CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 13, 2010 — C-Crete Technologies, a new startup comprised of MIT graduates who have developed a nanoengineered cement that reduces CO2 emissions and is stronger than any currently existing cement, walked away with $100,000 in startup funds after beating out five remaining finalists during the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition awards ceremony held Wednesday night on the MIT campus.
This year’s finalists, whose offerings included such technologies as insulin chewing gum and a silent alarm clock for enhancing sleep efficacy, emerged from a pool of 204 teams. A panel of judges made up of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and industry professionals chose C-Crete Technologies on the strength of their business plan and presentation.
“For many years, the world has been looking for simple, scalable solutions to reduce the global carbon footprint and limit its impact on the environment,” says Natanel Barookhian, an MIT Sloan School of Management MBA and one of the new startup’s founders. “We at C-Crete Technologies have developed a method for tackling this issue by targeting the production of cement, one of the most widely used materials on earth, while improving all of its core properties. We believe our technology will make a significant impact on the world, and we look forward to growing a viable, sustainable business to meet these ends.”
Now marking its 20th anniversary, the MIT $100K is an economic barometer for emerging markets that are getting funded by venture capitalists. Since its debut, the competition has facilitated the birth of approximately 130 companies with aggregate exit values of $8 billion captured and a market cap of over $15 billion. These companies have generated approximately 2,500 jobs and received $770 million dollars in venture capital funding. Recent successes include Akamai (AKAM), net.Genesis (NTG), and C-Bridge Internet Solutions (CBIS), Harmonix, Brontes Technologies, and Direct Hit.
Secretary Gregory Bialecki, who oversees the Massachusetts Commonwealth’s business development, housing and community development, kicked off the awards ceremony by presenting the organizers with a proclamation on behalf of the Massachusetts State Senate and Governor Deval Patrick declaring an Entrepreneurship Day at MIT. Reebok founder and former CEO Paul Fireman served as the key note speaker, encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to use communication as the key tool in starting and growing a successful venture.
New this year was the competition’s first ever Twitch contest – a combination of Twitter and Pitch –which required aspiring entrepreneurs around the globe to tweet a sales pitch or a condensed business plan in 140 characters or less, and inciting as many people as possible to re-tweet their ideas during the 20-day duration of the contest. Counchange.org beat out competitors from 13 countries and 19 states to win a $500 prize. As part of their pitch, they promised to donate all money won toward the most popular charity as voted by their retweeting fans. According to $100K Competition organizers, Twitch was introduced in recognition of social media’s growth as an important tool that helps new companies expand successfully.
An audience of approximately 1,000 voted live for their favorite business plan idea during the finale, choosing Aukera Therapeutics, a student startup that is developing a new drug to combat ALS, a rare but devastating neurodegenerative disease.
On Tuesday, the MIT Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Competition, which works in partnership with the MIT $100K, awarded a $200,000 grand prize provided by NSTAR and the United States Department to energy start-up C3Nano Inc., the creator of a film coating for electronic screens.
In addition to the $100K grand prize, finalists were awarded $20,000 in seed money while first runner-ups received $5,000 and second runner-ups received $3,000. The audience favorite prize was worth $10,000.
“For the past 20 years, the MIT $100K has been inspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their passions and create businesses that will impact the world around them,” says MIT $100K Managing Director and MIT Sloan MBA Daniel Vannoni, one of this year’s organizers of the competition. “The competition is an educational exercise that allows students to pursue the entrepreneurial path in a fairly risk free environment. We are excited to see such broad participation from across the US and the world, and happy to see entrepreneurship as both a collaborative and competitive sport. In the end, we all win from the efforts of our competing teams.”
For more on the MIT $100K, please visit: http://www.mit100k.org/