Entrepreneurs to Compete in Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Challenge

More than 25 teams from around the globe presenting pitches on everything from bio-oil to breast cancer detection will compete in the Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge at the Haas School from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18.

Vying for $45,000 in prize money, the eight finalists will present their business plans at the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum on Thursday, Nov. 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Andersen Auditorium.

The event also will feature a keynote talk by Ajay Bhatt, chief platform architect of Intel’s PC Client Group. All of the teams will showcase their ideas and plans in a poster session during a reception at the forum 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Intel Corp. in partnership with the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the sixth annual technology-focused challenge is intended to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship aimed at making the world a better place.

The competition brings together winning teams from ten university business plan competitions worldwide. Along with the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, these include Intel Challenge Europe, with entrants from 13 nations; the Intel Latin American Challenge, representing the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin and Central America; the Arab Technology Business Plan Competition; and the “Intel Cup” China, which drew more than 600 business plans entries from more than 200 universities.

For the first time, a People’s Choice Award will be open to the public for voting online, from 6 p.m. Nov. 18 to Dec. 6. The People's Choice Award is designed to extend the reach of the competition beyond the walls of UC Berkeley and enable the public, along with friends, families, and colleagues, to vote for the team they feel is most creative, innovative, and has the most potential to succeed as a business venture. While the People’s Choice Award has no bearing on the challenge, the winner of the award will receive a $5,000 prize.

Representing Berkeley, BrightSense, a personalized, pain-free tooth-whitening system, won both first place in the products and services track and the people’s choice award in the UC Berkeley Business Plan competition in April 2010.

The other Berkeley team, Magoosh, offers online test preparation for students studying for the GRE and GMAT. Launched last summer by Hansoo Lee and Bhavin Parikh, both MBA 10, Magoosh now has 2,500 users. Its name is Persian for wise and generous.

"On a day-to-day basis, we’re still scraping away getting the startup off the ground," says Lee. "To be a part of the challenge at this point in the company’s lifecycle is definitely an honor.”

For more information about the competition, visit entrepreneurshipchallenge.org. To register to attend the final event, visit entrepreneurship.berkeley.edu/bef/nov10forum.html.