UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition/Engineering Mixer
Monday, November 16, 2009
Entrepreneurial Best Practices Series:
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum:
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Lester Center was recognized as one of the world’s top entrepreneurship centers at a banquet dinner held during the annual Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) Conference held October 17-19 in Houston, Texas.
The Lester Center is the proud recipient of the Outstanding Contributions to Advance the Discipline of Entrepreneurship award for recognition of our Global Entrepreneurship Education Initiative, a partnership with Intel Corporation, which over the past four years has trained more than 1,000 faculty worldwide to teach entrepreneurship and stimulate entrepreneurial ecosystems at their institutions. Next week, we are hosting two of the Initiatives’ leading events - The 3rd Global Entrepreneurship Faculty Colloquium, this year’s theme focused on developing mentorship skills, and the 5th Annual Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge, which will bring to Berkeley some of the best emerging entrepreneurial teams from universities around the world. The program would not be possible without the generous support of Intel Corporation and their Higher Education Group.
“Four years ago the Lester Center and Intel Higher Education teamed up on a mission to create centers of entrepreneurial excellence in academic centers around the world,” remarked David Charron, the Lester Center’s executive director. “This global initiative helped precipitate the tidal wave of entrepreneurial interest and activity that we see today. We are extremely pleased and honored to receive the award for these efforts in partnership with Intel.”
In describing the awards, Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, the 2009 conference host school, noted “The best of the entrepreneurship centers were recognized by their peers for their outstanding work. Their efforts have far reaching effects, helping entrepreneurs who themselves are responsible for most of the job creation, economic development, and wealth creation in our world.”
The GCEC is the premier global organization for university-based centers of entrepreneurship. It has become the primary vehicle by which top entrepreneurship centers work together to share information, best practices, develop programs and initiatives, and collaborate and assist each other in advancing, strengthening, and celebrating the contributions and impact of university entrepreneurship programs.
Reflecting on the importance of the recognition, Jerry Engel, founder of the Lester Center and its Co-Faculty Director said “This recognition, from GCEC, the leading organization of our peers, is indeed an honor. We accept it humbly, and take it as a challenge, especially in today’s difficult economic times, to continue to pursue the dual goals of excellence and impact, serving both the University and the global community.”
The Lester Center is proud to participate in the 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation devoted exclusively to entrepreneurship. GEW takes place November 16-22 with more than 3 million people and 8,800 organizations in 85 countries planning activities in their local communities.
Global Entrepreneurship Week was founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
The Kauffman Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of the Lester Center’s academic research over the years. The 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Week seeks to harness the power of entrepreneurship in young people and prepare them to be innovators, business owners and skilled workers through various initiatives, events and competitions.
The Lester Center will celebrate GEW with two programs sponsored in collaboration with Intel Corporation: the 5th Annual Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge (IBTEC) and the Global Entrepreneurship Leadership Symposium (GELS). IBTEC partners with the best research institutions around the world and affiliates with regional business plan competitions to find the technologies and teams that can have the greatest impact. Nearly 30 teams will come to Berkeley November 17-19 to compete for up to $25,000 in prize money.
Now in its third year, GELS (formerly the Global Faculty Colloquium) is focused on training over 50 expert mentors who can support entrepreneurs in their regional ecosystems. GELS incorporates IBTEC activities, providing a live workshop setting allowing participants to observe, explore and practice many of the mentorship and constructive business assessment and development skills taught in the symposium once they return to their local communities.
As this issue of INNOVATION lands in your inbox, we are busy preparing for the nearly 200 visitors who will come through the Lester Center and the UC Berkeley campus next week. We are pleased to be among the many organizations worldwide who are holding events and activities in their communities. Special thanks to Intel Corporation, whose support makes these programs possible.
The 2010 Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) will be holding two information sessions at Haas on Thursday, November 12th, followed by a team formation mixer for those interested in entering the upcoming Competition.
VCIC is, in essence, a "reverse business plan competition." Compared to a traditional business plan competition where teams participate as entrepreneurs seeking venture capital funding, student teams in the VCIC assume the role of venture capitalists and evaluate and "fund" investment opportunities. Competing teams evaluate real business opportunities presented by entrepreneurs currently seeking funding, while being judged by experienced venture capitalists.
Last year, over 30 teams competed for six slots. We expect the 2010 Competition to have the same if not more interest. All UC Berkeley graduate students are eligible to compete, and must compete in teams of five students. VCIC is a wonderful opportunity for those interested in a possible career in the venture capital industry. To learn more about the requirements of the Competition, please come to one of the VCIC information sessions taking place at the Haas School this Thursday, November 12th from 12:30-1:30 pm (Cheit Hall, room C125) or 7:30-8:15 pm (Cheit Hall, room C320). More information about the sessions, the application process, and the Competition can be found at http://entrepreneurship.berkeley.edu/business_competitions/vcic/index.html.
When new laws were passed last year making it illegal to sell recalled products, Haas grad Jennifer Toney (MBA 2008) was already busy building WeMakeItSafer, Inc., a software company that would help individuals and companies identify dangerous products.
With nearly one billion recalled products in circulation already, and more than 100 million added to the pool each year, it is tough for consumers to keep track of what is safe and what isn’t, and for the $500 billion Secondary Retail Market, it is nearly impossible. WeMakeItSafer’s first product, Inventory Checker, changes that.
Inventory Checker is the only electronic system capable of checking an entire inventory, manifest or online marketplace for recalled products at once. Instead of checking thousands of products one at a time, companies that use Inventory Checker are able to quickly hone in on products that may be in violation of the law, enabling them to save time and money while mitigating risk and building a strong reputation as a responsible business.
While at Haas, Toney used nearly every class as an opportunity to research potential solutions to problems with product recall systems. “I cannot tell you how many of my classmates and professors have had a hand in developing WeMakeItSafer,” Toney said. “It truly has been a village effort, and the programs provided by the Lester Center have been pivotal in our early success.” Priyanka Reddy, a UC Berkeley, Computer Science Master’s student, joined Toney as Co-Founder in early 2009, and the two have since added two more Haas grads to the team, Myah Evers and Colby Lavin (both MBA 08). With board member Laurence Toney (MBA 97) and two Haas professors as advisors rounding out the crew, it is definitely a blue and gold team.
Back row left to right:
Myah Evers (MBA 08), Priyanka Reddy (MS CS 10), Laurence Toney (MBA 97)
Front row left to right:
Colby Lavin (MBA 08), Jennifer Toney (MBA 08)
WeMakeItSafer soft launched in July and although they have not yet begun marketing, the team saw its first revenue within a month. WeMakeItSafer is currently housed in the Center for Entrepreneurship (CET) Venture Lab. To hear the latest WeMakeItSafer developments, sign up for their bi-monthly eLetter by sending an email to InformMe@WeMakeItSafer.com.
There are still a few spots left in the upcoming Venture Capital Executive Program (VCEP), a joint program with the UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education. Designed for investment professionals, economic policy advisors, and entrepreneurs striving to gain advanced results-oriented training in the venture capital process, the VCEP will provide participants a thorough, intensive view into the venture capital industry in the world’s premier innovation cluster, Silicon Valley. For more information and to register, visit http://executive.berkeley.edu/programs/vcep/.
Join students from the Haas School of Business and Berkeley’s finest engineering talent at a UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition/Engineering mixer. Discuss your business ideas, learn about the projects engineering students and Venture Lab teams are working on, and meet potential partners for entry into the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition. This is another great opportunity to expand your entrepreneurial network, form your team for the 2010 Business Plan Competition and learn about the exciting ideas being developed at Berkeley!
This event is free and pizza will be provided! RSVP here.
Many companies today can use existing platforms to build and grow their products without having to invest large sums of time or money. We try to make each such business even nimbler by first attempting to understand our customers’ needs and then quickly delivering simple products that we think meet them. This iterative process of customer and product development continues until we discover a winning formula. We call the ongoing dance “rapid-fire marketing,” and the companies that practice it “adrenaline startups.”
Sunil Bhargava of Tandem Entrepreneurs and the founder/CEOs of two Tandem companies, David Zhao of ZumoDrive and Ray Lau of PlayHaven, will review how they’ve applied this approach to building their own businesses.
Click here for more information and to read about our outstanding speakers.
See nearly 30 of the best new technology business ideas in the world, all vying for prizes at the 5th Annual Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge.
The entrepreneurial environment is rapidly becoming global through the mobility of capital, people and technology. The Lester Center and UC Berkeley have partnered with Intel Corporation to create the premier global, technology-focused, business plan competition in the world. This competition brings the winning teams from university-centric competitions from around the world here to UC Berkeley to compete in the heart of the US entrepreneurial community.
The event features keynote speaker Karen Turner, Director of the Office of Development Partners at the US Agency for International Development.
Registration is required. For more information and to register, visit the Forum website.
Get involved with Entrepreneurship and Innovation! The Lester Center's programs offer the inside track on entrepreneurship by bringing entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other industry leaders to the Haas School and provide opportunities for interaction and the development of entrepreneurial ideas. Please check out the The Lester Center's website to view the wide variety of opportunities.