Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Atlanta Announces Finalists for 2012 New Venture Contest

March 1st, 2012
Events & Associations

Atlanta  – The Harvard Business School (HBS) Alumni Club of Atlanta has announced the finalists for the 2012 New Venture Contest. The competition, set in Atlanta, is designed to support promising new ventures founded by HBS graduates.

The finalists are:

• Gradsave
• LEAP – Life Engineered Antibody Products
• Merlin Mobility
• SmartPath Financial
• V4V – Veterans for Veterans
The Alumni New Venture Contest was created with two goals in mind: to identify promising new business ventures among the school’s entrepreneurial graduates, and to create a mechanism to connect alumni with HBS faculty and the global network of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors.

Last year, more than 90 teams from around the globe competed, with 12 teams eventually making their way to the Harvard campus after winning their respective regional finals. This year, Atlanta is anchoring the first ever Southeast regional contest. Fourteen teams are competing, with the winner advancing to the global finals, where they will compete for prizes of $50,000 and $25,000.

Law firm Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP is also leading entrepreneurial seminars for the Southeast competitors. Topics include venture capital financing, intellectual property and other issues critical to growth. The effort is being bolstered by strong support from other Atlanta-based companies as well, including venture capital film Noro-Moseley and accounting firm Habif, Arogeti, & Wynne. Additionally, the Goizueta Business School at Emory University is providing space for the “pitch” event, where entrepreneurs will present their business plans to a panel of judges.

The judges include:

• Benn Konsynski, Ph.D. – Professor, Goizueta School of Business, Emory University
• John Yates – Chair of the Technology Group, Morris, Manning and Martin
• Tycho Howell – Founder and Executive Chairman, nuBridges
• Linnea Geiss – Principal, Arcapita
• Alan Taetle – General Partner, Noro-Moseley
Delis Yanker, HBS alum and organizer of the Atlanta regional event states, “We are fortunate to have an outpouring of support from the entrepreneurial community. In addition to Morris, Manning & Martin’s ‘boot camp’ for the entrepreneurs, and we have two of last year’s regional winners – Sahil Patel HBS ’05 and Marco Hoecker HBS ’08 – acting as coaches to the teams.”

The third annual alumni business plan contest is modeled after the HBS Business Plan Contest for students, now in its 15th year. At present, the school has more than 70,000 alumni in more than 150 countries around the world—a network that expands steadily with each graduating class. HBS graduates are leaders in an exceptionally broad range of organizations, including entrepreneurial companies, established firms, government and nonprofit organizations.

Ten to 15 years after graduation, more than 50 percent of HBS alumni classify themselves as entrepreneurs. Among the many Harvard MBAs who have founded successful business ventures are Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples; Scott Cook, chairman and co-founder of Intuit; Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P.; Marla Malcolm Beck, founder of Blue Mercury; Jeff Bussgang, co-founder of UPromise; and Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and co-founder of Yelp.