CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 18, 2006 — A coating technology targeting the billion dollar medical catheter market and affordable urban housing for indigent, transient job seekers secured $30,000 a piece of start-up money during the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition awards ceremony held on Thursday evening at MIT.
The multi-faceted business plan competition remains an economic barometer on what new ideas are being funded by venture capitalists. Since its launch in 1989, more than 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.
New this year was the launch of the Development prize, which focuses on business plans that serve low-income communities in emerging and Third World markets. The Business Venture prize continues to award high technology projects targeting specific markets.
“The need for the new Development prize became increasingly apparent when we looked at the research on campus that targets the developing world,” said Karina Drees, MIT $100K lead organizer and an MBA student at MIT Sloan School of Management. “We also saw a steady increase in the number of social and global business ideas in our fall warm-up competition. The MIT $100K aims to help bring MIT technologies to the world — all parts of the world.”
Below are the public summaries of the Business Venture and Development winners, along with the two runner-ups in both categories, which each received $10,000 in start-up money:
SteriCoat Inc. has developed a coating technology targeting the billion dollar medical catheter market, which significantly reduces the incident of catheter associated infections by preventing the formation of bacterial “biofilms” and killing bacterial invaders. SteriCoat's application technology allows coating of devices of virtually any size, shape, or material. Its initial target market is central venous catheters (CVC), which access the pat's bloodstream directly. For providers, it minimizes expenses associated with treating catheter related bloodstream infections, which cost $10K-50K per infection.
MIT Prof. Donald Sadoway was funded by NASA to develop technology to produce oxygen on the moon. He demonstrated that the most effective means to produce oxygen was with extreme molten oxide electrolysis, a process that produces an important byproduct: liquid titanium. Since this time, Jeff Sabados, a research affiliate in the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has created the “Sadoway Process,” one which will allow Avanti Metal Company (AMC) to sell Titanium products at 1/10th of their current price, use one-half of the current capital, and create only 1/100th of the hazardous waste and pollution. This proprietary, one-step, “green” process is designed to replace the multi-step, batch process currently used today.
Terrafugia is poised to spark the next major transportation revolution with its Transition Personal Air Vehicle (PAV). The Transition is a multi-functional PAV that can drive on any surface road, take to the air from most local airports, and park in a household garage. In addition to increasing personal freedom and mobility, the Transition promises to be the most economical form of transportation for trips between 100 and 500 miles. Not only is the Transition economically preferable to own, but by taking advantage of the new Light Sport suite of FAA regulations, the Transition will also be easier to fly.
Impoverished people in developing countries leave their rural hometowns and flock to urban areas to seek employment but are usually unable to afford decent lodging while searching for jobs. In the Philippines, as many as 1 million Filipinos a year spend up to 3 months away from their home provinces, most of them living in shanties. CentroMigrante Inc. combines developmental architecture with a self-help business model to offer a sustainable solution that provides clean, safe and affordable urban housing for indigent, transient job seekers.
Professor Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab, recently unveiled the One Hundred Dollar Lap Top ($100) designed for use in Third World economies. Kalpataru's offering consists of an MIT $100 Laptop bundled with a suite of microfinance software and services. The MIT $100 Laptop platform has important cost advantages over the currently available alternatives and is designed specifically for the developing world. Their initial focus will be serving rural India.
OneWorld Medical Devices is introducing The Vaccine Pac to help reduce the 4.3 million vaccine-preventable deaths each year, which occur primarily in developing countries and during natural disasters or epidemics. The Vaccine Pac is a portable, self-contained, and strict temperature-controlled transport and storage unit that counter the large vaccine wastage problem that often results from improper temperature control. The technology and design was implemented by a highly skilled team from the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department and has been filed for both U.S. and Foreign PCT patents. The Program for Appropriate Technologies in Health (PATH) is slated to promote the Vaccine Pac to United Nations agencies, NGOs, and aid organizations.
The strength of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition over others is the combination of students from one of the top management, engineering, and science schools in the country. For more on the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, please visit: http://www.mit100K.org.
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