Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, April 10, 2000

Haas Social Venture Competition Announces Winners
Professor Severin Borenstein on the California Gas Market
Haas Founders Forum 99 Funding Update
Assistant Dean Laura Brehm Receives Berkeley Citation
The Haas School Honors Loyal Staff with Service Awards
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas

Haas NewsWire Archive
Contact Haas NewsWire



The Haas Social Venture Business Plan Competition announced the three winners of its nationwide competition for social and environmental ventures - easyDiabetes, Xtracycle, and Ripple Effects - at the awards dinner at the Claremont Resort on Saturday night.

easyDiabetes took the first prize of $10,000 for its Internet-based diabetes management system. Jenna Beart and Michael Douek, both MD/MBA candidates at UCLA's Anderson School, built an Internet-assisted support system that will, among other things, allow patients to hook up their blood sugar monitor to the computer and have the results sent to a physician in an easily readable form.

"We wanted to express our excitement and appreciation for having the opportunity to participate in such an important and inspiring event," said Michael Douek, co-founder of the easyDiabetes team.

Said competition judge Jed Emerson, "The impressive quality and number of business plans submitted for the competition reflect the increasing commitment of business people to pursuing a double bottom line of financial and social objectives." Emerson is the president of Roberts Enterprise Development Fund and the Bloomberg Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Business School.

Ripple Effects and Xtracycle are the runners-up and will evenly split the remaining $4,000 in prize money. All three winners will have their plans circulated to a group of 150 angel investors from the Investors Circle, a group of individuals who make private equity investments based on social dividends and economic returns.

Ripple Effects, the University of Washington team, develops interactive multimedia games and simulations to help troubled youth with behavior problems.

Xtracycle, out of UC Davis, is aiming for more bikes and fewer cars with their sport-utility bike with tremendous cargo capacity.

John May, also a competition judge and the managing partner of New Vantage Partners of Vienna, Virginia, said, "The winners met or exceeded the quality of professional plans I see at regional venture fairs and at past Investors Circle conferences."

In addition to Emerson and May, the following social venture leaders judged the final round: Dan Geiger of OpNet, Shelly Herman of Shorebank Advisory Services, Trinita Logue of Illinois Facilities Fund, Stephen Moody of Private Equity Portfolio Calvert Group, and William Rosenzweig of Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries.

[top of page]


Severin Borenstein, professor of business in the Economic Analysis and Policy Group and director of the University of California Energy Institute, has been in great demand by the media lately because of his expertise on the gasoline industry.

Of the recent run-up in gasoline prices he says, "There isn't much California can do about the price of crude oil, which is a major part of our price increase. Prices should start to decline in the next few weeks as the price of crude has come down about $9/barrel from its peak. But the fall in crude prices won't change the other component of California's high prices, the fact that we burn a different gasoline formulation than the rest of the country, which has made California an island market. That has put the state in a very precarious supply/demand balance which, as we learned last year, makes us vulnerable to price spikes whenever a refinery has problems."

Borenstein serves on the California State Attorney General's Gasoline Task Force, which is charged with investigating the high price of gasoline in the state and the periodic price spikes. This work has put him in the thick of the debate over gasoline prices in the state. He has commented on several of the proposals before the state legislature meant to reduce the price of gasoline.

Borenstein was not in favor of the recently proposed sales tax reduction. "A sales tax reduction on gasoline would not be fully passed along to consumers in the short run because part of the problem is the supply shortage of California's special fuel formula," said Borenstein. To address this shortage, Borenstein suggests, "permitting federal reformulated gasoline to be sold in California, but with a surcharge, would reduce the gasoline shortages without harming the environment (since the surcharge would be used to buy back old, highly-polluting cars)."

[top of page]


The entrepreneurs of the Haas Founders Forum 99 continue to strike riches. This network of MBA 99 entrepreneurs decided to maintain their connection with like-minded classmates to support each other, share information, and celebrate their successes. Here are their latest milestones.

The first two Haas Founders Forum ventures have moved to the next stage of startup reality. Gleb Budman, MBA 99 and senior marketing manager at Kendara, reports that Excite@Home bought his company in February. Kendara develops technology to improve users' online experience across the web.

Likewise, Flyswat, where Burch LaPrade, MBA 99, works as business development manager, was acquired by NBCi for stock at an undisclosed value. Flyswat creates links to highly relevant Internet content and commerce services on any Web site or personal document. "Because we're a completely separate business unit, our product will continue to direct people to the best locations on the web - even where competitive with NBCi offerings," said John Rodkin when he announced the news to the Haas Founders Forum.

Vovida Networks' founder Alan Knitowski is pleased to announce that his wireless communications startup has just surpassed the $10 million funding milestone as part of closing their Series B financing. Knitowski, who graduated from the Evening MBA Program in December, has recruited several fellow Evening MBA students to join Vovida, namely Richard Tywoniak, MBA 99, and Jeff Gao, MBA 02.

Chuck Kao of Portal Wave, which develops customized portals that integrate multiple enterprise applications that facilitate all aspects of business-to-business transactions, announced that his company just closed an oversubscribed financing round with $6.2 million.

Barry Major reports that his startup, Freeworks, completed its round B with $4 million in the company coffers. Freeworks provides management and administrative assistance to individuals in small businesses.

Ashesi, the private university in Ghana founded by Patrick Awuah and Nina Marini, both MBAs 99, is a big step closer to their five-year, $11 million fundraising goal. They just topped the $1 million mark. Ashesi plans to open its doors in 2001 to up to 100 undergraduate students per class year.

Several of the 1999 startups have gone live with their services since our last update. Mitchel Harad and Richard Robert's GetRelevant went live with its online Targeted Promotions Network in February. Optomail, an email marketing company in Japan, earned its first yen recently with its first brick & mortar client, Sports Zyuen, a chain of sporting goods stores in Tokyo, report founder Rich Chen and Jim Moliski. According to founder Steve Peletz and Drew Parker-Rose, RedLadder, a portal for construction contractors, went live on February 8. And zipRealty.com announced its expansion to Boston on April 2, adding New England to their existing real estate services in California, Washington, Georgia, and Texas.

[top of page]


On her last day at the Haas School, Laura Brehm, assistant dean for Development and Alumni Affairs, received the Berkeley Citation from Chancellor Berdahl at the Dean's Advisory Board meeting held on Friday, April 7.

"The Berkeley Citation is an appropriate tribute to Laura's stellar record of achievement and the vast network of friends and colleagues that she has built on this campus during nearly a quarter-century of superb service," said Dean Laura D'Andrea Tyson. Brehm is a Cal alumnus and has worked for UC Berkeley for almost 24 years.

In the year 1967-68, when the University of California celebrated its 100th birthday, an honor entitled "The Centennial Citation" was created on the Berkeley Campus. Its object was to allow the university to honor its most distinguished members and friends and was intended for individuals and organizations of high distinction that had rendered notable service to the university. At the end of the Centennial Year it was decided to continue the award as the Berkeley Citation. The citation celebrates extraordinary achievement in the recipient's field coupled with outstanding service to the Berkeley Campus.

"Berkeley Citations are given for outstanding service to the university and for outstanding performance in one's own work," said Dean Emeritus Earl "Budd" Cheit. "The citation is for not only being outstanding in your job but also for a larger service to the university, and Laura excels in both."

[top of page]


The Haas School is proud to announce the recent service award recipients -- Fran Hill (20 years), Dennis Fritzinger (20 years), Diana Burke (15 years), Johanna Della Valle (15 years), Lee Forgue (15 years), Sheriann Lockshin (10 years), and Karese Young (10 years).

Each of the recipients will receive a congratulations letter, a Service Award Pin from President Atkinson, and will begin to accrue additional hours of vacation. The UC system and the Haas School have long recognized staff with many years of service. Although past recipients have not been acknowledged publicly, the Haas NewsWire will continue to report new service award recipients as they are announced.

[top of page]


The Social Venture Business Plan Competition has been in the press quite a bit lately. The competition was featured in the New York Times, SF Gate, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, the Oregonian, National Public Radio and Channel 7 News.

The winner of the Social Venture Business Plan Competition, easyDiabetes.com, was announced by the Associated Press in a story released on April 9.

The Social Venture Business Plan Competition was featured in an AP Wire article that was run in the Oregonian on April 8, in an article titled, "Contest Taps Plans that Could Make a Difference." The article described the competition in depth and quoted both organizers and judges. The full text of the article can be found at http://www.oregonlive.com/business/oregonian/index.ssf?
. The same article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle under the headline, "Berkeley Competition Looks for Capitalism with a Conscience."

The Social Venture Business Plan Competition was mentioned in the San Jose Mercury News on April 5. The full text of the article can be found at http://www.mercurycenter.com/premium/business/docs/termsheet05.htm. The competition was in the San Jose Mercury News again on Friday, April 7. The full text of the article can be found at http://www.mercurycenter.com/premium/local/docs/taco07f.htm.

Dean Laura D'Andrea Tyson appeared "Political Points" on ABC.com on April 5 to discuss the New Economy. Tyson stressed the need to look beyond the volatility of the markets to the real economy of the country. The video clip can be found in the archive section of this site http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/.

Peter Sealey, adjunct professor of marketing, was quoted in the Financial Times on April 3 on the importance of Business Schools establishing a distinct brand for themselves.

Timbre Technologies, which was founded by Nick Sturiale, MBA 2000, and was the winner of last year's business plan competition, was in Semiconductor Business News on April 3. You can read the article at http://www.semibiznews.com/story/OEG20000403S0068.

Dean Tyson's regular column in Business Week ran on Monday, April 3. In "Global Markets: More Info May Only Feed the Herd Instinct" Tyson describes the global capital markets as too big, too complex, and too interdependent to by controlled by any actor, private or public.

Jayashankar Swaminathan, assistant professor of manufacturing and IT, was quoted in Information Week on April 3, 2000, on the globalization of the supply chain. The full text of the article can be found at http://www.informationweek.com/780/global.htm.

Professor Brett Trueman appeared as a panelist on KQED's Digital West program last week, talking about the valuation of internet stocks. The program aired on channel 9 at 9 on April 7 and again at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 9.

The Social Venture Business Plan Competition Finalists were mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 30, in a brief titled, "UC Business School Picks Finalists in Contest."

Richard Kurovsky, executive director of marketing and communications, was quoted in the New York Times on March 29 in an article titled, "Next New Era: Spinning Off Can Mean Big Money, but Big Danger Too."

Professor Robert Cole was mentioned in the Daily Cal on March 21, in an article on this year's recipients of the CMR award.

Distinguished Visiting Global Professor Richard Portes spoke on KCRW on March 20 for a show on the future of the International Monetary Fund.

[top of page]









[top of page]

The Haas NewsWire is the electronic news weekly for the Haas community published every Monday by the Marketing and Communications Office at the Haas School. Send your news, feedback, and suggestions to Haasnews@haas.berkeley.edu.

Archived issues of Haas NewsWire are available online at

To subscribe to Haas NewsWire, address e-mail to majordomo@haas.berkeley.edu; in the body of the message type "subscribe haasnewswire" in the first line, and "end" in the second line. To unsubscribe to HNW, type "unsubscribe haasnewswire" in the first line, and "end" in the second line.