Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, February 18, 2003

Dilbert Cartoonist Scott Adams, MBA 86, to Speak at Haas March 6
Learn From the Master: Building Brands Lecture with David Aaker on March 19
Medical Devices Lead UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition Semi-Finalists
Business in Asia: Haas Conference Encourages Dialogue
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas

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Dilbert cartoonist and Berkeley MBA Scott Adams will share his thoughts on business culture with the Haas School community in his lecture, "Some Things They Forgot to Mention at Haas" on Thursday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Arthur Andersen Auditorium.

Adams, who received his MBA in 1986 through the Evening MBA Program, is appearing as part of the Dean's Lecture Series. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will follow in the Bank of America Forum.

The Dilbert comic strip and the businesses that Adams has built from it were born while Adams was still employed as an engineer at Pacific Bell. He wrote the Dilbert strip in his spare time, and it took being downsized in 1995 to motivate Adams to make it his full-time occupation. He has gone on to build a business empire that now includes the comic strip, which appears in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries; merchandise based on the strip; and 22 Dilbert books with over 10 million copies in print.

Adams' most recent book, Dilbert and the Way of Weasel explores what Adams calls the weasel zone, which he defines as the "gigantic gray area between ethical behavior and outright felonious activities." Two of Adams' previous books, The Dilbert Principle and Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook were #1 New York Times best sellers. The Dilbert Principle even made its way into the curriculum at the Haas School -- it is used in Richard Grant's Evening & Weekend MBA project management class.

In addition to his Dilbert-related businesses, Adams launched Scott Adams Foods, Inc., a company to create and market convenient food containing 100% of the daily values of vitamins and minerals -- the Dilberito. He is also co-owner of the Stacey's Café restaurant in downtown Pleasanton, California.

For more information contact Susie Hanna at hanna@haas.berkeley.edu.

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All Haas School business students -- MBAs, undergraduates, MFEs, and Ph.D.s -- have the opportunity to learn about building brands from one of the world's leading authorities on the subject -- Haas School Marketing Professor Emeritus David A. Aaker -- at a special lecture on Wednesday, March 19, at 5:00 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room.

The lecture, entitled "Brand Building," is part of the David Aaker Distinguished Lecture Series in Marketing, which was launched in spring 2001.

A recognized master of brand equity and brand strategy, Aaker was a winner of the 1996 Paul D. Converse Award for outstanding contributions to the development of the science of marketing. He has published more than 90 articles and 11 books including several classics in the field: Managing Brand Equity (translated into seven languages); Developing Business Strategies (translated into five languages); and Building Strong Brands. Aaker is the E.T. Grether Professor of Marketing and Public Policy Emeritus, as well as vice-chairman of Prophet Brand Strategies, a San Francisco consulting firm.

One of the most quoted authors in marketing, Aaker has won awards for the best article in the California Management Review and the Journal of Marketing. He has been an active consultant and speaker in the US, Europe, South America, and Japan.

This annual lecture series features a lecture by Aaker in the spring and a guest lecture in marketing in the fall. The first guest lecture, Louis Stern, the John D. Gray Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University, spoke on 21st Century Marketing in fall 2001. Hirotaka Takeuchi, MBA 71, Ph.D. 77, one of the world's leading authorities on international corporate strategy and knowledge creation within firms, came to Haas for this lecture series in the fall of 2002. He lectured on "The Essence of Strategy: Where East Meets West."

For more information on this event, contact Sarah Benson at benson@haas.berkeley.edu.

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Medical devices have emerged as the leading industry among the semi-finalists for the fifth annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition. The 25 semi-finalists were selected by some of Silicon Valley's leading venture capitalists from a pool of 58 submitted executive summaries, ranging from various healthcare sectors to consumer products.

"The entrepreneurial spirit of the San Francisco Bay Area is unbreakable," said Jerome Engel, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Haas School. The Lester Center sponsors this competition, which was founded by Berkeley MBA students. He added: "The popularity of this competition shows that Berkeley students and alumni continue to see opportunity in the commercialization of new ideas and technical innovation."

This year's 25 semi-finalists represent industries covering medical devices (28%), software (16%), and other healthcare businesses(12%). Out of the eight medical device plans submitted, seven advanced to the semi-final round. In comparison, biotech was the industry of choice in the 2002 competition.

All teams participating in the competition must have at least one alum or current student from UC Berkeley or UC San Francisco on their management team. The teams get judged in three rounds by a leading group of venture capitalists who volunteer their time for the competition.

The semi-finalists will compete for eight finalist slots on April 4. The final round of judging will take place privately on April 22, followed by a public presentation of the eight finalists' elevator pitches on April 23 at the Haas School. In the final round, teams will compete for a $50,000 grand prize and access to some of Silicon Valley's preeminent venture capitalists. Final-round judges include Bob Ackerman of Allegis Capital, Beckie Robertson of Versant Ventures, Steve Domenik of Sevin Rosen Funds, Michael Rolnick of ComVentures, Susan Mason of Onset Ventures, Todd Brooks of Mayfield, and Russ Seigelman of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The competition prides itself in producing viable businesses, as the successes of past participants demonstrate. First-year winner Timbre Technologies sold for $138 million to Tokyo Electron Limited in 2001. GetRelevant, a 1999 finalist, sold to Spanish Lycos for an undisclosed cash amount in 2002. And Hotpaper.com, also a 1999 participant, sold to GoAmerica for $10 million shortly after the competition. Educational venture WiseToad has been acquired by Leapfrog.

To emphasize the educational value of the competition, all finalists receive written feedback from the judges on their business plans and presentations. Throughout the competition, teams can participate in workshops on a variety of entrepreneurial topics. For example, Fenwick & West held a workshop on the legal issues involved in starting get a company earlier this month. The next workshop, to be held on February 20, will cover intellectual property for startups, also by Fenwick & West.

Competition organizers have raised a total of $120,000 this year. Top-tier sponsors include Allegis Capital, Sevin Rosen, and ComVentures. Additional corporate sponsors include Chevron Corporation, Fenwick & West, FTVentures, Newbury Ventures, SAP Inspire, Techstock Ventures, Versant Ventures, and Woodside Fund, along with an individual donation from Kevin Warnock, founder of Hotpaper.com.

The competition receives academic sponsorship and support from the Haas School's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

For more information, please see the competition web site at http://bplan.berkeley.edu/.

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With the Berkeley Asia Business Conference drawing ever closer, the time to buy tickets is now. Last year, tickets to this conference sold out in advance of the event. Tickets are available at http://www.berkeleyabc.org/.

The conference, organized by Berkeley MBA students, takes place on Saturday, March 1, at the Haas School.

Each year this conference attracts business leaders, entrepreneurs, alumni, students, and international advocates for a day of keynotes, panel discussions, and networking. In previous years, the conference drew nearly 400 attendees, including business leaders (representing over 150 companies in industries ranging from financial services to consulting to high-tech) and students from multiple UC Berkeley graduate programs as well as other business schools across the west.

Conference organizers just announced the Clausen Business Leader Exchange, a joint effort with the Haas School's Clausen Center for International Business and Policy and the Asia Business Conference. The exchange brings together engaging speakers to discuss the current and future investment and economic climate in Asia. It is named after Tom Clausen, former chairman and CEO of Bank of America and former president of the World Bank.

This year's Clausen Business Leader Exchange will feature:

Some of the leading-edge products coming out of Asia will be featured at the conference's Biz Park, which opens at 12 noon. The Biz Park will feature technologies such as Hitachi's Mu Chip, the world's smallest RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) Integrated Circuit, and new console games by Sega, as well as computer software, hardware, and telecom services and products by firms including Takara Co. Ltd. and SK Telecom.

Check the web site at http://www.berkeleyabc.org/ for ticket information and updates on the conference.

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Haas in the News

Cynthia Kroll, senior regional economist at the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, commented on the 23 percent jump in the number of Bay Area homes that slid into foreclosure in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 13. Read the full article, titled "Home Loan Default Rate Up," at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi? file=/chronicle/archive/2003/02/13/BU47800.DTL&type=printable.

Dean Tom Campbell was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News on February 13 in an article about large corporations filing a legal brief with the Supreme Court to argue that race should be considered in college admissions. Read the full article, titled "Tech Companies Endorse Affirmative Action," at http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/5178114.htm.

Vishal Varma, an MFE student, commented on Afghan diplomat Hekmet Karzai's speech on his country's democratic prospects. The story ran in the Daily Californian on February 13 in the article, "Afghan Diplomat Speaks of Rebuilding." Read the full text at http://www.dailycal.org/article.asp?id=10878.

Janet Yellen, the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business Administration, was mentioned in the UC Berkeley News, which publishes news features on the UC Berkeley web site, as one of the proponents of the petition against Bush's tax cut plan. Read the full February 12 article, titled "'Horrendous': Nobel Economist George Akerlof Criticizes Bush Administration's Economic Stimulus Package," at http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/02/12_akerlof.shtml.

Dean Campbell was mentioned in USA Today on February 12 in the article, "Not All CEOs Live the High Life." Read the full article at http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2003-02-11-ceotrust_x.htm.

Severin Borenstein, the E.T. Grether Professor in Public Policy and Business Administration, remarked on the reasons behind the increasing Bay Area gas prices in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 12 in the article, "Bay Area Drivers Pained at Pump: Gasoline Prices Soar 14 cents a Gallon." Read the full article at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi? file=/chronicle/archive/2003/02/12/BU193677.DTL.

Janet Yellen and former dean Laura Tyson were included in a list of prominent economists who oppose the Bush tax cuts in a full-page ad of The New York Times on February 11.

A paper co-authored by Brett Trueman, the Donald and Ruth Seiler Professor of Public Accounting, was mentioned in the Financial Times on February 10 in the article, "Higher Analysis." The article included information on US security analysts' top stock picks from the joint paper.

Janet Yellen was interviewed in the UC Berkeley News on February 10, as one of the authors of a letter on the state's economy, sent to members of the California legislature and Governor Gray Davis. Read the full article, titled "UC Berkeley Economists Urge California Legislature to Accept Tax Increases and Revisit Prop. 13," at http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/02/10_economists.shtml.

Dean Campbell commented on the Sarbanes-Oxley bill and on the work that still needs to be done to eliminate corporate fraud in the Contra Costa Times on February 9. Read the full article, titled "Investor Trust will be Slow to Return," at http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/business/5142244.htm? template=contentModules/printstory.jsp.

A USA Today article that quoted Brett Trueman about how a new accounting rule will affect companies, ran in the Salt Lake Tribune on February 9. Read the full article, titled "Accounting Rule May Unveil Companies' Big-Time Losses," at http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Feb/02092003/business/27509.asp.

Hal Varian, professor in the Haas Operations and Information Technology Management Group, commented on schools' computer programming curriculums in InfoWorld on February 7 in the article, "Linux Talent Search." Read the full text at http://www.infoworld.com/article/03/02/07/06ctstrats_1.html.

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