Friday, January 30, 2009

2009 National Security Innovation Competition

We received the following email for the National Security Innovation Competition.


Time is drawing short for interested collegiate teams to submit their “Intent to Compete” forms for the 2009 National Security Innovation Competition. The form and competition guidelines can be accessed at . The Round 1 entry is due by February 25, so there is still time to encourage a team from your school. The quality of competition has been high in past years, and we expect it to be even higher this year as we have expanded the scope of invitees.

Our chief judge will again be a senior technology manager from the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Undersecretary for Science and Technology. Other judges will represent senior technologists from leading companies with a keen interest in innovative technology to support national security. This is an excellent opportunity for the technologies developed at your school to gain broad exposure to senior government and industry “technology scouts”.

Our staff will be calling in the next few weeks to answer any remaining questions you may have and confirm that we have appropriate contact points for your school. Please pass this information on to your faculty which may be working qualified research projects with students. Feel free to have faculty call me directly with questions.

Roger Neeland

**Roger P. Neeland, Ph.D., PMP **

**Competition Director***
**National Security Innovation Competition***

**Phone 719-685-7877 ext 119**

**Cell 719-963-8261**

**** <>

Senior Analyst/Associate*, PureTech Ventures

We received the following note:

"PureTech Ventures is a Venture Capital firm in Boston, focusing in the Life Sciences.  We are currently looking to fill a position for a Senior Analyst. 

Please have applicants send cover letter and resume to"


Senior Analyst/Associate*, PureTech Ventures


Company overview:

PureTech Ventures creates and funds ground-breaking life science companies with a focus on pre-clinical and early clinical stage therapeutics, medical devices and research tools.  PureTech’s team collectively has hundreds of years of experience, has created billions of dollars in value and has developed some of the most important drugs of the last twenty years. After sourcing best-in-class technology for a company, PureTech runs the company while assembling permanent management, establishing the required infrastructure and driving clinical, intellectual property and business strategy development.  


Job Description:

The Senior Analyst/Associate* will support PureTech’s portfolio companies and team members, as well as conduct sourcing and due diligence of early stage life science deals.  This includes:


  • Driving venture creation activities and operations for portfolio companies
  • Structuring and executing scientific and market opportunity analyses
  • Crafting and developing business plans and presentations
  • Managing project plans and timelines
  • Sourcing opportunities and conducting due diligence on potential deals
  • Participating in deal negotiations



  • Graduate degree in life sciences from a top-tier institution required (MD or PhD)
  • Business experience in a life science related company preferred, but not required  
  • Strong presentation and communication skills; candidate should feel comfortable presenting to groups
  • Excellent quantitative analysis and research skills
  • Entrepreneurial and self-motivated work style

The position is full time with a competitive salary and benefits. 
This is a unique opportunity to join one of the most innovative companies in the venture/life sciences space while getting hands-on startup experience in our portfolio companies.  Please send a cover letter and your resume/CV to  Please mention the job title in your correspondence.  For more information on us, please visit


*Title to be determined based on experience

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Last Chance Reminder to Sign-up for Fuqua Planapalooza

The Fuqua Planapalooza business plan review series gives you an opportunity to review business plans of North Carolina start-ups.  In conjunction with the CEI, EVCC, and NC IDEAyou choose what business you're interested in including: 
- Biotechnology & Medical Devices 
- Greentech/Clean Tech 
- IT Software & Wireless IT System
- ... and a range of other industries and applications. 
The Fuqua Plananpalooza will take place on Wednesday, February 11 from 9 am -1 pm including an informal networking lunch with local entrepreneurs and some of the team at NC IDEA.  Additionally, we will host a VC Crash Course with Jeff Boardman of, next Tuesday (February 3) from 6:30-7:30 pm. 
Teams of students will be assigned a few business plans in their chosen industry area and asked to make recommendations on their viability.  This feedback will be the basis for anyone interested in working with the start-ups on later application rounds or possibly in a longer-term relationship with the entrepreneur.   
Please sign up by Sunday, Feb 1. 

Contact Chris DeFilippo if you have any questions or check out the website for more details.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Register for CED's FastTrac TechVenture

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development is recruiting entrepreneurs into their FastTrac program.  It's about 10 weeks long, and you get great information about starting a company. It's a really helpful program, though I'm a bit biased since I was in charge of it for a couple of years.   Info below.


Are you or someone you know looking to start a company? Register now for FastTrac® TechVenture™, a nationally recognized entrepreneurial training program that offers technology and life science entrepreneurs the tools needed to start or refine their business venture.

This 10-week program combines one-on-one coaching, comprehensive learning tools and expert speakers to help refine your business plan, executive summary and investor pitch.

CED’s FastTrac® TechVenture™: Take Charge of Your Business 
Dates: February 3 – April 14, 2009 (Tuesday evenings, dinner included) 
Time: 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Location: CED Entrepreneurship Center, Suite 106, RTP, NC - Directions
Fees: CED Members $595; Non Members $695
Deadline to apply: January 23, 2009 - visit to apply today.

I recently met Jeff Boardman over at  I think their concept is neat - basically they're trying to help non-VCs learn about Venture Capital.

Check it out -


Learn about Search Funds

Search Funds are a neat mechanism for being an entrepreneur.  I saw a panel about them out at Stanford last year.  Basically you raise money, buy a firm, turn it around, then possibly sell it.

We were contact about a website dedicated to the search fund community.  MBA students take note.


Jennifer Stapleton recently wrote: 
"One of our recent search fund clients has just launched what I believe is the first website dedicated solely to the search fund community:   This will be another great resource for students interested in search funds

Invite to Wake Forest's Elevator Competition

I received an email from our friends at Wake Forest for their Elevator Competition.  You actually pitch while going up an elevator.  Duke's own Daniel Egger was involved in this competition for quite a while. 

If interested in competing, contact them directly.


"I hope the start of 2009 is proceeding well and that it continues that way.  At Wake Forest we are planning for a great business plan competition, our 10th Anniversary.  Time with friends goes very quickly.


Stan and I are hoping that a team from Duke will register this year for our elevator competition.  

There are some details below; please let me know if I can provide any additional insight.


The Elevator Competition (TEC 2009): 

Moving to New Heights


q     MBA Business Plan Competition.  TEC 2009 is in its 10th year.  It is consistently one of the best in the nation with $85,000 in cash/prizes to the winner.  This year we are opening it to all college students regardless of classification.  (Our entry to Moot Corp will be the highest ranking business plan led by an MBA.)

q     Social ENT Business Plan Competition.  Last year we opened a new bank of elevators for those of you with programs that generate interesting business plans in the social arena.  This is open to all college level students regardless of program.

Þ   We have reorganized into four “power alleys;” compete in alternative energy, life sciences, social entrepreneurship, and technology.

q     $85,000 in Awards.  The total package is among the largest of any competition. 

Þ   What to do now?  Go to  

o       Click on “Intent to Compete Form” and complete the requested items. 

o       When you are ready to complete your registration, return to the same web site and à Click on “Submit Executive Summary for Business Plan.”  Complete the items requested and upload your executive summary. 


I hope you will have both a traditional and social entry.  The experience is always great, and we would welcome your participation"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Raise funds for your Duke startup here

Hi everyone, 

Do you have an idea for a great startup? Are you trying to raise funds for your startup? 

I'm working with an alumnus that has had a couple of successful exits and is now looking to invest in Duke entrepreneurs. He is working with a couple of friends and they have agreed to look at a few opportunities. 

So we've created the following simple form. If you're interested, please fill the form out. .. 


Check out the upcoming Grand Challenges Summit

I received the following email.  It seems like a pretty star packed group.  In addition to Charles Vest, formerly president of MIT, and Steven Chu (incoming Secretary of Energy for President Obama), there is also Tom Byers of Stanford University (Panel at 3:15pm, March 2nd).    Worth checking out the program.


"I am writing regarding an upcoming event which I feel sure will be of interest you.  It is the *Summit on the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges to be held at the Durham Performing Arts Center on March 1-3 (receptions will be held at the Marriott Convention Center and the Washington Duke Hotel & Golf Club).


Please see the link below for a detailed program for this event.


This event is being hosted by Duke, USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Olin College and supported by the National Academy of Engineering.  It is sponsored by Duke Energy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Duke Energy, RTI International and others.


Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate (1997 in Physics) and Dr. Moira Gunn, Host of Tech Nation and BioTech Nation will be speaking along with Dr. Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering and more.


If you'd like further information regarding this event please feel free to contact me via reply email, Kathy Kay at or Deborah Hill at"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Apply for Shotput Ventures for the summer

Duke alumnus, David Cummings, contacted me about Shotput Ventures, which hopes to launch startups during the summer.  Below is more information.

David has two successful comanies, Hannon Hill, and Pardot.  


Shotput Ventures, a technology startup accelerator fund, will launch a three-month program this summer to give entrepreneurs a shot at converting passion into profit.

The group, which includes’s Mitch Free, will invest up to $250,000 in eight to 10 potential companies. The deals will be small -- $5,000 per team and $5,000 per founder -- and focused on what the eight partners know well: capital-light, Web companies.

The concept is to help people with ideas, who might not have access to a small amount of money needed to get the idea off the ground, Shotput partner and architect David Cummings said.

“You have an idea and you can put 110 percent into it for three months, build something [and] prove it,” he said. “After three months you’ll have something tangible, you’ll have some beta customers.”

Cummings likens the selection process to applying to grad school.

“We are really trying to understand the person, what they want to do, why they want to do it,” he said. “The talent, and the ambition is much more important than already having something done.”

During the summer, the entrepreneurs will get mentoring from Shotput partners and access to veteran entrepreneurs, bankers and investors at weekly dinners. For the final exam, the class must pitch to the money men -- VCs and angels.

Cummings expects about a third of the class to walk away with institutional money and another third to bootstrap their way forward.

Investing in companies is riskier business, investing in mere ideas can be financial suicide. Shotput hopes to burn some of the risk by betting only on those sectors its partners are familiar with -- social networking applications, business-to-business marketplaces, e-commerce and marketing automation.

“If we don’t understand the idea or the space,” Cummings said, “we’re not going to [invest in it.]”

Making the right deals defines the success of any venture fund, said Mike Blake, managing director at valuation firm Adams Capital and co-founder of StartupLounge.

“It’s really tough to overcome a mediocre deal,” he said

For its effort and money, Shotput will get 5 percent to 10 percent in common stock in its portfolio companies.

“If we get five-times our money back,” Cummings said, “we’ll have done extremely well.”

Shotput Ventures addresses an unmet need for seed stage capital, said Greg Foster, partner at Atlanta-based Noro-Moseley Partners. Foster, however, suggested it might be difficult for Shotput to make a significant return given the relatively small stakes.

“It’s also more difficult for common shareholders to achiever a higher return multiple on their investment,” he said. “The [portfolio] company would have to be really successful to the degree that common shareholders receive a significant benefit.”

Regardless, Atlanta’s tech investors will be watching the Shotput model. By helping transform ideas into companies, Shotput creates future investment opportunities for the guys higher up the food-chain.

That, in the end, could be the legacy of the Shotput boys.

Job site for a successful search

One alum in Silicon Valley reported success using the following site to land a job at a startup.


Student help needed

Here at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, we have a need for a student to help out with various office-oriented tasks - updating spreadsheets, postering around campus, doing some research online, organizing pictures on flickr, putting together some documents, etc...

We have 3-5 hours a week of work.

Looking for a student to help out.

More about our Center is at

We also put together

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Money for startups - apply to the NC IDEA Grants Program

This is run by our friends at NC IDEA.  If you have a startup idea, and are looking for money, it's worth your while to investigate this.


NC IDEA Grants Program

The NC IDEA (North Carolina Innovative Development for Economic Advancement) Grants Program provides funding for start-up technology firms headquartered in NC to fill the gap between government and private equity support.  Following a mission of job creation through commercialization of technology innovation, NC IDEA implements the Grants Program for companies in the fields of Information Technology, Medical Devices, Material Sciences, and Green Technologies. 


The initial “pre-proposal” application process opens Friday, January 9th and pre-proposals must be submitted online by Friday, January 30th. Approximately 20 companies submitting “pre-proposal” submissions will be selected to participate in a subsequent full proposal submission and review period. This process will include submission of a more comprehensive proposal and prioritized budget for use of grant proceeds. The comprehensive proposal submission period will end in mid March. A final round of applicant companies will be selected to present their proposal to a NC IDEA Grants Program advisory committee comprised of entrepreneurs and early-stage business advisors. Grant recipients will be notified in May.


Please visit the website for more information and eligibility details:




NC IDEA provides grants, loans and traditional venture capital to help young companies between seed funding and Series A financing. The non-profit company further supports these companies by leveraging strategic partnerships and alliances to help companies through research phases, business challenges and growth goals. NC IDEA is committed to supporting North Carolina’s economic development by ensuring young, innovative companies grow, create jobs and become contributing business leaders. For more information, visit

Monday, January 5, 2009

WEC25 - Wharton Business Plan Competition

Attention entrepreneurs:

You are invited you to apply now to showcase your business at the

"WEC25 Startup Expo,"

which will be part of the 12th annual Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference,

Friday, February 13th, 2009 in Philadelphia.


What is the WEC25 Startup Expo?

The WEC25 Expo is a unique opportunity to present your entrepreneurial venture to a vast network of VCs and entrepreneurs. 

The WEC25 Expo will be composed of 25 of the most promising startups, which will each be given their own table to exhibit their business all day alongside the annual Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference. The WEC25 companies will gain incredible exposure to our 500+ guests, including leading venture capital investors, MBA students from The Wharton School and other Penn Graduate students (e.g., Engineering and Medicine), and industry professionals from the greater Philadelphia entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Our judges (leading VCs and Wharton professors) will select the ten most promising businesses from among the WEC25, who will be awarded the opportunity to give a live pitch to a group of leading VCs.

The winning company will receive:

-          A private meeting with a top venture capital fund

-          Premium versions of Microsoft Office 2007 ($600+ value)

-          Cash

To apply:

Go to 

  1. Today – Submit the "Preliminary Submission – Basic Contact Info".  This should take only 15 seconds. We'll use this info to keep you informed about the WEC25 between now and conference day.
  2. By the application deadline, Monday, January 12 (11:59pm ET)
    1. Complete and submit the "Expo Application Form".
    2. Upload your business plan.

You should apply if:

-          You are anyone with a startup business.

-          Your business could benefit from exposure and/or funding and/or networking.

-          Your business is in any stage of growth/funding, from unfunded through series C.

-          Your business is in any industry, including:

o   Web services / e-commerce

o   Energy / clean technology

o   Wireless / telecom

o   Healthcare / life sciences

o   Retail

o   Business-to-business

o   Consumer goods

o   … or anything else not mentioned here – all are welcome.

The benefits being selected to the WEC25:

-          Unique opportunity to present your entrepreneurial venture to a vast network of VCs and entrepreneurs, including:

o   Draper Fisher Jurvetson

o   Highland Capital

-          Top ten companies will be selected to do a live pitch to a panel of leading VC professionals. Winning business will be awarded:

o   A private meeting with a top venture capital fund

o   Premium versions of Microsoft Office 2007 ($600+ value)

o   Cash

-          Excellent networking opportunity

o   Exposure to potential employees/partners and other likeminded entrepreneurs from Wharton, Penn and the Philadelphia student and professional community.

o   Meet Wharton MBAs and Penn Engineering students who could do projects for you. Who doesn't love free labor?

o   Meet leading providers of business services, such as Morgan Lewis (legal), and Meltwater and Cohen Brothers (Accounting).

-          Receive valuable, positive media exposure for your business in leading online and print blogs and publications.

-          Attend (for free) our premier keynote speeches and panels composed of industry thought leaders focused on the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

About the Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference:

The Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference is one of the country's most widely attended entrepreneurship conferences. Over its twelve year history, it has attracted thousands of students, professionals, academics as well as coverage from media companies such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and CNN. This student-run conference has also vastly benefited from various speakers and their entrepreneurial and business knowledge in the form of keynotes as well as panelists.


Past participants in the conference include Thomas Stemberg (Founder and CEO of Staples), David Neeleman (Founder and CEO of JetBlue Airways) and Darius Bikoff (Founder of Glaceau, maker of VitaminWater). This year we are inviting over 500 professionals, entrepreneurs, and students to participate in the conference. 

We are especially thrilled to present our two keynote speakers this year: Julian Brodsky, founder, director and chairman of Comcast Corporation, and Donny Deutsch, host of CNBC's The Big Idea, will be speaking about the challenges of entrepreneurship in the current environment, and ways to turn big ideas into reality.  Our keynote will be complemented by words of wisdom from Farhad Mohit, founder and CEO of Shopzilla/Bizrate and DotSpots. 


More info:



WEC25 Expo:

Contact: Jon Feldman -  

Medical Device opportunity with doctor in Florida

From an email I received:

"Company/Opportunity Description:
 I have found that hospital employees are very lax in wearing personal
 protective equipment. This causes spead of resistant bacteria in
 hospitals. There are about 100,000 deaths yearly due to these infections
 (& ~ 2 million infections; which costs the hospital industry billions of
 dollars in losses). Recently, Medicare has passed a mandate that they
 will not pay for certain hospital acquired infections.
My device would save hospitals money by reducing hospital acquired
infections. I am seeking the assistance of the school in writing a
good business plan. It probably is a specific project for a student in the
entrepreneurship class, where writing a business plan is part of the
learning process. I would prefer that the candidate have either a medical or an engineering background.
I am trying to develop a device with the assistance of a North Carolina engineering firm.

This would target the hospital infection control market which is a large and
growing one.

Thank you , Sincerely,
 Vivek Manikal, MD,
 Infectious Diseases Associates of North Florida, PA
 St Augustine, FL 32080
 904 461 0821