April 22, 2005 (New York and Mountain View) – Jungle Media Group, publisher of award-winning Jungle magazine, and Fenwick & West LLP, the leading law firm for venture funding and technology start-ups, today announced the winners for Jungle Business Plan Challenge. This was the fifth year for the prestigious international competition, and it is being presented by Fenwick & West for the second straight year.
As in previous years, the Challenge was open to entrepreneurs from around the world; with the criterion that one of the founding team members must be a current candidate for a masters in business administration (MBA). Out of a record number of submissions, judges first narrowed the field to 32 teams from across the country and from as far away as Israel and India. The 32 semi-finalists flew to Fenwick & West's Silicon Valley offices to pitch their companies live in front of a distinguished panel of judges comprised of leading VCs and entrepreneurs. Firms such as Sequoia Venture Capital, Goldman Sachs, Merant, Allegis Capital, Pequot Ventures, Charles River, McKinsey & Company, Intel Capital, JP Morgan Capital, and Ridgewood Capital, have been among the elite organizations represented among the judging panel.
Fenwick & West also hosted a high-powered cocktail party on the evening of the Challenge. Attending were all competing teams, the judging panelists, and entrepreneurs, technology executives, and VCs from Silicon Valley.
In a grueling 2-day pitch off, the judging panel first cut down the field to 8 finalists, and then chose the winner: Incept BioSystems of the University of Michigan. Incept BioSystems has successfully developed an In Vitro Fertilization device platform that closely mimics the human reproductive system. The platform has the potential to revolutionize how cell researchers and clinicians grow and analyze cell tissues, thus increasing the success rate of conception. Having also emerged victorious from the 2003 competition, this marks the 2nd time in five years that a team from the University of Michigan has won the prestigious event, and the school was also a runner-up in 2001 as well.
The 2nd place prize went to LicketyShip of the University of Notre Dame. LicketyShip connects online shoppers with local brick-and-mortar stores through a searchable website that allows for same-day delivery. By employing patent-pending technology, LicketyShip offers Internet customers a centralized virtual mega-mall that combines the inventories of all brick-and-mortar stores in a particular area, and same-day delivery at prices that are lower than next-day delivery prices available from Internet stores. Until this year, Notre Dame had never had a team make the semi-finals of the event.
Among US schools, MIT was the most represented at the Challenge, with five teams making the semi-finalist cut, a record for the event. Besides the University of Michigan, which has now won the Challenge in 2003 as well as 2005, past winners include Harvard (2004), Berkeley (2002), and MIT/Duke (2001).
Besides the considerable prestige, Incept BioSystems bagged $35,000 in funding and legal services from Fenwick & West. LicketyShip received $10,000 in legal services. All semi-finalists and finalists received a great deal of exposure and contacts with VCs as a result of the competition, with several businesses receiving direct interest in funding. The general caliber of the competitors has been high, with more than half of past competitors receiving some kind of start-up funding.
"Fenwick & West is the leader in representing today's entrepreneurs and the venture capitalists who back them. This competition is about tomorrow's leaders," stated Sam Angus, a partner in the firm's start-up and venture capital group, "By working directly with the Challenge, we are tapping into tomorrow's visionaries, and presenting an outlet for top investors to meet them, and vice versa."
"This year's event attracted top-level entrepreneurs," stated Jonathan McBride, a co-founder and Publisher of Jungle. "The judging panel noted the tremendous quality of management, as well as the innovation of the business plans themselves. We are thrilled to be providing a platform for these dynamic entrepreneurs to build the next group of innovative, successful companies."
Established in 1972, Fenwick & West LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to national and international high technology and life sciences clients. The firm was recently ranked by Dow Jones as the third most active U.S. law firm in helping IT clients raise venture capital and by MergerMarket as the #1 U.S. law firm for technology sector M&A.
Jungle Media Group's mission is to inform and entertain young, affluent professionals, and to provide them with the tools they need to master the Art of Success. Jungle's properties include award-winning Jungle and Jungle Law magazines, Web sites, conferences and books. Jungle Media Group is also a leading publisher of diversity and diversity recruitment titles, including Savoy Professional, a career and lifestyle magazine for African-American executives, and Hispanic Professional, which it publishes in partnership with the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. In 2004 JMG published Your Career, in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. Jungle Media Group also publishes on behalf of over 20 top universities and educational institutions around the world.
|Auditude||UCLA, Anderson School|
|Connect US||Columbia Bus School|
|Incept BioSystems||U Michigan, Ann Arbor|
|Kidz Corner||MIT, Sloan|
|LicketyShip||U Notre Dame College of Bus|
|Ratio||U Wisconsin School of Bus|
|adrelief, Inc.||Duke, Fuqua|
|Athena||IDC, Israel + MTA|
|AutonomX||U Arizona, Eller|
|BillyBob's Grocery Delivery||U Wisconsin School of Bus|
|Claros Biosystems||MIT, Sloan|
|Digitdata||Brigham Young U, Marriott|
|DuraPower||U Michigan, Ann Arbor|
|Eco Performance||Brigham Young U, Marriott|
|EMKinetics||Boston U School of Mgmt|
|FAREPORTAL||NYU Stern School of Bus|
|Intelligence in Motion, Inc.||George Washington U School of Bus|
|Izuma Networks||UT Austin, McCombs School of Bus|
|Micro Technology Devices||U Chicago|
|Ocelot||UCLA, Anderson School|
|OmniPark||Carnegie Mellon GSIA|
|OTS Diagnostics||Cornell U, Johnson|
|SkyEyes System, Inc.||U Virginia, Darden|
|TransView Systems||Yale School of Management|
|Upside Bound||MIT, Sloan|
|World of Good||UC Berkeley Haas School of Bus|