Robert P. Goldberg Grand Prize Winner:

MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition winner will open up carbohydrate-based drug discovery

press release

Ancora Pharmaceuticals

Has developed a technology to break open the field of complex carbohydrate drug discovery and speed drug development by orders of magnitude. Few carbohydrate-based drugs exist today because of the slow process of synthesizing carbohydrates. Ancora is targeting endocrine disease, coagulation disorders, infectious disease and cancer.

Runners-up:

FishLogic

FishLogic

FishLogic is developing chips that deliver new signal processing capabilities for a wide range of electronic devices. By processing data in an analog format instead of a digital format, they achieve orders of magnitude improvement in power efficiency, speed and cost.

Greenfuel

Greenfuel

Develops bioreactor technology that uses algae to remove pollutants from the output of electric power generation and then uses the biomass byproduct as a fuel. The result is dramatic cost savings in reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2). This technology grew out of bioreactor research done for NASA's Space Station.


Cambridge, MA, May 16, 2002 — The MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition announced Ancora Pharmaceuticals as the Robert P. Goldberg Grand Prize winner with Greenfuel and FishLogic selected as equal runners-up at a 7pm ceremony on May 15. The winner received $30,000 and the runners-up received $10,000 each. MIT's competition has launched over 75 companies, including Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) and other companies acquired by the likes of Microsoft, Motorola and Broadcom.

“This is a reward for a lot of hard work by our team, and a recognition that this is a really big opportunity,” said Jeremy Bender, of Ancora Pharmaceuticals, a student at the MIT Sloan School of Management. “These companies have potential for huge impact in their fields,” said Michael Feinstein, a competition judge and senior principal at Atlas Venture.

The seven finalists were chosen from 114 entrants. Judges, including noted venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, selected the winning teams based on their potential of becoming “tomorrow's leading firms.” The final judging was so tough this year that one judge, Rich Kivel, CEO of Molecularware, said, “We were kicked out of the room, because we were taking too long.”

Each finalist team presented its plan to an audience of venture capitalists and business leaders at the Final Awards in MIT's Kresge Auditorium. The event reached a global audience through a live Internet broadcast. Along with the winners, many of the finalists and other entrants are planning to launch their businesses. “Even in this economy, some of the entrants have already turned down job offers to pursue their plans,” said Feinstein.

The ceremony's keynote speaker was Patrick McGovern Jr. MIT '59, Founder and Chairman of the International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading technology publishing, research and event management company. The Patrick McGovern Jr. Entrepreneurship Award this week honored the MIT $50K for significant contributions to entrepreneurship at the Institute.

The MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition is the world leader among business plan competitions. The strength of the MIT Competition over others is the combination of students from one of the top management schools in the county and the top engineering and science school. It also has tremendous educational backing: workshops, 11 MIT Sloan entrepreneurship classes, professional mentors for all semifinalists, and the network of MIT entrepreneurs who have formed over 4,000 companies. The MIT $50K organizers each year share best practices with competitions around the world through their Global Startup Workshop. The MIT competition has been called the “granddaddy of business plan competitions” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “the one to watch.”

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