Teams From Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Manitoba Win
Tepper School's 2008 McGinnis Venture Competition
Winners Named in Three Categories: Sustainable Technology, Life Sciences, Technology
PITTSBURGH—The winners of the 2008 McGinnis Venture Competition, which awarded more than $140,000 in cash and business services, included teams from the host Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University and the University of Manitoba, Canada.
Each winner picked up a total of $20,000 in cash and another $25,000 in business services donated by several Pittsburgh-area law firms experienced in venture-backed business development.
"Our aim is to give the teams the best advice we can, from the top people in the fields of venture and angel investing and entrepreneurship, to enable their best chances at successfully launching their company," said Arthur Boni, director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School, which sponsors the competition.
The Tepper School team of Alberto Gandini and Salman Mukhtar won in the Life Sciences track by pitching a business called Tropical Health Systems, which aims to cure malaria with a medical device that purifies infected red blood cells using a magnetic filter.
The University of Manitoba team of Erin Yanchycki, Stephen Chamaa and Daniel Kozier won in the Technology track with Civitech, an early stage company developing a system of wireless sensors for monitoring environmental conditions in buildings. Their first product aims to monitor moisture inside building walls to prevent the growth of mold.
Yale's team of Stuart Murray, David Mueller and Jamie Spivey, won in the Sustainable Technology track with Ideal Energy, a plan to install small wind turbines on customers' properties and sell them the generated electricity at a 10 percent discount on prevailing utility rates.
A team from the University of Louisville's Department of Management and Entrepreneurship won the elevator pitch competition — a separate $2,000 cash award — with Partum Group LLC, a medical device to help physicians monitor the birth process.
The McGinnis Venture Competition continues to expand internationally. This year, one quarter of competing teams came from outside the U.S., including teams from India, China, Germany, Colombia and Canada. Helping to fuel the international growth is Tepper School alumnus Sarosh Kumana (MSIA, 1977), who sponsored the Sustainable Technology track again this year.
Kumana, founder of the Foundation for a Sustainable Future (www.sustainable-future.org), helped sponsor the Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition in India, which produced the two Indian teams competing in the McGinnis Competition.
In its fifth year, the McGinnis Venture Competition attracts teams from the world's top MBA schools to compete for prizes that include cash and legal services from Pittsburgh's top venture-minded community. The annual McGinnis Venture Competition is made possible by an endowment from Gerald E. McGinnis, a successful entrepreneur and founder of Respironics Inc.