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Home > Press > Eight Teams from across MIT in Fierce Competition for $100,000 Grand Prize to Fund a Start-up Company

Abstract:


All new Audience Prize to allow text message voting for best elevator pitch

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In this year's

Eight Teams from across MIT in Fierce Competition for $100,000 Grand Prize to Fund a Start-up Company

Cambridge, MA | Posted on May 12th, 2008

In this year's MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition (www.mit100k.org), the winner takes all.

Once competing in a field of 232 entrants, teams from seven different industry categories emerged today as finalists who will compete on Wednesday, May 14 at the Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus at 7 p.m. for a $100,000 in cash to fund their start-up company. The awards ceremony is open to the public and offers a peek at some of the best and brightest new ideas in entrepreneurial innovation.

The MIT $100K is the world's leading university entrepreneurship competition, having facilitated the creation of more than 85 companies with an aggregate market capitalization of more than $10 billion. Previously, the $100,000 prize was split between the first through third place winners along with two runner-up teams. Thanks to prize money donated by sponsoring companies totaling more than $100,000 for winners in earlier stages of the competition - including $10,000 for each finalist - this year's stakes are the highest in the MIT $100K's nineteen years of competition.

Finalists will now face off before a panel of expert judges that include such prominent venture capitalists as Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks, and Robert Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet and founder of 3Com.

One team, however, will walk away with an additional $10,000 regardless of the impression they make on the judges. A first ever Audience Prize will be introduced at the awards ceremony allowing audience members to instantly cast votes in response to the finalists' elevator pitches using audience response system technology to be provided by $100K mobile semi-finalist team Poll Everywhere (www.polleverywhere.com).

Below is a list of the eight finalists, their public summaries, and the categories they were chosen from. For more information on the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and directions to the awards ceremony, please visit www.mit100k.org.

Astro/Aerospace

IntAct Labs LLC is developing a proprietary waste-to-energy technology based on microbial fuel cell processes. Fuel Cells represent a novel and disruptive option in the waste-to-energy space, promising faster treatment while reversing the energy balance and generating a high-value product in the form of electricity. IntAct Labs has received funding from NASA and an SBIR from the United States Department of Agriculture to optimize and scale-up the technology in collaboration with partner firms and institutions.

Biotechnology

Diagnostic-For-All (DFA) is a not-for-profit that delivers affordable point of care diagnostic solutions to the global medical community. Based on patent-pending technology developed in George Whitesides' Laboratory at Harvard University, DFA has created a new generation of diagnostic devices microfabricated and patterned in paper. DFA's technology will serve as a platform for simple, portable, low-cost, and easy-to-dispose diagnostic tools that will dramatically improve the health care management of patients in developing countries.

Development

ClickDiagnostics provides developing countries remote medical diagnostics services via a macro-lens camera phone capable of taking close-up pictures. It is delivered by local entrepreneurs serving as Click-Health-Workers (CHWs), who profit from offering diagnostics services as well as selling talk time and other phone-based services.

Energy**

Covalent Solar's product is an MIT-invented solar concentrator photovoltaic (PV) technology, based on the redirection of light using dyes. The technology is cheaper and simpler than existing methods, resulting in the lowest installed system price on the market aiming to reach competitiveness with conventional power generation by 2013.

Water scarcity has emerged as a critical concern across wealthy and developing nations alike. NanoPur is commercializing a game changing carbon nanotube (CNT) membrane for use in water desalination. Its patented membrane offers ten times the flow rates of existing technology. This innovation has the potential to reduce energy costs while also reducing the costs of building new plants.

Mobile Technology

UbiTrack delivers advanced wireless localization and tracking solutions, providing increased accuracy, coverage, and reliability, without additional investment in satellites or base stations. Ubitrack's solution is particularly useful in applications where GPS is not available or does not provide sufficient accuracy. The company's primary markets include military and firefighters and will also target the multi-billion dollar consumer market, including mobile phones and car navigation.

Products and Services

MyFaktory is an "e-tailor" based in New York with back-end manufacturing headquarters in Mumbai, India. Its mission is to unleash the freedom of fashion by creating clothing on demand at affordable prices to the consumer. Customers submit designs for clothes at myFaktory.com and fashion professionals and tailors in Mumbai work together to produce and deliver the garments to a globally dispersed customer base.

Web 2.0/IT

CyberAnalytix offers BlueTorch, an on-demand customer intelligence solution that helps SMBs manage their customers by allowing them to understand and act on their customer data. Unlike current customer intelligence software, BlueTorch uses proprietary predictive models to analyze customer data and recommend best next actions. Instead of delivering just "one more report," BlueTorch advises managers which customers are important and how to approach those customers.

** The Energy track winner will be selected on Tuesday, May 13 with either Covalent Solar or Nanopur advancing to the May 14 finale.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management
Paul Denning
617-253-0576 office
Director of Media Relations

or
Patricia Favreau
617-253-3492
Media Relations Specialist

Copyright © Business Wire 2008

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