Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, March 4, 2002


Business Plan Competition Draws 66 Plans, Keen Interest in Biotech
Human Genome Visionary Craig Venter Speaks at Haas Today
Palm and AOL Executives to Speak on Information Technology at Haas
Come to Casino Night and Support the YEAH Program
New UC Smoking Policy Creates 15-Foot "No Smoking" Boundary
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Smart metal technology, biochips, cancer treatments, innovative security solutions, and new technology for the home and hospitals are among the concepts proposed by entrepreneurs from around the world entering the fourth annual University of California, Berkeley, Business Plan Competition. In sharp contrast to previous years, more than 30 percent of this year's plans submitted by 66 teams are focused on biotechnology. The competition, organized by MBA students at the Haas School, fosters the creation of real businesses. Previous finalists have raised more than $118 million in venture funding. First-year winner, Timbre Technologies, sold in February 2001 to Tokyo Semiconductor for $138 million. This year, teams are competing for $90,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

In order to participate, each team must have at least one UC Berkeley student or alumnus/a as an active member. The vast majority of teams are cross-disciplinary, matching UC Berkeley engineers and computer scientists with MBA students and alumni. For the first time, to attract more entrants from the life sciences, the 2002 competition also invited students and alumni from the health sciences at UC San Francisco.

This year's teams include students not only from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco but also from Stanford University, MIT, UCLA, and California Polytechnical Institute. Other participants are from India, the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, China, and Vietnam.

More than 30 percent of this year's teams include UC Berkeley alumni. "We see this trend as a positive sign that entrepreneurs with ties to Berkeley are increasingly looking to the competition as a great launching pad for new companies," said Eric Petitt, a Haas MBA student on the 2002 competition executive committee.

The competition provides teams with mentors who will help them hone their plans and polish their presentation skills as the competition progresses. Mentors represent leading practitioners from fast-growing companies around the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley and are matched to teams based on their industry and functional expertise. Many are Haas MBA alumni.

Sponsors include Versant, Allegis, Onset Ventures, and Sequoia Capital, as well as key sponsors Sevin Rosen Funds and ComVentures.

In the first round of the competition, all 66 executive summaries submitted were reviewed independently by at least three venture capitalists. Thirty-two teams selected for the semi-final round will pitch their ideas privately to a panel of venture capitalists on April 12. Judges will include principals of ComVentures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, TA Associates, Morgan Stanley Venture Partners, Versant Ventures, Summit Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds, Mohr Davidow Funds, and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

Eight teams will advance to the final round of judging, to be held on the UC Berkeley campus on April 22 and 23.

An award of $50,000 will be presented to the first place winner, $25,000 for second place, and $10,000 for third. A $5,000 "People's Choice Award" will go to the audience's favorite at the competition's public event that will be held on April 24 in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium at the Haas School. It will feature all finalists' brief presentations of their business plans and the final awards ceremony.

Go to http://bplan.berkeley.edu for more information.

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Craig Venter, chairman of the board at the Institute for Genomic Research, will speak at Haas today, March 4, at 4:00 p.m. in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium. Venter, whom the Washington Post calls "one of the most innovative scientists in modern biology," will address the future of biotechnology. The event is free and open to the public.

Venter is best known for his previous role as CEO of Celera Genomics. Dubbed "the maverick scientist," by The New York Times, he believed that the private sector could complete the sequencing of the human genome faster than the government run-program.

In June of 2000, Celera and the government project completed the mapping of the human genome at virtually the same time. This accomplishment touched off a run-up in biotech stocks that saw the NASDAQ biotech index triple in just six months. In early 2002, Venter resigned from Celera to pursue other projects.

Venter received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry in 1972 and his Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology in 1975 from the University of California, San Diego. Having published more than 160 research articles and received numerous awards, Venter has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology.

This event is sponsored by the Haas Biotech Club with support from The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Soffinova Ventures, BioCentury, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the Venture Merchant Group.

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Reserve Your Space Now to Hear AOL Time Warner's Chief Technology Officer this Friday

William Raduchel, executive vice president and chief technology officer at AOL Time Warner will speak on "Adding Value with Information Technology" as part of the Business Faculty Research Dialogue, this Friday, March 8, at 4:00 p.m. in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium.

Raduchel joined AOL Time Warner in 1999, after 12 years at Sun Microsystems, most recently acting as the chief strategy officer and a member of the executive committee. He has held senior executive roles at Xerox Corporation and McGraw-Hill, Inc. Raduchel received his undergraduate degree in economics from Michigan State University and earned his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in economics at Harvard.

To attend this event, please send e-mail to rsrchdia@haas.berkeley.edu. A reception will follow the event in the BankAmerica Forum. The event is free and open to the pubic.

Palm CEO to Speak on Information Technology on March 15

Eric Benhamou, the chairman of the board of 3Com Corporation and Palm, Inc., will speak at Haas Friday, March 15, at 4:00 p.m. in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium as part of the Business Faculty Research Dialogue. The theme for this year's series is "Adding Value with Information Technology."

Benhamou currently serves as the interim CEO of Palm and faces the task of regaining the company's lost market share. He recently told the New York Times, "We simply did not innovate enough. We have made it a priority to correct this trend."

Benhamou served as 3Com's acting CEO from September 1990 until December 31, 2000. During his tenure at 3Com, he facilitated the launch of the Palm Computing subsidiary as the first independent, publicly traded handheld computing company in March 2000.

Benhamou was awarded the President's Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award (the United States' highest environmental award) in 1992 and in 1997. Former-president Bill Clinton also appointed him to the Information Technology Advisory Committee, which advises the president on ways to preserve US leadership in advanced computing.

Benhamou has an MS in electrical engineering from Stanford, a Diplome d'Ingenieur from Ecole Nationale Superioeure d'Arts et Metiers in Paris, and holds honorary doctoral degrees from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Widener University, and the University of South Carolina.

To attend this event, please send e-mail to rsrchdia@haas.berkeley.edu. A reception will follow the event in the BankAmerica Forum.

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The Young Entrepreneurs at Haas Program (YEAH) hosts a Casino Night Fund Raiser on Tuesday, March 12, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room. All proceeds will benefit YEAH program participants. Tickets are $20 per person.

YEAH's Young Entrepreneurs Program delivers two years of business and finance instruction, as well as college preparation training, to Bay Area under-served youth through a dynamic corps of more than fifty MBA volunteer mentor/business coaches. YEAH MBA mentors devote close to sixty hours to their high school proteges over the course of the year, assisting them as they complete small venture business plan plans and mock investment portfolios, as well as supporting the students' overall academic and personal growth.

YEAH's Casino Night will feature gaming tables for craps, roulette, and blackjack, and the blackjack dealers will be none other than the YEAH mentors. There will also be slot machines, free appetizers, wine and spirits, and music, as well as door and "high roller" prize giveaways every half hour.

Tickets are for sale through mentors or the YEAH office (F410). For more information call the YEAH office at 643-8906 or e-mail yeah@haas.berkeley.edu.

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Earlier this spring a change was made to the UC Berkeley Smoke-Free Policy prohibiting smoking within 15 feet of all entrances and exits to campus buildings. Smokers must also ensure that their smoke is not entering the building through windows or other openings. Under the previous policy, the distance was five feet.

The new policy brings the Berkeley campus in line with the city of Berkeley and the state, which both already have a 15-foot limit at their buildings. Building coordinators have been asked to post signs about the new policy next to main building entrances. Copies of the policy will also be distributed around the campus and grounds crews will move ashtrays to the new 15-foot boundary.

University Health Services has posted a copy of the newly revised campus smoking policy online at http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/Updates/smokefree.htm.

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The Haas School was featured in the San Jose Mercury News on March 1 in an article titled "UC Berkeley Sponsoring Business Confab on Asia." The conference took place on Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Arthur Anderson Auditorium.

The Haas School's Social Venture Competition was featured in the Associated Press Newswire on February 27.

Severin Borenstein, the E.T. Grether Professor in Public Policy and Business Administration, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on February 26 in the article, "The State/Davis Seeks Cuts in Power Deals Energy." Borenstein commented on the state's energy contracts.

Borenstein was also on KQED's California Report on February 26 discussing California's long-term electricity contracts.

Borenstein was also quoted in the Associated Press Newswire on February 26 in the article titled "California Hopes to Lower Power Contract Prices by $21 Billion."

Brett Trueman, the Donald and Ruth Seiler Professor of Public Accounting and chair of the Haas Accounting Group, was quoted in the Dow Jones News Service on February 26 in the Smartmoney section in the article, "Special Report: Avoiding the Next Enron." He said that a parent company isn't required to consolidate any revenues, expenses, or debts from a venture onto its own financial statement so long as it owns less than a 50% stake.

Borenstein was quoted in the Dow Jones Energy Service on February 25 in the article "California Governor Asks Regulators to Lower Power Contract Prices."

Borenstein was also interviewed on KCBS radio on February 25 on the Public Utility Commission's petition to FERC for changes to long-term electricity contracts. Borenstein also discussed this topic on the KPIX 6:30 news on February 25.

Carl Shapiro, director of the Institute of Business and Economics Research, was mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 25. Shapiro testified in the Federal Trade Commission's hearings on issues of patents and competition that were held on the UC Berkeley campus.

Borenstein was quoted in AP Online on February 25 in the article "California Wants Cheaper Power Contracts."

Borenstein was also quoted in Reuters English News Service on February 25 in an article titled "USA: FERC seen unlikely to void California power deals."

Trueman was also quoted in the Los Angeles Times on February 24 in the article titled "Accountants Can't Keep Up With Financial Complexity." He commented that a simple accounting change could help reverse the trend of executive compensation practices.

Kenneth Rosen, the California State Professor of Real Estate and Urban Economics and chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 24 in the article "Rising in the East: Long a Tortoise to San Francisco's Hare, Downtown Oakland Gains Momentum Despite Downturn." Rosen said that Oakland is being least affected on the downside of the economy, because it didn't have much of a boom.

Terrance Odean, assistant professor in the Finance Group, was quoted in the Asian Wall Street Journal on February 22 in an article titled "Keeping Your Nerve: Edgy Investors Risk Missing the Recovery." He stated that if your losing stocks are held in a taxable account, focus on the tax benefits of selling.

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