Entrepreneurship students move UA technologies into marketplace
McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship teams advance innovative ideas in 2007 business plans competition
TUCSON, Ariz. – APRIL 26, 2007 – Spoiled apples result in $300 million of lost revenue per year. The 2006 North American E. coli outbreak led to 199 infections, three deaths, and 31 kidney failures by October 6, 2006. Scientists at The University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute have developed technologies to curb these problems, and McGuire Entrepreneurship students at the Eller College of Management have explored the steps needed to commercialize them.
RediRipe, a fruit ripeness indication system, and Innovis Technologies, a diagnostic kit that detects microbial contamination in foods, emerged as the undergraduate and graduate winners respectively in the CB Richard Ellis / McGuire Entrepreneurship Business Plans competition on Friday, April 20.
“The McGuire Center and the UA Office of Technology Transfer maintain a unique collaboration that provides an avenue for University-developed innovations to reach the marketplace,” said Sherry Hoskinson, director of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. “Without the know-how and energy of our student entrepreneurs, many of these important technologies might not otherwise realize their social and economic potential.”
The RediRipe business plan was developed by four undergraduate seniors: marketing majors Adam Baskin and Sean Conway, finance major Justin Guerra, and optical sciences and engineering major Adam Little. RediRipe is a fruit ripeness indication system featuring a patented, color-changing sticker invented by Mark Riley, associate professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering. Riley was honored earlier this month as the first recipient of the Governor’s Arizona Innovation Award by Governor Janet Napolitano.
Three graduate students ― management information systems major Rachana Gollapudi, applied biosciences major Olin Feuerbacher, and management business administration Alicia Reeves ― created the business plan for Innovis Technologies. The company is based on patented technology used to identify microbial contaminants, such as E. coli, in food and water. The test kit, developed by assistant professor of chemistry Indraneel Ghosh, is able to detect pathogens in 10 minutes, a significant improvement over current tests which take anywhere from 6 to 48 hours to produce results.
RediRipe and Innovis Technologies each competed against two other semi-finalist teams in their respective divisions. The runners-up in the undergraduate business plan competition were:
- All Abroad LLC, which designs dynamic teaching and learning opportunities worldwide for faculty and students. Team members are Shannon Kolder, Chris Leet, Greg Oates, and Gabrielle Pavelko.
- MotionBay Sports, an indoor sports instruction facility which offers video motion-analysis lessons for a range of popular sports. Team members are Matthew Boltz, Austin Sams, and Daniel Shlossman.
The graduate division runners-up were:
- ExploreIt Innovations, makers of a three-dimensional interactive educational technology based on student learning styles. Team members are Dermot Carey, Ryan Ralston, Jamie Samdal, Joseph Smith, and Matt Stacy.
- Vidrio Communities, which builds high-quality urban and ecologically-friendly active adult communities for the gay and lesbian population. Team members are Wai-ni (Teresa) Liu, Ben McDonald, Alexandra Meyn, and Rakesh Mopidevi.
The final round judges for the competition included Karl Eller (The Eller Company, Phoenix, Ariz.), Christopher McGuire (The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, Palm Desert, Calif.), John Buttery (Latitude Geographics, Seattle, Wash.) Matthew Williams (Amazon.com, Seattle, Wash.), Robert Davis (CB Richard Ellis, Tucson, Ariz.), and Steven Hilton (Meritage Homes, Scottsdale, Ariz.)
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #12 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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