Solid Fuel Cell Technology Wins First Prize in the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition
Full-time Berkeley MBA Program to be Headed by NYU Stern Official
Xerox CTO to Speak on Innovation, May 5
Deloitte Chairman Sharon Allen to Lecture on Diversity in Business on Wednesday, May 5
New Haas Professor Punctures Myth of Scarce CEO Talent
Two Cal Teams Awarded Prizes in USF Competition
Salesforce.com's Marc Benioff Event Cancelled
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas
A new economically viable fuel cell technology that will save long-haul freight truckers thousands of dollars in diesel fuel every year has won the $25,000 grand prize at the sixth annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition.
The winners were announced at the UC Berkeley's Entrepreneurs Forum, hosted by the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, on Thursday, April 29.
First-prize winner Proton Power has developed a solid acid fuel cell technology that will initially serve as auxiliary power units (APUs) for long-haul freight trucks. The APUs will save truckers from having to idle their diesel engines to power heat, air, and electricity in their cabins and save the average trucker $2,600 per year in diesel fuel. In addition, the fuel cell APUs also significantly reduce noise and pollution.
The technology was developed over the past seven years by two researchers from the California Institute of Technology and transformed into a commercially viable business idea with the help of four Berkeley MBA students: Kornelijus Chelutka, Marek Fibrich, Andrei Marinescu, and Jeff Renaud.
Analog Micro Displays (AMD) won the second prize of $10,000. The venture has developed a Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System or MEMS-based projection technology that allows the design of miniature projection systems that offer UXGA or HDTV resolution color imaging at low cost and low power consumption aimed at the data projector and TV projection markets. Its team consists of Berkeley MBA student Sander Gubbens, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, and a Lawrence Berkeley Lab scientist.
DFM won both the third prize and the People's Choice Award, voted on by the audience at the award ceremony; each prize is worth $5,000. DFM's patent-pending Pattern Matcher software seeks out flaws and optimizes design of semiconductor chips before they are manufactured. According to the team - three UC Berkeley Ph.D. students in engineering and Berkeley MBA student Ya-Chieh Lai - the software will not only create huge cost savings but will also significantly reduce time to market. One current DFM customer estimates that it shaves three months off of every design cycle.
The first-ever Best of UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco Technology Prize of $7,500 was awarded to Silicon Clocks. The team has developed a MEMS-based timing component for cell phones and microprocessors so tiny that it can fit anywhere on a chip.
By reducing its cost and size and improving performance over conventional quartz-based timing components, this technology increases the battery life and allows for added functions.
The competition is organized by a team of Berkeley MBA students and hosted by the Haas School's Lester Center in collaboration with the College of Engineering, the School of Information Management and Systems and the University of California, San Francisco. Each venture must have at least one student, alumnus/a, or faculty member from UC Berkeley or UC San Francisco's Life Sciences campus on its management team.
This year's competition enjoyed the support of more than 40 judges from leading venture capital firms and donations from 14 sponsors. The sponsors include: Gold Sponsor: Sevin Rosen Funds (which is also sponsoring the Technology Prize); Silver Sponsors: Allegis Capital and Intel Capital; Bronze Sponsors: Foundation Capital, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, New Path Ventures, Pillsbury Winthrop, Qualcomm, Reed Smith, Ritchey Fisher Whitman & Klein, Sirenza Microdevices, Versant Ventures; In Kind Sponsor: PaloAlto Software; Other Contributors: Kevin Warnock of Silveroffice and Silicon Valley Bank.
For more information, go to http://bplan.berkeley.edu/.
Julia Min will join the Haas School in August as the new executive director of the Full-time MBA Program, succeeding David Downes who retired in 2003.
Min comes to Haas with eight years of MBA admissions experience at NYU Stern, where she currently serves as the assistant dean for MBA admissions.
"With Julia and her long association with the Stern School at NYU, we have hired a director who has experience with a business school and students very similar to Haas," says Dean Tom Campbell. "As was the case with former Director David Downes, we expect Julia to provide leadership for many years to come."
Min joined Stern in 1996 as the assistant director of admissions and moved up the ranks to associate director and senior associate director of admissions. She was promoted to director of student services, overseeing the all aspects of student life -- including financial aid, advising, student activities, and international programs -- prior to her most recent position as assistant dean.
"As I wait to start at Haas officially in August, I look forward to joining a community of talented colleagues whom I have come to know and admire through my career in business education," says Min. "I am excited about working with every member of the Haas community, especially the students who are so engaged and enthusiastic about their experience at Haas. It is truly a great opportunity, and I can't wait to meet everyone and start my new journey with you."
Pete Johnson, director of international admissions for the Full-time MBA Program said of Julia, "She is a great fit for Haas, and she'll bring solid experience and a fresh perspective-as well as a sense of humor and a genuine interest in making sure that our students have a great experience."
Min holds an MA in International Education from NYU and a BA in History of Religion from the University of Virginia. Until her arrival, Dan Sullivan will continue to serve as the Full-time MBA Program's Interim Director.
Described as "the man recharging Xerox's research and development" by Business Week, Herve Gallaire, the chief technology officer of the Xerox Corporation, will speak at Haas on Wednesday, May 5, at 12:30 p.m. in Cheit Hall 325.
Gallaire is also the president of the Xerox Innovation Group and is responsible for the $900 million research and development budget of Xerox. He oversees 1,000 scientists and engineers at labs in Webster, NY, and in Great Britain, Canada, and France -- plus PARC, Inc., now a separate subsidiary of Xerox. His talk is titled "Innovating the Bottom Line: Optimizing Value from R&D."
Gallaire holds an MS and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley and an MS in mechanical engineering from ╔cole Nationale SupÚrieure des Arts et MÚtiers in France.
This event is sponsored by the Haas students' High Technology Club; Henry Chesbrough, visiting assistant professor at Haas; and the Center for Technology Management. Pizza and soda will be served. The event is open to the entire Haas community.
Sharon Allen, the first woman to be named chairman of the board of directors at Deloitte & Touche USA and the highest ranking woman in the firm's history, will speak on the importance of diversity in business at a special lecture on Wednesday, May 5, at 5:00 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room at the Haas School of Business.
"Companies whose corporate boardrooms and executive suites are filled with men and women of all races do a better job governing themselves and preventing corporate crime," said Allen at a recent speech. "Diverse boards ask harder questions and challenge executives' business decisions."
The event is sponsored by UC Berkeley's Student Achievement Guided by Experience (SAGE) Scholars Program and the Haas School of Business Dean's Speakers Series. For more information, please contact Susie Hanna at 643-9690 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top corporate managers, sports figures, and Hollywood stars end up making millions of dollars a year because they are worth more than all the rest -- right? Not necessarily, says Marko Tervi÷, assistant professor in the Economic Analysis and Policy group, who joined the Haas School in fall 2003.
Based on his studies of labor-market dynamics, Tervi÷ argues that people who end up making eight-figure incomes (or more) are those who have been lucky enough to land rare positions and prove themselves -- not necessarily the most talented people for the job. "What's scarce is not the talent, but the number of opportunities for trying people out," he says.
Tervi÷ says the risk that a new person may be a worse performer than the incumbent gives most companies the incentive to hire from the same tried-and-true pool. When companies do not have a stake in the future value of the talent that they discover, but only in its immediate ability to produce output for the firm, proven but mediocre workers are likely to be hired over new, unproven talent. Competition for proven workers at all levels drives up wages of the talented and mediocre alike.
Tervi÷ uses the studio system in Hollywood as an example. Before the late 1940s, new actors had to commit to seven-year contracts. If an actor turned out to be a star, the studio reaped a huge profit while maintaining the actor's wages at a relatively low level. Such occasional boons made up for talent that spelled failure. Once the contract system ended in the late 40s and was replaced by individualized, one-time agreements, however, actors could negotiate fees for each movie. As a result studios were less motivated to find new faces because a flop in one movie could no longer be compensated for by a winner in another. New "finds" could easily be lured away by other studios. As studios reduced their experimentation with new talent, guaranteed star quality became an even scarcer commodity, pushing up wages for those with proven box-office records.
A similar phenomenon happens in the corporate world every day, says Tervi÷. "In jobs where companies worry about their workers being poached by other firms -- such as in the top echelons of management -- there is similarly less experimentation with new talent and high compensation for proven talent," he explains. Even at other employment levels, a person who is "good enough" is generally preferred over an untried novice because a company knows that at least a certain level of output will be met. Thus talent markets tend to be plagued by mediocrity.
Tervi÷'s latest research is investigating how social networks overcome problems of imperfect information in the hiring of Ph.D.s in academia. He earned his own doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds an undergraduate degree in economics and statistics from the University of Helsinki. This semester he is teaching "Microeconomic Analysis for Business Decisions."
A Haas/UC Berkeley team, Nanosense, received a $500 Honorable Mention Award at the University of San Francisco 2004 International Business Plan Competition held last month.
Nanosense is working on a nanotech-enabled ultra-sensitive sensor platform that allows doctors to gather molecular details of a patient's disease allowing them to tailor treatment the patient. The Nanosense team members are Jimmy Chuang; Jeff Grunes; Tim Logan, Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering; Dave Nellesen MBA 05; Hui Wan, Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering; and Ji Zhu.
The competition had over 150 entries from 100 universities in 18 countries around the world. The business plans were judged by a panel of venture capital partners including representatives from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers and Hummer Winblad. Another UC Berkeley team, Silicon Clocks, also received an honorable mention in the USF competition. For more information, visit http://www.BusinessPlanCompetition.org.
The Nanosense team also made it to the final round of the MBA Jungle Business Plan Challenge that took place on Friday, April 30, 2004.
Marc Benioff, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Salesforce.com, has had to cancel his talk at the Haas School scheduled for May 10, 2004. According to the May 3 edition of Business Week, Salesforce.com last week filed to go public.
Ray Miles' Strategic Management Classic Lauded
The Academy of Management Executive journal published an in-depth commentary on Professor Emeritus Raymond Miles' classic book, Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process, co-authored with Charles Snow, in November 2003 to commemorate the publication a special 25th anniversary edition of the book earlier last year.
"Of the several strategy classification systems introduced over the past 25 years," writes Penn State's Donald Hambrick in one of the articles in the Academy of Management Executive, "the Miles and Snow typology has been the most enduring, the most scrutinized, and the most used."
First published in 1978, Organizational Strategy remains an insightful and useful tool for senior managers who wish to understand and respond to the challenges they face in their own organizations. The book has been cited in more than 1,100 scholarly works, has been translated into both Japanese and German, and has been widely used in classrooms around the world. The special edition was published in May 2003.
The Haas School of Business Global Venture Competition was mentioned in the following publications:
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 email@example.com; 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.