Cambridge, Mass, April 29, 2005 — Proposed companies built around on-demand gene chips that provide same-day DNA test results, air conditioning that is embedded in clothing, a web search engine for Chinese users based on algorithms from human genome research, and stuffed animals that can talk to children in their parents' voices are among those detailed in business plans submitted today by 32 teams of semifinalists in the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition.
A multi-faceted educational initiative and the world leader among university entrepreneurship competitions, the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition offers students real-world experience in developing successful companies from the ground up. Since its launch in 1990, more than 80 companies have been formed from teams that have competed. These companies, in turn, have employed more than 1,600 people and have a valuation of over $4 billion. A total of 86 teams competed for the semi-finalist title, presenting a panel of industry judges with executive summaries and a 45-second presentation on March 9, 2005.
Hardware entries were down by 5 percent compared to last year, while life sciences — which still dominated the entries — biotechnology and medical devices slipped by 6 percent. Industry entries that were up from last year were service-oriented plans by 1 percent and software and new media by 2 percent. The category of “other,” which included consumer products and services, was up by 7 percent.
Only seven teams will emerge as finalists on May 4, 2005. Finalists will then have one day to prepare a ten-minute presentation to convince the panel of judges on why their business model, team and product is the most viable.
The winning team will be announced on May 9 at an awards ceremony to be held on the MIT campus at 7 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.
The various stages of the competition are judged by a panel of about 20 industry professionals including venture capitalists, patent lawyers and entrepreneurs. Joseph Hadzima, an MIT Sloan lecturer and Managing Director of Main Street Partners, has volunteered his time for the past 16 years.
For more information on the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition or to view the semifinalists' public summaries, please visit http://50k.mit.edu.
Armina Karapetyan, $50K Communications Lead
Kathleen Rowe, MIT Sloan Media Relations