Aspiring entrepreneurs vie for $100,000 in annual MOOT CORP competition

Feb. 5, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas—Five teams of MBA students from The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business will compete on Feb. 5 for a $100,000 investment during the campus round of MOOT CORP®, the university’s annual new venture competition for graduate students.

In addition to qualifying for the $100,000 investment, the winning team will advance to the international finals of the competition held May 5-8 in Austin.

Four of the five finalists this year will be competing with technologies developed at The University of Texas at Austin:

  • Nanoforma is marketing revolutionary new batteries. Aimed at mobile phone and laptop PC markets, the batteries will address the markets' greatest gripe - short battery life.
  • LoDrag is a revolutionary technology reducing the viscous drag on submerged surfaces such as ship hulls. With LoDrag, ships go faster or the same speed and burn less fuel.
  • TransPharmx Inc. has a patented transmucosal drug delivery system that enables development of cheaper, more effective, convenient and competitive medications.
  • The Chipotle Business Group will commercialize, market, innovate and extend upon unique electronic chemical sensor technology developed at The University of Texas at Austin. The venture will focus on wastewater applications.
  • uShip, LLC, the sole company that does not use university-developed technology, enables shippers to save 50 percent or more by using excess cargo capacity on our nation’s highways. uShip’s patent-pending route deviation search technology matches shipments with available drivers, including movers, couriers and individuals.

“The winning team will receive a $100,000 investment from the MOOT CORP® Pontoon Fund to finance the launch of its venture,” said Dr. Gary Cadenhead, the program’s director. “As a pontoon bridge is a temporary bridge over a river, this investment is an early stage bridge loan to provide the entrepreneurs time to raise their first major round of venture financing.”

Founded by MBAs at The University of Texas at Austin in 1983, MOOT CORP® was the first competition of its kind focused on student entrepreneurship. Since 1983 a number of schools have developed new-venture competitions, but MOOT CORP® continues to offer the most lucrative prize of all the university-based contests.

To qualify for the convertible bridge loan, the winning team must be committed to launching its venture. The winning team also wins a free year in the Austin Technology Incubator, a spot in the global MOOT CORP® Competition and legal services from Haynes and Boone, plus a wealth of industry and venture capital contacts.

The competition simulates the business-world process of raising venture capital. Judges drawn from the business community function as an investment group seeking to reach consensus on the venture they would most likely fund. Winners are chosen for the quality of their idea, the strength of their management team and the persuasiveness of their written and oral presentations.

The public is invited to view the presentations. The finals will be held at 4 p.m., on Thursday, Feb. 5, in GSB 3.138 in the McCombs School of Business.

For more information contact: Dr. Gary Cadenhead, director of MOOT CORP®, 512-471-5289, or Ann Whitt, associate director, 512-232-6597.