Bank One And The College Of Business Reward Innovative Business Plans

Published: Dec. 10, 1997

CU-Boulder MBA students who designed a business plan to fund emerging companies in the healthcare industry won first place in the Bank One Business Plan Competition last night on the Boulder campus.

The competition was the culmination of a class taught by Juan Rodriguez, professor of electrical and computer engineering and chairman of Ecrix Corp., Steve Lawrence, professor in the College of Business, and instructor Mike Befeler, a principal and founder of Storage Systems Marketing Inc. Rodriguez is a co-founder of both Storage Technology Corp. and Exabyte Corp.

The class consists of graduate and undergraduate business and engineering students who work in teams to develop a complete business plan designed around a new product, software or service. MBA winners will go on to compete in the NASDAQ-SDSU International Student Business Plan Competition to be held in March on the campus of San Diego State University.

Local business leaders served as mentors and financial advisers to the student groups during the semester. Others were judges at the event.

First place in the graduate competition and $3,000 went to Integra Bio-Health, the venture capital fund that combines funding sources from private investors and the Small Business Administration to fund emerging companies in the healthcare industry. Members of the team included Thomas Bleyer, Theresa Jamerson, Hans Lundin and Joseph Piper, who were mentored by Don Drielbelbis of Pluto Technologies. (Drielbelbis can be reached at 402-9000).

Second place and $1,500 went to Boulder BioDesign, which developed a genetically engineered, brightly glowing house plant called GlowPlantx, which provides entertainment and novelty value. Team members include Rob Berry, Greg Johnson, Mark Longo, Sean Mitchell and Michael Walker, who were mentored by Mike Newman of Staodyn. (Newman can be reached at 651-5530).

Third place and $750 went to Sweet Basil, the winning undergraduate team that went on to compete in the graduate competition. Their plan creates a home meal replacement business that specializes in preparing hand-made, fresh Italian take-home meals. The team also won $1,000 for placing first in the undergraduate competition. Team members are Jillian Doman, Amber Long, Lindsay Strodl and David Wein, mentored by Mike Benson of Wolf Ventures. (Benson can be reached at 321-4800).

Rainy Day Toys, which provides its customers with an alternative form of entertainment through the rental of toys and games, came in fourth. The team members are Brian Buesing, Brian Craver, Dave Fredericks, Bryan Longmuir and Karen Polkinghorne, mentored by John Greff of Sequel Partners (who can be reached at 546-0400) and Paulette Tucker of Allos Therapeutics (who can be reached at 412-6108).