Walter Voit, CTO of Syzygy, a Business Plan Competition finalist, explains his company's shape memory technology.
Six final-round teams will compete for tens of thousands in cash and prizes on Friday, February 20 in the College of Management's ninth annual Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition. The awards ceremony will follow on February 25.
Participation in the annual Business Plan Competition is open to all Georgia Tech students and alumni who've graduated within the last five years. Intended both to educate and facilitate startups, the competition often leads to the creation of real technology-based businesses.
Of 17 teams that entered this year's contest, six advanced from preliminary presentations to the final round. After teams make final-round presentations to judges throughout the day February 20, the winners will be announced.
Attend Awards Presentation February 25
The formal awards presentation will follow the IMPACT Speaker Series event at 4:30 PM on Wednesday, February 25 in LeCraw Auditorium. Following the IMPACT lecture featuring Christopher Klaus, CEO and founder of Kaneva, a reception for competition participants and guests will be held in the atrium of the Management building. The event is open to the public.
Prizes decided February 20 will include first- ($10,000), second- ($3,000), and third-place ($2,000) winners in the overall competition as well as recognition for the other two finalists ($500 apiece).
Other prizes include the Most Fundable Award, a services package (legal, financial, etc.) worth $35,000 for the company considered most ready to enter the marketplace. Another service package, the Judges' Choice Award, is worth $10,000.
Specialty honors include the:
- Idea to SERVE – Socially & Environmentally Responsible Value Enhancement (I2S). The three I2S Awards total $4,000.
- GreenGuard Sustainability Award: $2,000.
- Undergraduate Team Award: $2,000.
- Show Stopper Award (for the team that does the best job selling itself to judges during a trade show): $500.
- Elevator Pitch Award (for the team that most persuasively explains their business concept in one minute): $500.
- Alumni Innovation Award: $500.
Teams competing in the final round include:
- Audiallo, a semiconductor company that designs biologically inspired, audio-processing integrated circuits targeted at the hearing aid and consumer electronics markets. By leveraging and understanding how the human auditory system processes sound, Audiallo creates power-efficient integrated circuits and algorithms to give the listener a superior listening experience.
- BioFueltration, which has developed a novel filtration fiber that is significantly more energy efficient and can handle higher throughput than currently used distillation technology. The company believes this technology, based on Georgia Tech research, will become the new standard in biofuel processing.
- Fans Want More, a telemetry data collection service provider that seeks to lead the new media visualization solutions segment of the sports entertainment industry. The company will introduce innovative, real-time viewing experiences and alternative access to games that will allow large market leagues such as the NBA and NFL to provide new value to their fans and capture additional revenue through their range of digital channels.
- Happy HR, which strives to make monitoring caloric exhaustion simple for the more than 150 million walkers, joggers, and runners in the United States. With its easy-to-use online interface, Happy HR can inconspicuously track the users' caloric expenditure.
- NanoShield, whose breast implant coating is designed to reduce capsular contracture. This condition occurs in up to 70 percent of breast implant patients, potentially resulting in hardening, leakage, and revision surgery. NanoShield says its coating provides a higher degree of long-term safety and satisfaction.
- Syzygy, which uses shape memory technology plastics perfectly capable of adapting to perfectly fit into a customer's ear in a one-size-fits-all approach. This design creates a personalized fit for earphones, wireless Bluetooth devices, and hearing aids, alleviating the common comfort problems associated with these devices and empowering each user to fully realize the sophistication of today's audio technology.
In addition to Georgia Tech College of Management, sponsors of the 2009 Business Plan Competition include the GreenGuard Environmental Institute, Institute for Leadership & Entrepreneurship, InterfaceFLOR, and MaRC Sustainable Design & Manufacturing.
Team service providers include Hi Tech Partners, HLB Gross Collins PC, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Adams Capital, Bondurant Mixon & Elmore LLP, PaloAlto Software, and Fish & Richardson PC.
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