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May 7: Tepper School Team Takes Top Honors at Global Moot Corp® Competition


Deb Magness                   

Tepper School Team Takes Top Honors
At Global Moot Corp® Competition

Ninth Victory at Leading Venture Contest Makes Carnegie Mellon "Winningest" School

PITTSBURGH—For the ninth time, a team of students from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University has landed the top prize at the Moot Corp® business plan competition at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. This year's winning venture business, at what is considered to be the "Super Bowl" of business plan competitions, was NeuroBank, which has developed a breakthrough proprietary technology to extract and preserve adult neural stem cells.
The winning team of MBA candidate Dr. Raymond Sekula and Sasha Bakhru, a Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, beat out 37 teams from leading business schools and universities worldwide. NeuroBank gave the Tepper School its ninth victory in the competition, making it the winningest school in the event's 25-year history. The team was advised by S. Thomas Emerson, the David T. and Lindsay J. Morgenthaler Professor of Entrepreneurship.

NeuroBank has developed cutting-edge technology to harvest, isolate, expand and store neurologic stem cells from cerebrospinal fluid, a clear bodily fluid around and inside the brain. NeuroBank's technology allows minimally invasive extraction, isolation, expansion and cryopreservation of these stem cells, which could be used to develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease, stroke or traumatic brain injury, among others. In addition, the technology will allow patients to store healthy neural stem cells to receive cutting-edge treatments for diseases they might develop later in life.

As the winner of this year's Moot Corp® contest, NeuroBank will receive a prize package valued at $100,000, including $25,000 in cash; one year of strategic business consulting and mentoring; prosecution of the first American patent by Ropes & Gray; and consulting from the McCombs School of Business entrepreneurship faculty. Team members will also open the NASDAQ Stock Market Aug. 15 in New York City. NeuroBank also recently won third place in the Rice University Business Plan Competition, co-sponsored by Fortune Small Business magazine.

In the last five years, the Tepper School has achieved three first-place finishes and one second-place finish at the Moot Corp® competition.

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