From advanced polymers to mobile football game guides to smart grid platforms, technology ideas from some of the world's top young entrepreneurs will vie for $100,000 in prizes at the eighth annual Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley in November.
Twenty-eight teams from 18 countries will compete for five prizes ranging from $2,500 to $50,000. The winners will be recognized at the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum Nov. 8, which will be open to the public and include short presentations from the top eight finalists and a keynote address by Benjamin Gulak, the 23-year-old founder and CEO of BPG Werks, which makes an all-electric bike and a stand-up all-terrain vehicle called the DTV Shredder.
Online registration is available for the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, which will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Haas School in the Bank of America Forum and Andersen Auditorium.
"This is an amazing event where brilliant young entrepreneurs from all over the world come to UC Berkeley and show us the exciting, innovative ways they will improve our lives," says Andre Marquis, executive director of the Haas School's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. "We thank the Intel Foundation for sparking such great innovation."
The competition is hosted by the Lester Center and sponsored by Intel, whose CEO, Paul Otellini, MBA 74, is a Haas alumnus. The competing teams are invited to spend one day at Intel to meet staff and to share their ideas at a poster session.
Eight finalists will compete for the $50,000 grand prize as well as three $15,000 first prizes awarded in the categories of New Technology for New Users, Social Innovation, and Computing 2020. More than 20 venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and technology experts will serve as judges over a two-day period, when semifinalists and finalists will be selected.
This year’s competition will include a new Social Media Challenge, where the team that receives the most Facebook "Likes" will win $2,500. Audience members will also have an opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite finalist team at Thursday’s public event for the $2,500 Audience Favorite Award.
The teams are drawn from 15 regional competitions held throughout the world, including BIT Russia, Intel Challenge Latin America, Intel Business Challenge Europe, and the Next Big Idea, India, among others. This year, the country of Tunisia is represented for the first time by a team that has developed a platform for energy companies to improve customer interactions through the better use of data.
Two UC Berkeley teams are competing this year. Nanoly Bioscience, which includes alumna Nanxi Liu, BS 12, is developing a polymer shield that eliminates refrigeration requirements for vaccines, allowing them to be shipped anywhere in the world. The team was a semifinalist in the 2012 UC Berkeley Startup Competition, in which it won the Elevator Pitch Award, and Global Social Venture Competition
Intellievents, which includes Mark Elbadramany, MBA 13 , has created a mobile app that streamlines the process of attending large events (such as a concert or sports event) while providing event organizers valuable information about their customers. Intellievents was a semifinalist in the UC Berkeley Startup Competition and is based at the UC Berkeley Startup Accelerator@Skydeck, an incubator that helps launch campus startups.
Other teams from around the world have developed everything from a platform to find and organize images stored on the cloud to a biomedical device that reduces the side effects of cancer treatment.
After arriving in Berkeley Nov. 5, the teams will have the opportunity to meet with Haas mentors, faculty, and MBA students; hear from guest speakers; interact with potential investors; and obtain feedback from industry experts throughout the four days of the competition.