MIT's business start-up engine gets a raise and a new mission:

The new MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition now rewards social impact with $50,000

- Semifinalist teams: Social Impact team public summaries

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 22, 2006 — This year the MIT $50K has expanded its mission to become the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, now also rewarding teams focusing on improving low income communities with $50,000 through its Social Impact Prize. In the new arrangement, two $50,000 prizes are available in two categories: the traditional MIT Business Venture Prize and the new MIT Social Impact Prize, both under the MIT $100K umbrella.

The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition will now have two distinct prizes: the Business Venture Prize and the Social Impact Prize. The Business Venture Prize targets high technology projects with specific markets, while the Social Impact Prize is focused on business plans that serve low-income communities in developed and developing countries. The Social Impact Prize will reward proposals that are easy to scale up, sustainable, and can operate independently as a business or a non-profit organization. We expect the same high quality teams and proposals that the MIT $50K has always been famous for.

This year the MIT $100K has 164 entries: the 2nd highest total in the history of the competition, with 55 teams entering to compete for the Social Impact Prize. “This year we have the highest number of entries since the peak of the dot-com bubble. It is an indication of a continued strong growth in entrepreneurship at MIT and across the Boston area,” said Lawrence Walmsley, MIT $100K co-lead organizer and MIT Sloan MBA student.

A multi-faceted educational initiative and the world leader among university entrepreneurship competitions, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition offers students real-world experience in developing successful companies from the ground up. Since its launch in 1989, over 85 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 $7 billion.

The various stages of the competition are judged by a panel of about 20 industry professionals including venture capitalists, patent lawyers and entrepreneurs. Only seven teams in each of the two categories will emerge as finalists on May 18, 2006. The winning teams will be announced on May 18 at the final awards ceremony to be held on the MIT campus at 7 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

What: The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition Semifinal Awards
When: Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Kirsch Auditorium, MIT Stata Center, 32 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA
(Parking for the event is available in the Stata Parking Lot, located beside the MIT Stata Center, with entrance on Main Street.)
Speaker: Ms. Linda Rottenberg, CEO, Endeavor.

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