June 15, 2009

By Roey Gilberg

LOS ANGELES -- Perseus Medical won the $15,000 first prize at the 28th annual Knapp Venture Competition, held at UCLA Anderson on May 28. The competition, organized by students and hosted by the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, featured five finalists competing for a total of over $30,000 in prize money. Teams presented their pitches to a panel of judges including Betsy and Cleon "Bud" Knapp, the namesakes of the competition.

Fifth place and a $1,000 prize went to Cardinal Fresh & Associates, Inc., a software initiative that provides services to the international perishable agricultural goods industry. Eryma, Inc., a line of products supporting cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, took home the $2,500 fourth prize.

Winning the $5,000 third prize was Lottay, an online service that allows users to send money as a gift, while Beacon Metrology, which has patents pending on a silicon wafer monitoring technology, was awarded the $7,500 second prize. Beacon also won the $1,000 Epson People's Choice Award, as voted on by the attendees.

Perseus, which appeared in last year's competition and finished fourth, impressed judges with their overall consistency. "We didn't think they had a major weakness," said Greg Craig, founder and CEO of Orca Energy Capital. Those who also judged last year's competition agreed that Perseus did an excellent job of taking the comments they had received and integrating them into this year's presentation.

The judges were very impressed with the general caliber of all the finalists. "They were all spectacular," said Craig. "The second through fifth place teams should not be discouraged. They are all legitimately good businesses."

First Place Team ($15,000 Prize)
Perseus Medical - The Perseus 1.0 is a self-contained video endoscope developed by physicians and engineers from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine in conjunction with the Anderson School of Management.

Jules Huang, MBA '09
Sarah Carr, MBA '09
Cathal McCarthy, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, UCLA
Kirby Chiang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UCLA
Dr. Warren Grundfest, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Associate Professor and Chief of Anesthesiology

Second Place Team ($7,500)
Beacon Metrology - has patents pending on a novel technology that allows silicon wafers to be monitored in real time (in-situ), increasing the yield and throughput, resulting in substantial cost savings to companies such as Intel, IBM, and First Solar.

Michael Toofer, MBA '10
Bhavik Vasha, FEMBA '11
Parag Sanghavi, FEMBA '11
Sumit Kharbanda, FEMBA '11
Anadi Mukherjee
Manu Prasanna

Third Place Team ($5,000)
Lottay- Combining the convenience of gift cards and wish lists with the immediacy of the internet, Lottay makes the experience of giving money online more engaging, personal, and memorable.

Andrew Elliot, FEMBA '10
Alex Rabiee, FEMBA '10

Fourth Place Team ($2,500)
Eryma, Inc. - a California corporation formed in January 2009 to manufacture and produce a line of products supporting cancer patients in their chemotherapy treatment.

Raffaele Cannizzaro, MBA '10
Shelley Schwartz, MBA '10
Shaun Hicks, MBA '09
Siavash Kahen, MBA '10
Kate Stephenson, MBA '10
Joshua Covey, MBA '10

Fifth Place Team ($1,000)
Cardinal Fresh - a "software-as-a-service" (SaaS) provider to the entire supply chain of the international agricultural-based perishable goods industry, providing full end-to-end track and traceability services and operational diagnostics.

Tim Reinauer, EMBA '10
Helmut Leili, CEO of Cardinal Fresh

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