Leading early-stage global venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Cisco today announced the 16 finalists in their second co-sponsored Global Business Plan Competition for university and business school students. The teams’ business plans address a diverse group of issues from sleep optimization and visual search to disk drive efficiency, energy-efficient microcontrollers and aquaculture. The finalists will be competing from their respective geographic areas via Cisco TelePresence(TM) suites on June 29, 2010, and the winning team will receive a minimum seed investment of $250,000.
“For the past 25 years we have invested in passionate entrepreneurs who want to change the world, and it is wonderful to see the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial spirit spreading to universities around the globe,” said Tim Draper, founder and managing director, DFJ. “We are thrilled by the quality of our finalists, and we are excited to meet these extraordinary individuals from all over the world through Cisco TelePresence conferences. We were also very pleased to discover that four of our finalist teams have female CEOs. DFJ has had a strong track record in investing in women CEOs, and the trend we’re seeing here may just be the start of a whole new era.”
The plans of the 16 finalists, nearly all of which won local university competitions, were selected from thousands of eligible business plans in 17 countries across the globe (Brazil, China, Finland, France, Japan, India, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.). Selection criteria included the quality of the management team, technical innovation, the addressable market size, competitive positioning, barriers, capital efficiency, and financial projections. Most of the finalists are still in the seed or early stages of business or technical development. In addition to the financial investment awarded to the winner, both DFJ and Cisco will assist the winner and finalists in leading the next wave of disruptive technologies by providing mentorship and professional assessments regarding their submissions.
“These 16 dynamic teams from around the world embody the entrepreneurial spirit of our global business plan competition,” said Hilton Romanski, vice president of corporate development at Cisco. “They are taking on interesting challenges and tackling tough issues with thoughtful and creative solutions, and we look forward to meeting them via Cisco TelePresence suites and learning more about their business plans next week.”
The competition will use Cisco TelePresence suites to allow the finalists to present their business plans to a San Jose-based panel of seasoned investors from DFJ, the DFJ Global Network of Partner Funds and Cisco. Cisco TelePresence technology enables collaboration through a live, face-to-face network communications experience where participants feel as though they are sitting in the same room even though they may be located thousands of miles apart.
Competitors and the media will be invited to view the competition via simulcast beginning at 8 a.m. PDT on June 29, and the winner will be announced at 5 a.m. PDT on July 1, 2010.
Please contact Kristin Carvell at Cisco if you are a member of the media interested in attending the competition or viewing it via a live webcast.
Finalists hail from 18 schools in seven countries. The complete list is as follows:
Name of Company Company University Business Plan Summary Location Ambiq Micro US University of Leads the way to ubiquitous Michigan computing with the world's most energy-efficient microcontroller (MCU). Cambridge UK University of Provides unique high-energy Nanotubes Cambridge materials capable of increasing battery life for laptops and cell phones by up to 100%. CellTV Israel Ariel Enables multiple HD channel University broadcasts to an unlimited number Center of clients without decreasing the throughput of Wi-Fi networks. Commuter US DePaul Creates and sells relevant and Advertising University and entertaining 10-second audio University of sponsorships inside trains and Dayton buses that are geo-coded and played at specific times; shares revenue with public transit agencies. Deli Worm China Sun Yat-sen Uses automation systems to mass University produce live organic worms to substitute current fish meals and mitigate the depletion of fish stock. Digital Proctor US University of Creates enterprise online security Texas-Austin company with first market vertical in distance education. Epythia Russia Higher School Enables context-aware planning of Economics service with alerting and rescheduling based on a user's current and planned location. F.A.N. MEDIA China Peking Provides free printing service to University consumers that places targeted advertisements on one side of the free F.A.N. MEDIA printing paper and allows consumers to use the blank side for printing documents or photographs. FayShine China/US University of Provides next-gen image-recognition Illinois at technology for comprehensive Urbana- shopping guidance. Champaign GlucaGo US Purdue Provides revolutionary drug University and injector that is easy to use and Indiana low cost, and has been designed to University fit in existing filling lines for freeze-dried products, allowing unstable drugs or vaccines to maintain their stability at room temperature IOS Financial US Northwestern Enables online marketplace that, in University a targeted and value-added way, matches banks seeking to grow with small businesses seeking commercial loans Lark US MIT Provides compelling nonmedical Technologies solutions around optimizing sleep via smart phones. MicroMed India IIT Kharagpur Provides microfluidics technology for use in pathological detection that requires minimal human intervention, reduces costs, and improves efficiency in India health care markets. Nanodyne US UC Davis Increases hard disk drive capacity by 800% through a process that utilizes metal-organic-silicon thin film, or MOSTF (code-named HyperDrive). OsComp Systems US Harvard and MIT Commercializes a breakthrough patent-pending compression technology that will revolutionize the natural gas industry. Silicon Reef Brazil Federal Designs high-efficiency power University of converters and power management Pernambuco circuits for handling the energy- harvesting process.