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Press Release

Michael B. Laffin

For immediate release:
March 17, 2005

McGinnis Venture Competition Sends Team To "Super Bowl of Business Plan Competitions"

PITTSBURGH—First place at the second annual McGinnis Venture Competition, held March 10 to 12 at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, was awarded to S. Bobby Koritala, an MBA candidate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the COO and president of Spark Biotek, Inc. Second and third place went to MBA students from the University of Michigan and the University of Georgia, respectively.

As the winner of this international business competition, Koritala advances directly to Moot Corp®, the "The Super Bowl of World Business-Plan Competitions." Spark Biotek, the company Koritala's start-up business plan focuses on, is developing a nanotechnology drug delivery platform for protein therapeutics. Spark Biotek's first applications are delivering insulin and the human growth hormone. The first place prize also includes $30,000 as an investment in the company from the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School; $30,000 in intellectual property services from Fish & Neave/Ropes and Gray; and $5,000 for technology competitive landscape analyses from 3i Analytics.

The McGinnis Venture Competition takes a unique angle to business plan competitions by harnessing emerging technologies—information technology, biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology and telecommunications—and helping innovative entrepreneurs bring them into the market through start-up companies. With a vision to "stimulate and nourish the entrepreneurial spirit in MBAs and other graduate students around the world," the McGinnis Venture Competition provides an opportunity for students to plan technology businesses. Each team receives advice on how to transform their plans into reality from judges who are renowned venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs and respected entrepreneurial educators.

In highly competitive presentations to panels of judges over two days, student teams pitched and defended their business plans. Competing entrepreneurs traveled from around the world from 18 prestigious universities such as Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, the University of California at Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon and more.

As a founding member of Moot Corp®, Carnegie Mellon has a history of supporting international competitions for business students. Following industry opportunities and trends, Carnegie Mellon's Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship has focused on the commercialization of technology and biotechnology in recent years. Last year, two teams from the Tepper School of Business placed first and second in the Moot Corp. competition—a first for any one school.

The annual McGinnis Venture Competition is made possible by an endowment from Gerald E. McGinnis, a successful entrepreneur and founder of Respironics, Inc.

Other corporate sponsors include Mellon Financial Corporation, Adams Capital Management, Buchanan Ingersoll PC, Draper Triangle Ventures, Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), Parker/Hunter, Inc., Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, Wabtec Corporation, the Donald and Sylvia Robinson Family Foundation, Medrad, Inc., PA Early Stage Partners and Quaker Capital Management Corporation, The Fish & Neave IP Group of Ropes & Gray LLP, 3i Analytics and the Law Office of Frank J. Lucchino Jr.


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