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The Materials Research Society (MRS) recently launched its third MRS Entrepreneurship Challenge, an international competition pairing students and professional materials scientists and engineers with business school students to develop concepts for materials-based startup companies. The grand prize is $3000, and the top three teams will each receive travel funding of up to $3500 so they can present their entries at the 2008 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. The registration deadline is December 15, 2007.
While face-to-face meetings are not discouraged, the Entrepreneurship Challenge is structured to be virtual. Materials scientists and business students from around the world are encouraged to partner and collaborate on their technology ideas/business plans via phone or Internet. Business plans will be submitted to MRS headquarters, where they will then be available to a judging panel of venture capitalists who are also geographically dispersed. This approach allows for networking across and between schools and continents.
Judges are all experienced venture capitalists, members of the National Venture Capital Association, and come from firms having at least $50 million under active management. They will score presentations according to fairly typical venture capital investment criteria.
Networking is a major benefit of the competition. Through it, participants will be exposed not only to the other half (business or technical expertise of teammates), but to venture capitalists, senior businessmen and corporations that might be interested in helping the proposed ideas to market.
For more information, including entry instructions and eligibility requirements, visit www.mrs.org/entrepreneur.