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Five finalists selected for technology entrepreneurial competition

Laura L. Hirschfeld, General engineering
(217) 244-9550;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Technology Entrepreneur Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has announced the finalists in the first annual V. Dale Cozad Business Plan Competition. (Editors: See list.)

The competition, which began Aug. 30, attracted 38 teams comprising a total of 97 students from eight colleges and 21 departments at the university, as well as alumni, staff and faculty members, and students from other universities.

Each team submitted a summary of a business plan for turning a technological innovation into a commercial venture.

Fourteen teams initially were selected to advance to the second round of the competition. Those teams had until Nov. 3 to submit a complete business plan for their technology.

On Nov. 15, the five finalist teams were selected. These teams will present their business plans to a panel of venture capitalists and financiers during the final round of the competition, which will be held Dec. 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Computer and Systems Research Laboratory.

First prize is $12,000, second is $5,000, third is $2000; two consolation prizes of $500 also will be awarded.

The final rounds of the competition are open to the public.

Peter Fox and his wife, Kim, are sponsoring the competition. Fox is the founder and president of Fox Development Corp. Cozad, who was an area businessman, entrepreneur, and founder of Cozad Asset Management, died in 1993.

The Technology Entrepreneur Center in the department of general engineering was founded by the UI last spring. The center's mission is to support engineering entrepreneurs in the development and growth of new businesses.

Adobe Inc.: Nathan Brockmann, commerce; Mikhail Voloshin, computer science, Deerfield, Ill.; Cedric Yau, computer science, Portland, Ore.

MCIFace: Pengyu Hong, computer science, China; Dangfeng Li, electrical and computer engineering, China; Jun Li, MBA program, University of Michigan, China; Zhaoyu Liu, computer science, China; Zhen Wen, computer science, China

I4: Yu-Chi (Sabrina) Chen, MBA, Taiwan; Yang Li, electrical and computer engineering, China; Xiang Sean Zhou, electrical and computer engineering, China

Chromax: Michael Lucas, MBA; Larry Markowski, Beckman staff, Wayland, Mich.; Julie Thompson, chemistry, Williamsburg, Va.

PhaseOptics LLC: Remy Tumbar, electrical and computer engineering, Romania