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One of nation's top business plan competitions launches today at UC Berkeley's business school
08 Nov 2000

By Ute Frey, Media Relations

Berkeley - The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, announced today (Wednesday, Nov. 8) the launch of its third annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition. The competition has quickly grown to be one of the leading competitions hosted by business schools. Last year, it attracted 182 registrations and the support of over 60 leading venture capitalists and entrepreneurs serving as mentors and judges. Teams from the first two competitions have raised $91.85 million dollars.

Student organizers and participants celebrate the launch of the 2001 competition tonight at 6 p.m. at the Haas School's Arthur Andersen Auditorium. Judges, sponsors and previous competition participants will introduce those interested in participating to the do's and don'ts of the competition. The event is followed by a networking reception, allowing entrepreneurial hopefuls to match up with business plan teams or identify additional talent for their ventures. Tonight's event is open to the public.

The competition is open to UC Berkeley students and alumni as well as to members of the public, as long as one member of the team is a UC Berkeley student or graduate. To enter the competition, teams must register and submit an executive summary no later than January 22, 2001. Final business plans must be submitted by April 3. Finalist teams will give public presentations, and the winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 25, 2001.

The 2001 competition will award $90,000 in prize money: a $50,000 first prize, $25,000 second prize, $10,000 third prize, and $5,000 People's Choice award. Sponsors supporting the 2001 competition include, IBM, campsix, Sevin Rosen, ComVentures, Motorola, Skyflow, and Electronic Advisor.

"Entrepreneurs at universities like UC Berkeley have become core to the advancement of business and technology," said Michael Rolnick, a partner at ComVentures. "As a venture capital firm, we believe that this sponsorship is another way of encouraging new ideas to advance our society and economy. For us, it is an honor and privilege to be part of it.

"The competition thrives on the scientific research being conducted at UC Berkeley and, in the past, many teams were formed across academic disciplines. Last year's winner, Skyflow, which provides hosted ASP (application service provider) services to portals, was founded by Nibha Aggarwal, who received his MBA from the Haas School in 1991, and Anthony Joseph, an assistant professor at UC Berkeley's College of Engineering. Skyflow received seed funding shortly after the competition and has since then secured an additional $3.5 million round of investment led by Information Technology University Ventures (ITU).

Participants from the first competition in 1999 who drew top funding include:

* AudioBasket, which creates customized audio content - $29 million

* ZipRealty, the first nationwide full-service online real estate agency - $27.7 million

* Alloptic, creator of high-speed fiber optic solutions - $19.7 million


Business Plan web site