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Medical, education groups take top prizes at Tulane Business Plan Competition

April 20, 2007

Urology Associates of New Orleans, a Tulane-based medical practice specializing in urology, and S.M.I.L.E., a University of Georgia-based nonprofit founded to develop a new charter school model for urban areas, took the top prizes at this year's Tulane Business Plan Competition.

Urology Associates of New Orleans, founded by Freeman MBA students Ash Bowen (MBA ’07), Raven Carter (MBA ’07) and Beckie Sarbeck (MBA ’07), won the grand prize of $10,000 in the business entrepreneurship division, while S.M.I.L.E., founded by University of Georgia students Mark Martin, Kasper Christersen, Hilary Hughes and Geoffrey Boyce, earned the top prize of $10,000 in the social entrepreneurship division.

The competition took place at the Freeman School on April 20, 2007, and the awards were announced later that evening during the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala at the Wyndham Hotel Canal Place.

“Urology Associates of New Orleans and S.M.I.L.E. each impressed our judges with their concepts, their business plans and their sound understanding of their markets,” said John Elstrott, director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship and one of this year’s judges. “Both businesses are in excellent positions to succeed.”

MacuClear, a specialty development pharmaceutical company based at the University of Texas at Austin, took second place in the business entrepreneurship division and New Ordure, a Carnegie Mellon University based waste disposal firm targeting commercial swine farms, took third place in the business entrepreneurship division.

In the social entrepreneurship division, Rethos.com, a social networking website based at Princeton Universtiy, took second place, and INExchange, a Tulane-based retail business founded to sell merchandise created by low-income artists, took third place.

This year’s competition attracted the largest, most diverse pool of business plans in the event’s six year history. A total of 53 start-up businesses submitted business plans, including 28 based from Tulane, 5 from other universities in Louisiana and 20 from out of state.

Serving as judges for the final round of competition were Elstrott, James J. Reiss of Reiss Companies, Arthur Mears of Broadwater Group, John Chamberlain of Enhanced Capital Partners, Joseph F. Lovett of Louisiana Fund One, Richard K. Blum of Kingsley Group, Ron Ondechek Jr. of Altira Group, and Tim Williamson of The Idea Village.

Last Updated 11/19/08