Fitting Blood Pressure Cuffs: CROME Solutions is developing new blood pressure cuffs that are more accurate and fit patients’ arms more precisely.

Recent Alumni Category

  • Hands-Free, Concealable, Quiet Breast Pumps: Discreet Secrete Solutions is developing an effective, hands-free, concealable, and quiet breast pump that allows women to discreetly pump in the presence of others.
  • LED-Powered Visibility Vest: Seke LLC is developing an LED-powered visibility vest for recreational, professional, and military applications.
  • Non-Chemical and Non-Ablative Melanoma Treatment: Sonify Biosciences LLC is developing a novel melanoma treatment based on non-chemical, non-ablative ultrasound technology.

Judges for the business plan round of the competition included: Zvi Band, founder/CEO, Contactually and co-founder, DC Tech Meetup, ProudlyMadeinDC, DC Tech Meetup and ProudlyMadeinDC; Bill Bellows, partner, One White Pixel and adjunct professor, University of Maryland; Jim Bodycomb, former telecommunications executive; Leslie Bradshaw, president and COO, JESS3; Peter Corbett, Founder and CEO, iStrategyLabs; Joseph Mortati, lecturer; Howard Pedolsky, CEO emeritus, Ukram Industries; Jesse Thomas, CEO and founder, JESS3; and Dave Troy, CEO, 410Labs.

The University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition is administered by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), an initiative of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Previous winners include five multi-million dollar ventures, including Squarespace and Lurn, both of which were named to the Inc. 500 list for the second straight year.

The competition encourages students, faculty and researchers at the University of Maryland to leverage their talent and ideas to create tomorrow’s leading companies. The competition process, its mentors, partners and cash prizes have helped many students, faculty and researchers build their own companies.

Sponsors of the 2012 competition include Fish & Richardson P.C.JESS3Lockheed Martin, theMaryland Biotechnology CenterNixon Peabody LLP and Warren Citrin.

For more information about the University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition finalists and the finals event, visit www.bpc.umd.edu.
About Mtech (www.mtech.umd.edu
The mission of Mtech is to educate the next generation of technology entrepreneurs, create successful technology ventures, and connect Maryland companies with university resources to help them succeed. Founded in 1983, Mtech has had a $27.8 billion impact on the Maryland economy and helped create or retain more than 7,000 jobs. Top-selling products such as MedImmune’s Synagis®, which protects infants from a deadly respiratory disease, and Hughes Communications’ HughesNet®, which brings satellite-based, high-speed Internet access to the world, were developed through or enhanced by our programs. Billion dollar companies such as Martek Biosciences and Digene Corporation graduated from our incubator. Mtech offers three experiential learning programs and 21 entrepreneurship and innovation courses, served to 865 enrollees in 2011, at the pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels.

University of Maryland Expands Lineup of Spring Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competitions

Nearly a Quarter-Million Dollars in Prizes to be Awarded at Four Events Encompassing Startups, Business Plans, Healthcare and Clean Energy

The University of Maryland will host four business competitions this spring, including two new, nationwide competitions focused on healthcare and clean energy. Prizes totaling $230,000 will be awarded across the four competitions spanning just over three weeks from March 30 to April 25, 2012. This new series of competitions is a collaborative effort among multiple schools and departments and aligns with UMD President Wallace Loh’s strategic priority of entrepreneurship and innovation and the university’s goal of creating 100 new companies over the next decade.

  • March 30, 2012 – Cupid’s Cup, a business competition for student and alumni entrepreneurs, began in 2006, thanks to the generous support of one of UMD’s most successful entrepreneurs, Kevin Plank (’96), founder and CEO of Under Armour. The competition is designed to identify and support students and young alumni who have already started their own businesses and will be held at the Stamp Student Union. A total of $25,000 will be awarded as part of the annual UMD Entrepreneurship Invitational. The application deadline is Feb. 19, 2012.  Candidates must have generated at least $5,000 in revenue, won funding through a university-sponsored business competition, or have a completed product and proof of traction.
  • April 20, 2012 – The University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition, now in its 12th year, encourages UMD students, faculty, researchers, and recent alumni to leverage their talent and ideas to create compelling business plans for tomorrow’s leading companies. Since its founding in 2001, $627,000 in prizes has been awarded. Five previous winners are now multi-million dollar ventures, including current and former Inc. 500 companies Squarespace and Lurn. Executive summaries are due Feb. 26, 2012. Finals will be held at the university’s Riggs Alumni Center.
  • April 20, 2012  The inaugural Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge inspires students nationwide to develop solutions that radically improve healthcare outcomes by using information technology to improve patient engagement with health care providers.  Universities nationwide have been invited to enter teams of as many as five members to compete for a $20,000 first prize and a pair of $5,000 runner-up prizes. The final round of presentations will be at the University of Maryland’s Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center campus in Washington, D.C. Competitors have until Feb. 24, 2012 to register and March 6, 2012 to submit a plan for a patient-centered, healthcare business model.
  • April 25, 2012 – The inaugural $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge is a result of UMD’s selection by the Department of Energy to be part of its National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition to support and empower the next generation of American clean energy entrepreneurs. The ACC Clean Energy Challenge is open to students from all Atlantic Coast Conference schools, as well as other universities in the southeastern U.S. Executive summaries and a video of an investor pitch are due March 23, 2012. The ACC Clean Energy Finals will be held at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, with the winner receiving $100,000 and moving on to the DOE Grand National Finals in Washington, D.C., in June 2012.

About Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Maryland
The University of Maryland educates the next generation of entrepreneurs, creates successful ventures, and connects Maryland companies with university resources to help them succeed. UMD is ranked as one the nation’s top schools for entrepreneurship and innovation as a result of 25 years of collaborative effort from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship in the Robert H. Smith School of Business and the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Highlights include: three experiential entrepreneurship learning programs and 30 entrepreneurship and innovation courses serving more than 1,200 students at the pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels; monthly entrepreneur office hours and mentoring/pitch programs with experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence; a global entrepreneurship program with partnerships in China and Israel; a technology incubator/accelerator startup program with more than 100 graduates including billion dollar companies such as Martek Biosciences and Digene; and an on-campus angel network of more than 40 active, accredited angel investors and venture capitalists for early-stage capital. UMD has had a $25.7 billion impact on the Maryland economy and helped create or retain more than 5,300 jobs. Top-selling products such as MedImmune’s Synagis®, which protects infants from a deadly respiratory disease, and Hughes Communications’ HughesNet®, which brings satellite-based, high-speed Internet access to the world, were developed through or enhanced by UMD programs.

More information is available at:

http://www.mtech.umd.edu
http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman
http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/chids
http://www.umd.edu

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