MIT Sloan students take $1,000 prize in MIT $50K warm-up

Cambridge, Mass. — December 12, 2002 — Nine MIT Sloan students and their respective entrepreneurship teams won the $1,000 prize in December's warm-up round for this year's MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition.

A number of the teams in the so-called $1K move on to compete in the MIT $50K, which is regarded as the world leader among university business plan competitions and has facilitated the birth of more than 75 companies and created over 2000 jobs.

In the $50K, teams develop and submit detailed business plans to be judged by a panel of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and industry experts. A series of workshops help teams build their skills, and networking events help them make the connections they will need to build a successful company.

The MIT $50K semifinalists will be announced March 12, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on May 14 at 7 p.m.

The competition enables MIT's most entrepreneurial and business- and tech-savvy people to create tomorrow's leading firms.

Among the companies with roots in the MIT $50K are Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM), Direct Hit Technologies (acquired by Ask Jeeves), Lexicus (acquired by Motorola), Sensable Technologies, Webline Communications, NetGenesis (acquired by SPSS in December 2001), and Silicon Spice (acquired by Broadcom).

Among the teams winning this year's $1K in December were:

Enhanced Medical Vision

Enhanced Medical Vision — which includes MIT Sloan students Jeremy Seidman, Andy Gitelson, Trent Arnold, and David Bierman — is seeking to market a proprietary software to decrease complications from prostate surgery.

ForeCyte

ForeCyte — which includes MIT Sloan student Matt Adkisson — has developed a patented, non-invasive protein chip-based diagnostic for prostate cancer that is nearly 100 percent accurate. The technology is based on five years of pioneering proteomic research at MIT and Children's Hospital.

H24U

H24U — which includes MIT Sloan students Erik Bue and Oscar Farres — expects its technique to make hydrogen cars a practical alternative to today's slow-charging electric cars and polluting gasoline-powered vehicles. The team says it has a proprietary method to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water.

Hepatometrix

Hepatometrix — which includes MIT Sloan student Peter Kosa — has developed a method of preparing and preserving liver cells (hepatocytes) so they retain the functional properties of liver cells in an intact liver. These cells can be used for pre-clinical testing of pharmaceutical compounds where they could facilitate a rapid, inexpensive screening of compounds for toxicity and efficacy. Further extensions of the team's work could include devices that use these improved liver cells in bioartificial livers, biowarfare agent detectors, and drug discovery.

SmartCells

SmartCells — which includes MIT Sloan students Robert Bruch and John Hebert — uses a revolutionary technology that combines nanostructured processing and intelligent biomaterials to produce stimuli-responsive controlled drug delivery. The team's product, SmartInsulin, is expected to provide preferential insulin release at elevated blood sugar concentrations — requiring less frequent insulin dosages; decreasing pain due to blood sugar monitoring; improving blood sugar control; and reducing diabetic complications.

For additional information on how the competition works or to interview the students, please contact Kathleen Rowe at 781-455-9050.

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Once named “Asian Businessman of the Year” by Fortune Magazine, MIT Sloan alumnus Keiji Tachikawa is the former president and CEO of global powerhouse NTT DoCoMo.

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