Monday, October 29, 2007

Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative

For those of you interested in rural entrepreneurship, John Collins of The Rural Entrepreneuership Initiative writes, "The REI request for a group study performed by MBA students to assist in research and development of a sector of its business plan."

"REI is in the process of developing collaborative agreements and its small farmers outreach program to assist small farmers in marketing its natural and organic products directly to the consumer under REI’s Amazing Grace Farms Coop from harvest to the consumer’s table as well as exposing small farmers to added value opportunities utilizing portable micro processing facilities discussed in REI’s executive summary. REI recognizes a window of opportunity for small farmers to meet the growing demands of organic and natural farm products through the integration of technology in producing to meet market demands of farm fresh products shipped directly to the consumer’s home."

For more information contact John Collins at

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Enter to win a $50K Just Start grant!

Kira Wumpler, a Fuqua alum from 2004 wrote to me about a neat project she is working on, jumpup. They are giving away money to startups via a competition.

Here's some information from the website:
"The best idea could score $40K in cash and over $10K in expert resources. Plus, two first prize winners walk away with $5K.

Enter the contest, it's easy. Tell us what you'll Just Start. Fact, fiction or fantasy. What have you always dreamed of doing? What are you resigning from and moving towards? And, how will the Just Start grant ($50k) help you strike out on your own?"

For more info, go to and

Shrenik Sheth writes, " is the portal I have started which currently has more than 595 members from more than 80 countries. It is a B2B portal for all kinds of bearing buyers and sellers. We are also planning to expand it into all kinds of PT(Power transmission) products like Chains, belts, pulley, sprockets etc. It would be great if you could connect me to someone having experience in the field of portals and e-commerce sites."

They would be interested to find help from MBAs with experience in portals and e-commerce sites.

Contact for more info.

Friday, October 19, 2007

New Media interns

I spoke to the owner of some of the main media outlets here in the Triangle. I asked him if he wanted any interns. He said they are working on some New Media initiatives.

Anybody interested in New Media? This is a very good company to work with.

Contact Howie at

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

DTRI Fellows Program

Duke Translational Research Institute (DTRI) Fellows

The Duke Translational Research Institute is looking for energetic, self-driven individuals to help develop business plans for new DTRI initiatives. To further advance its translational aims, the DTRI is seeking to set-up businesses (wholly owned or via novel public-private partnerships) to serve academic researchers and industry. The DTRI Fellow will be responsible for developing a full viability assessment for some of these initiatives, analyzing market need, competitive landscape and competitive advantage. The DTRI Fellow will carry out market research studies to determine demand and reasonable price points. The DTRI Fellow may also assist in other aspects of the business planning (marketing plan, operational plan, forecasting, etc.)

The Fellowship can be structured as an independent study (for credit) or as a paid position, depending on candidate’s preference. Time commitment is open to negotiation with interested candidates, but the average expectation is between 8-10 hours / week. The work may be performed remotely, with Fellows attending team meetings as needed but otherwise being able to work from their home offices.

Experience in pharmaceutical, biotech or medical devices companies is welcomed. Business development or scientific research background is considered a plus. If interested, please submit your resume together with a short (<200 words) statement regarding your interest, to before September 28. Please state also your preference (credit vs. pay) and your desired start date.

About the Duke Translational Research Institute
The DTRI is the organization at Duke dedicated to helping move discoveries from the laboratory to first-in-human studies. It is part of the larger Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI). The DTRI is focusing on creating an infrastructure that facilitates translational research across the school of medicine and across the university. The DTRI Fellowship is aimed at developing business plans for different elements of this infrastructure. For more information on DTRI please go to

Duke's Human Vaccine Institute looking for Fuqua students

Patrick Lager writes

"Dr. Greg Sempowski of Duke's Human Vaccine Institute. Gregis very interested in obtaining help from a team of Fuqua students to guide development of the Vaccine Institute's business model. The only details I knowat this point are that they have non-profit status (require revenue neutralmodel) and are a [fairly large] operation."

Interested? Contact

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fortune 300 Subsidiary - Quick Project

From Kurt Schmidt, one of our Entrepreneur Affililiates here at CEI:

"I have a local tech client that's a subsidiary of a Fortune 300 company.I've spoken with my client, the company's President, about anopportunity for an MBA student. My client is looking for someone to do market research (market size, CAGR…) for 2 vertical markets.Benefit to student:1. Knowledge gained from work with Fortune 300 tech company & thecompany's reference2. Potential for follow-on work if we deem skills and potential work are in line with corporate strategyThe initial assignment is short-term, quick-turnaround (1-2 weeks) andwould be pro bono with potential follow-on opportunities. Prefer 2ndyear student skilled & experienced in market research."

Friday, October 5, 2007

Money and Networking from France

We recently received this email, which looks legit (but didn't at first)

"Are you considering or currently starting a technology venture? Think global.

France's Young Entrepreneurs Initiative (YEi) offers one stop access to :
Mentoring and $US600k funding
A network of successful entrepreneurs
Lead customers and business clusters
Business Angels, VC groups, and grants for high tech startups
Technology clusters and shared platforms
Incubators and local venture ecosystems

To apply for the YEi Program (until November 30th) , please visit: "

Participate in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory competition

"Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is once again planning to host a business competition in April. The new name is "Global Venture Challenge" and it will be held April 2 - 4, 2008, at ORNL. The new website,, will be launched at the end of the month. The competition will once again use the Idea to Product competition format, but this year the focus will be on energy applications. At the end of this note is a list of ideas that would qualify for the competition.

This year, students will have an expanded program where they will be able to learn more about ORNL and spend time with key people in their particular areas of research and business. They will also have more time to interact with the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs that will be attending. ORNL management will be inviting leaders at key energy companies to participate as judges at the competition, so students will be able to network with potential employers in the energy industry."

For more information, contact Howie Rhee at

Spin off company needs business plan and SBIR help

We have a UNCG spin off company that needs help in writing business plan as well SBIR Phase II commercialization plan (including conducting prel. market research). The technology involves innovative pathogen/microbial water testing – huge potential in pharma, food and municipal water testing.

For more information contact Howie Rhee at

Kryosphere: Cryogenic freezing

Kryosphere is interested in exploring if there is a marketing student you know of that has ideas and can execute on methods to achieve goals using “guerilla” marketing (for lack of a better description) techniques.

Kryosphere is a startup that wants to capitalize on a need in the market for cryogenic services.

For more info contact Howie Rhee at

Digital Smiths: Video search technology

The startup that wants to do for video what Google has done for the Web cashed in on its vision Tuesday.Digitalsmiths set out to raise $5 million but ended up closing on an oversubscribed round of $6 million in venture capital, the company disclosed Tuesday.

WRAL Local Tech Wire reported on June 4 that the company had closed on at least $5 million. According to Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Ben Weinberger, Digitalsmiths “can do for video what Google has done for text on the Web.”

Information it acquires from Web viewers enables clients to match visitors with advertising content that meets their demographic and viewing criteria. Viewers and ads are matched based on audio recognition, video recognition, and behavioral data.

For more info, contact Howie Rhee at

Retail Business seeks help

Claymakers (,a pottery studio, education, and retail business in Durham, hasrecently gone up for sale. A group of people who have been part ofthe Claymakers community have been talking about trying to turn itinto a member-supported business. Our goal is to maintain access toresources (kilns and other equipment, classes, studio space,supplies, etc.), but moreover to maintain and nurture the communityof potters that has grown with the business over the past severalyears. We do not expect the business to make a significant profit,but obviously we hope it would be self-sufficient, generating enoughincome to pay for 1-2 employees who would likely be supplemented withvolunteer help. The group has been discussing ideas for severalmonths now, and we're finding ourselves in need of help determiningwhether the idea is feasible and generating a viable business plan.

If interested, contact Liz Paley at

Behavioral Health software startup looking for help

SDM makes an Electronic Medical Record for Behavioral Health. They are looking for MBA help.

"Our immediate needs are:

1) Refinement of our Market Analysis. We have some very broad data from US government sources. It seems to be the commonly referred to data set in this industry. However, it does not enable us to segment the market by provider size and by state. This is critical to our business plan. I have been in contact with Health Economists from Harvard and Brandeis and have gotten some help in this area. My sense is that a more concentrated effort could yield good results.

2) Refinement of our Revenue and Cost projections. We currently have spreadsheets that go out about 5 years. We have created a sound structure for cost and revenue modeling. The cost model, in particular, lacks detail and is not as comprehensive as it should be. "

For more info, contact Tom Bainbridge at

Work with Richard Hart, former editor of The Independent

Work with Richard Hart (former editor of The Independent, Richard is considering launching a new type of magazine here in the Triangle, and is hoping to identify an MBA student/class/team who would be interestedin working with him on a business plan, market research, etc, and heasked if we could help him find a Fuqua student. It would be great to find someone with experience or interest inpublishing, but that's certainly not a requirement.

For more info, contact Laura Brinn at

Welcome to the MBA Startup Matchmaker

Welcome to the MBA Startup Matchmaker.

This blog is a posting of opportunities for MBA students interested in working at Startups.

Most of the opportunities are in the RTP area, but could expand to other areas.


Howie Rhee
Managing Director
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation