Thirty-seven teams from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes at the 13th annual UC Berkeley Business Plan (BPlan) Competition on April 26 and April 28 at the Haas School.
The semifinalists–chosen from a pool of 202 entrants–compete across four industry tracks: products and services; energy and clean tech; IT and web; and life sciences.
A Haas team called easyparkinglot.com offers a hassle-free alternative to find parking in crowded cities or at popular events. The easyparkinglot team consists of Berkeley MBA 12 classmates Matias Bebin, Luis Carballo, Ismael Ghozael, Paul Kisiliuk, and Iñaki Ruiz. Life Sea Inc., which includes John Holgate, MBA 12, is working to generate zero-emission energy from seaweed.
Two other energy teams competing in the BPlan Competition evolved from the Haas School's Cleantech to Market (C2M) course. SmartSense Energy includes Ryan Hanley, MBA 11, who became involved in the underground power line sensor project through the C2M course. The team already won $30,000 in the Cleantech to Open Business Plan Competition last year. Another C2M project competing in the BPlan competition is Imprint Energy, which includes Brooks Kincaid, MBA 11. The team, which is working to commercialize the first printed rechargeable batteries, already has won a year of space in the Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Venture Lab at the College of Engineering.
“We’re really excited about the strength and breadth of teams in this year’s competition,” says Jonathan Stull, MBA 12, who is co-chairing the competition with Brandon Piper, MBA 12. “It says a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit of the UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco communities, and the creativity and innovation fostered by the unique spirit of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.”
Leading up to the semifinals, teams will have the chance to practice their pitches with top VCs and lawyers in a short speed-dating format on Tuesday, April 5. On April 26, semifinalists will pitch their ideas to judges, who will choose two finalists from each of the four tracks. Then, on April 28, the track finalists present to judges at a private event during the day. Later that night, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the eight finalists compete for the $20,000 grand prize, a $5,000 people’s choice prize, and a $1,000 elevator pitch prize during the public finals in Andersen Auditorium.
Registration is required to attend the final public event. For more information, visit entrepreneurship.berkeley.edu/bef/Apr11_forum.html. The Lester Center will provide a live streaming video of the April 28 public event for those unable to attend.