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Summer 2003 CalBusiness  
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Weight-loss Technology Wins B-Plan Competition

A new weight-loss technology being developed by Gastric Retention Technologies (GRT) won the $50,000 grand prize in the fifth annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition in April.

The firm’s novel approach to weight-loss programs may soon allow physicians to curb their patients’ food intake and desire for food. Patients would swallow a pill containing a polymer that would expand once it reaches the stomach, thereby reducing the feeling of hunger. The polymer itself would dissolve in a matter of days.

The GRT principals are Dan Burnett, an MD and an MBA graduate from Duke University, and Nate Beyor, a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley.

The second prize of $10,000 went to VSee Lab. VSee Lab’s proprietary software drives the first viable desktop video-conference system, allowing up to 20 students and teachers to see and hear each other simultaneously. Berkeley MBA students David Geisler and Robert Lee helped founding CEO Milton Chen, a Berkeley alumnus, with the business plan.

Medifuel took both the third-place prize of $5,000 and the People’s Choice award of $5,000, voted on by the audience at the final event. Medifuel’s GlucoCell battery harnesses the body’s natural energy resource—glucose—to power implantable medical devices. Berkeley MBA students Ken Bui and David Tseng joined inventor Kien Lam in creating a company around Lam’s GlucoCellTM.

The business plan competition was founded by Berkeley MBA students. It is hosted by the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in collaboration with the College of Engineering and the School of Information Management & Systems as well as UC San Francisco.

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Dan Burnett and Nate Beyor
Dan Burnett and Nate Beyor, a Bioengineering Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, were the happy winners of the $50,000 Grand Prize of the 2003 UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition.
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