New Venture Challenge winners announced
A team of entrepreneurs made up of M.B.A. students in the Universitys Graduate School of Business has been awarded the $20,000 first-place prize in the sixth annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge business plan competition at the Graduate School of Business. The group won for its company Occuity, which designs, manufacturers and supports asset tracking equipment for transporting hazardous materials and tamper-sensitive shipments.
The second-place award of $10,000 went to Advanced Chromatography Systems, a firm that develops innovative liquid separation technologies for use in a variety of industrial processing applications. The third-place prize of $5,000 went to Maroon Biotech, a firm that will commercialize poloxamer technologies for the treatment of injuries and diseases.
In addition, five finalists received $2,000 each and an additional five received $1,000 each. The 59 teams that entered the competition made business-plan proposals spanning various industries, including healthcare, retail, software, financial services, information technology and services.
“This year was by far the best competition yet with more serious ideas that will no doubt lead to successes in the business world,” said Steven Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance in the GSB and Academic Director of the Entrepreneurial Program.
The New Venture Challenge, now in its sixth year, provides a launch pad for new companies and is organized by the business schools Entrepreneurship Program. Past winners have included Brightroom, an online event photography company, and Sarvega, a technology company. Both companies have received capitalization and are operational.
Judges for the challenge included representatives from venture capital, technology and start-up companies. The title sponsor of the New Venture Challenge is Edward Kaplan, founder, chairman and CEO of Zebra Technologies Corp.