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Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC Marshall School of Business Announces Winners of New Venture Seed Competition

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Winners of USC Marshall School of Business' "New Venture Seed

Competition," sponsored by the School's Lloyd Greif Center for

Entrepreneurial Studies, were announced at the Marcia Israel 2010 Awards

Banquet on Thursday, April 29th.

The annual competition, sponsored by one of the nation's top-ranked

entrepreneurship programs, provides seed money to budding entrepreneurs.

This year, USC Marshall opened the competition to undergraduates,

graduates and even faculty and staff across the University who could

bring a wide range of new ideas and pitch concepts to a panel of

seasoned angel investors. Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels and

Maverick Angels -- organizations that specialize in funding early-stage

companies, as well as investment bank Greif & Co., the Entrepreneurs'

Organization (EO) and the law firm of Haynes and Boone, volunteered time

and expertise.

Fifty-four teams competed for a prize pool of $55,000, which included

$10,000 in seed money to first-place winners in each category, $2,500 in

legal fees, and donated office space. In addition, computer product

distributor Arbitech awarded $5,000 to the contest's technology winner.

Gene Miller, director of the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies,

associate professor of clinical entrepreneurship and consultant, said,

"We are living in 'interesting times.' We are seeing great shifts in how

we conduct business as well as inefficiencies in the marketplaces of the

world. These challenges to how we live, work and play spell

opportunities for entrepreneurs. What entrepreneurs are struggling with

is gaining traction, credibility and visibility for their enterprises.

The purpose of the Seed Fund was to help them accomplish that, to build

a prototype to demonstrate their concept or to reach out and capture

their first customer."

Steven Mednick, Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies professor,

director of the New Venture Seed Competition, and investor and

consultant to over 100 early-stage businesses, added, "Monetary awards

aside, the true value of this contest is to connect young entrepreneurs

with experienced investors and venture capitalists who can offer

guidance and be contacts for their entrepreneurial journeys."

The winners:

Undergraduates

1st Place: University Supplements

Launched by two USC Marshall School of Business undergraduates,

University Supplements sells a variety of sports nutrition products and

vitamins at college bookstores for a fraction of the price offered by

online retailers. Cofounders Andy Hayes (BS '11) and Adam Fried (BS '11)

who had $48 dollars in their bank accounts at the time of the company's

launch, aim to sign with 4 more schools by the fall semester and

eventually branch out to as many as 10 schools by the time they graduate

in Spring 2011.

2nd Place: Solé Bicycles

Developed by Marshall School of Business students Jonathan Ross

Shriftman (BS '10) and Jacob B. Medwell (BS '11), Solé Bicycles is a

socially responsible company that will be producing affordable

fixed-gear bicycles known as "fixies"--the latest trend in bicycles. The

company will be importing lightweight bikes directly and custom designs

will be distributed from an online marketplace at less than half the

price of their competitors'. With a strong belief in giving back, 5

percent of all profits will support the Fallen Heroes Charity.

Graduates

1st Place: ConservatorshipHelp.com

ConservatorshipHelp.com, a site conceived by Paul Richard Del Piero

(JD/MBA '12) and now in development, intends to be a resource for the

relatives of the approximately 90,000 Californians each year who need

loved ones to assume responsibility for their medical and financial

decision-making. By creating a questionnaire that helps to generate all

the legal documents necessary to file for conservatorship/adult

guardianship, Del Piero hopes to help individuals with ailing spouses,

children whose parents have Alzheimer's and parents of adult children

with developmental disabilities. The site, to be fully launched in

Summer 2010, will serve as a low-cost alternative to attorney fees,

which in California typically cost about $10,000.

2nd Place: Triptrotting Inc.

Triptrotting is a social media site where student travelers can connect

to other university students, meet with like-minded individuals and

avoid being "another clueless traveler." Developed by Aigerim

Duiseneyeva (USC Marshall BS '07, USC Viterbi MS '11) and Shana Zheng

(USC Marshall BS '07, USC Viterbi MS '11), Triptrotting hopes to

encourage travelers to experience everyday life and foster solid

personal and professional networks across the globe. http://www.triptrotting.com

Faculty and Staff

ACE Ventures Inc.

Founded by USC faculty member and USC Marshall School of Business

alumnus, Jeff Kreshek (MBA '97), ACE Ventures Inc. is introducing

"Med-A-Dial," a simple and easy-to-use device that tracks dosing

intervals and will assist parents who dispense medicine to their

children in the middle of the night. According to its makers, Med-A-Dial

differs from competitive products on the market in that it fits any size

prescription container and does not rely on electronics, which can

render other devices prone to failure. In addition, the company plans on

curbing costs by providing branding opportunities for chain stores

directly on the device.

Arbitech Technology Award Winner

Intuitive Motion

Undergraduates from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Geoff Larson

('10) and Ben Forman ('09) developed a prototype for the Z Board, a

personal-transportation device that is a hybrid of a motorized

skateboard and a Segway. Responding to the rider's weight, the Z Board

accelerates by leaning forward and brakes by leaning backward. Intuitive

Motion is marketing the re-chargeable device to eco-conscious student

commuters. With a long list of pre-orders, the Z Board has a

much-anticipated debut this summer. http://www.intuitivemotion.com

About the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is a pioneering

program in entrepreneurship education and research. Its faculty--a

diverse mix of academics and entrepreneur practitioners--offers

undergraduate and graduate programs designed to help students acquire

the tools, develop the skills and cultivate the mindset central to

organizing, launching, and managing successful new ventures. The program

has consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation and has

been ranked #1 by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine. Business

Week along with U.S. News and World Report labeled the Greif Center as

"one of the best entrepreneurship programs" in the country.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100503005776/en/Lloyd-Greif-Center-Entrepreneurial-Studies-USC-Marshall
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