Six teams will compete in the final round of UCSB Technology Management Program’s twelfth annual New Venture Competition today at 3 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion.
The six competing student groups — Athlete Performance Data Systems, WageCraft, Aptitude Medical Systems, SyncIn, Replica Therapeutics and DermaTex — will each have 10 minutes to pitch their business proposals to a panel of judges who will determine the most fundable proposal, the best pitch and the best written plan. This year’s finalists were chosen from an applicant pool of 120 students — a 40-percent increase in student participation from 2010 — who began vying for a total of $75,000 in cash prizes, legal support and office space during the competition’s preliminary proceedings in mid-January.
WageCraft co-founder Evan Windom, a fourth-year business economics major, said the fair has already helped his project — an online community that allows gamers to play against each other — attract real world investments.
“We hope to win [the final round of the competition], but even if we don’t, we still plan on moving forward with our business,” Windom said. “We have serious investors ready to invest. We met them through the New Venture Fair.”
As part of the four-month competition, teams attended bi-weekly seminars to develop skills necessary for a successful business venture.
According to TMP External Program Manager Bill Grant, these meetings allow students to gain valuable experience that will serve them in their future careers.
“These [workshops] teach them how to speak the language of business,” Grant said. “They learn the skills they need to create their own career and take charge of their future, whether they work with large enterprises or new ventures.”
According to Grant, all the judges have senior experience in business creation and have seen thousands of business plans throughout their careers. The panel includes Daniel Burnham, former CEO of Raytheon Company; Raman Khanna, who made the Forbes Midas List as a top-100 dealmaker in 2008 and 2009; Larry Barels, who has experience attracting corporate investments from partners like AT&T and CISCO; and Greg Kisor, who serves as the Vice President of Portfolio Architect at Intellectual Ventures.
In addition to cash prizes of $7,500 for the most fundable proposal and $4,000 each for the best pitch and the best written plan, TMP will distribute sponsorship awards including office space in Ventura Ventures Technology Center, $10,000 worth of legal services from Sheppard Mullin law firm, $12,000 in banking services from Silicon Valley Bank and advertising services amongst the top teams.