28 Apr Students Win Burrill Competition With Plan for Renewable Energy
Madison, WI – First prize of $10,000 in the G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition Friday was awarded to Virent Energy Systems, Inc., represented by Shailesh Ghimire, a second-year MBA student, and Mustapha Ould Eleya, a second-year MBA with a PhD in food science. Virent Energy Systems offers a biotech process for creating electricity using biomass products like rice hulls and whey.
In total, UW-Madison students walked away with $22,000 in prize money at the G. Steven Burrill Technology Business Plan Competition. Teams from disciplines across campus presented their business plans to a panel of expert judges Friday morning at the business school’s Grainger Hall. Business concepts ranged from simple outsourced manufactured items to sophisticated biotech business plans.
Second prize of $7,000 went to SonoPlot, Inc., represented by Vivek Dubey, a second-year MBA student, and Brad Larson, PhD student in Materials Science in the College of Engineering. The company has developed a system to manufacture DNA and protein microarrays.
Third prize of $4,000 went to a team of master’s students in food science who developed a yogurt-fruit product that they boasted was healthy, good tasting and had a long shelf life. Their company is called YoAm Corp. Students who presented for the company were Dan Berg, Debby Levenson, Tammy Lin and Chinthu Udayarajan.
Fourth prize of $1,000 went to a team of students who presented their concepts for manufacturing and distributing low-cost, useful items that they test market and bring to market quickly. OZ Innovations is a business developed bay Anand Chhatpar, a sophomore in computer engineering, and Osman Ozcanli, an industrial engineering student. Several of their products are already on the market.
Professor Anne Miner, who developed the concept of the Burrill Competition with the financial assistance of California entrepreneur, G. Steven Burrill, said she was pleased with the “terrific mixture of plans with this year.” Some drew on original student inventions including a food snack, a book-exchange plan, and a carrier for papers and books, while other plans involved inventions from faculty research. “We want to keep both types of business designs in the competition, and are thrilled to see a great balance between them this year,” Miner said.
The G. Steven Burrill competition is supported by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Technology Enterprise Cooperative, the School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Major funding is provided by G. Steven Burrill, a 1966 graduate of the School of Business, an internationally known spokesman for the life sciences and high-tech industries.