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Spring 2002 CalBusiness  
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Optics Startup Wins UC B-Plan Contest

The technology to correct vision problems and cure eye diseases garnered the $50,000 grand prize of the fourth annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition.

Adaptic's technology promises significant improvements in optical applications, including pharmaceuticals that prevent blindness, LASIK surgery, custom contact lenses, and early detection of eye diseases. The company has developed low-cost deformable micro-mirrors for adaptive optics that allow eye doctors at least three times the image resolution of current technologies.

"UC Berkeley's competition enabled us to take what was a raw idea six months ago and through its workshops and mentor programs develop it into a very viable business opportunity," said Matthew Campbell, second-year MBA student and co-founder of Adaptic. Adaptic also won the $25,000 first prize at the 2002 MBA Jungle Competition in New York.

The UC competition is led by MBA students at the Haas School of Business and co-sponsored by the College of Engineering. Each team must have at least one member who is a UC Berkeley student or graduate. Since the competition began, participating teams have raised more than $120 million in venture funding. The first-year winner, Timbre Technologies, was sold in February 2001 to Tokyo Semiconductor for $138 million.

The $25,000 second prize went to ChipSi Inc., a fabless semiconductor company that plans to design, develop, and market silicon solutions for the datacom and telecom markets. With its Control Processor, ChipSi plans to address what its founders consider to be a serious Internet bottleneck in the making. Three of ChipSi's four team members are Haas MBAs of the Class of 2001.

E-Mask, an all-student team from the business and engineering schools, took home two prizes - the $10,000 cash prize and the $5,000 People's Choice Award, based on a vote by the audience selected at the final event. E-Mask provides digital, programmable lithography for integrated circuit manufacturing that eliminates the need for costly masks. The technology also makes it feasible to manufacture customized chips. For more information, visit http://bplan.berkeley.edu.

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Adaptic won both the UCB and MBA Jungle competitions
Adaptic won both the UCB and MBA Jungle competitions. Team members Michael Helmbrecht, a researcher at the College of Engineering's Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center, and Matthew Campbell, a second-year MBA student at Haas, are pictured here with Jerome Engel, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (far left), and Richard Newton, dean of engineering (team member Dr. Nathan Doble, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Rochester, NY, is not pictured).
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