Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, March 20, 2000

Lester Center Launches New Venture Creation Initiative with a $100,000 Kauffman    Foundation Grant
Haas Social Venture Business Plan Competition Announces Eight Finalists
Undergraduates Invited to First Annual Ethics Workshop
Dean's State of the School Address on April 14
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas

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The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has long studied the possibility of capitalizing on the University of California's relationship with the national labs (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory). Jerry Engel, the executive director of the Lester Center, and John Freeman, the center's research director and Helzel Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, are pleased to announce that a grant from the Kauffman Foundation makes this possible through the New Venture Creation Initiative.

The New Venture Creation Initiative is designed to provide academically valuable practical experience using interdisciplinary teams of MBA students, scientific researchers, business mentors, and professors to pursue the goal of business formation and successful commercialization of new technologies generated by the national labs. The initiative is funded by a $100,000 seed grant from the Kauffman Foundation.

The flagship program for the initiative is a new course, "Opportunity Recognition: Technology and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley," being taught this spring by Lecturer Drew Isaacs. The course is designed to give MBA students the skills necessary to identify and introduce technological innovations into the marketplace.

The University of California's management of three national labs creates unique possibilities for MBA students. "Jerry Engel and John Freeman's original idea was to integrate the opportunities presented by UC's unique relationship with the National Labs with MBA-level classroom work," said Isaacs. "Students would take technologies developed at the labs and work on the commercialization of those ideas."

Isaacs has expanded on this concept to include Silicon Valley companies. "We've added to that the opportunity for students to work as teams within Silicon Valley companies on projects that are very much real-life, real-time opportunities for these companies," said Isaacs who has his own consulting company in the Valley. "I know of no program anywhere in the world that integrates technology innovation, Silicon Valley ethos, and MBA-level academic work so thoroughly. Other MBA programs don't do this because they can't do this."

The class is structured around two major projects. The students form teams for the initial project for the class. In these teams, the students critique and analyze a high-tech industry of their choice. For the second project, students may work alone or in groups of any size. Here they pick whether they want to write their own business plan, work with one of the national labs, or work on a project in a Silicon Valley firm.

Earlier in the semester, representatives from each of the national labs visited the class and presented possible projects to commercialize. In the end, two of the teams in the class are working with Los Alamos National Lab on commercialization projects. One team is working on aspects of HDTV and the other is working on a type of fuel cell.

For the Silicon Valley projects, Isaacs has lined up a number of companies that are excited to work with the students. "The work we do with Silicon Valley companies as part of this course is astounding to the students and the instructor alike: we are amazed at the depth of the issues that the companies are willing, in fact eager, to let us work on," said Isaacs. "We are in Silicon Valley, and we are taking advantage of that fact - this is an incredible entree to Silicon Valley life for the students in this class." Six of the groups are developing their own business plans.

Isaacs has also lined up summer internships for interested students at the labs. At this point, students have summer internship positions available to them at all three National Laboratories.

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The MBA student organizers of the first-ever Haas Social Venture Business Plan Competition have announced the competition's finalists. A panel of 19 business leaders last week selected the top eight teams that best met the competition requirements: having a mission-driven and profitable business plan that shows a social or environmental return on investment. The competition finalists include the following:

The competition originally attracted 66 registrants from the nation's top business schools -- including Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, UCLA, and Haas. Of the 66 registrants, 33 submitted full business plans and qualified to compete in the first round.

Judges included representatives from the Social Venture Network, Silicon Valley Community Ventures, New Vantage Partners, the Robert Enterprise Development Fund, and the New Vista Capital Fund, as well as OpNet's Dan Geiger (Haas MBA 98).

For more information on the Social Venture Competition, visit the web site at www.haas.berkeley.edu/groups/socialventure.

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The Haas School of Business is pleased to announce the first-annual business ethics workshop for undergraduates sponsored by the Peterson Program in Business Ethics, which is funded by a gift from Rudolph Peterson, BS 25, president and CEO emeritus of BankAmerica Corporation. The workshop, scheduled for Saturday, April 15, will cover the ethical dimensions of risk taking, career decisions, and balancing others' expectations with personal values.

The discussions will be based on the dilemmas found in classical short stories including "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin and "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell. The workshop will use the ideas presented in these literary works to encourage participants to reflect on their experience in dealing with related issues in their own lives and discuss them with their peers.

"It's a chance to talk about ethical issues outside the classroom framework," said David Vogel, George Quist Professor of Business Ethics. "The workshops use literature in an interesting way to discuss personal ethical views." The Peterson fund also supports a business ethics workshop for MBA students in the fall.

The program, to be held on Saturday, April 15, 2000, is free to all participants and includes free breakfast and lunch. Uncommon Solutions, a business ethics consulting firm, will coordinate the program. For more information, including enrollment, please visit the workshop's web site at http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/Courses/BA198-1/workshop.html. Space is limited so undergraduate students are encouraged to sign up quickly. The location and time of the workshop are yet to be announced.

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The entire Haas community is invited to the annual State of the School Address on Friday, April 14. All students (undergraduates, Full-Time MBA, Evening MBA, and Ph.D.), faculty, staff, alumni, and friends are encouraged to come and listen to Dean Laura D'Andrea Tyson discuss the Haas School's plans and progress on a wide range of issues. A question-and-answer period will follow the address.

The address will take place on Friday, April 14, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Andersen Auditorium. The speech will be repeated for Evening MBA students on Tuesday, April 18, from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. and Wednesday, April 19, from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room.

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The March 27 edition of Business Week features an article by Gene Koretz, entitled "Will the Euro Fuel Trade?" which discusses recent research on dollarization conducted by Andrew Rose, the Bernard T. Rocca Jr. Professor of International Trade.

zipRealty.com, a company founded by Haas Alumni Juan Mini and Scott Kucirek, MBAs 99, was featured in an article in the East Bay Business Times on March 17.

Jerry Engel, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, was interviewed on KQED's Forum on Friday, March 17, along with Kim Fisher, MBA 94, founder of AudioBasket.com.

Melissa Daniels, MBA 2000, and co-chair of the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, was quoted in a RedHerring.com article on the relationships venture capitalists have built with universities on March 16. View the article at http://www.redherring.com/vc/2000/0316/vc-school031600.html.

Marketing professor Rashi Glazer is quoted in the March 13 Industry Standard article, "The Age of Access," on managing customer relationships and access in this day and age. The article can be found at http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,12726-5,00.html.

Professor Severin Borenstein was quoted extensively last week in newspapers and on television on the increase in gasoline prices. Borenstein discussed OPEC, the effect on SUV sales, reduced competition in California gasoline markets, ideas for alleviating California's supply shortage, and the possibility of repealing gasoline taxes.

Borenstein was quoted in:
San Francisco Chronicle on March 17 and March 20
San Jose Mercury News on March 17
Contra Costa Times on March 17

Interviews with Borenstein were aired on:
KPIX on March 13 and 14
KRON on March 15
KTVU on March 17
CNN on March13 and 14
KQED on March 17

Second-year MBA students Eilam Levin, Yoni Kish, and Yoav Eilat were guests on the program "Blue Moon" on Stanford's radio station, KZSU (March 8). They talked about their experiences at Haas and some of the recent events at the Haas School. "Blue Moon" is radio show for Israelis living in the Bay Area, hosted by Marcela Karpuj, a graduate student at Stanford. It includes news, Israeli music, and occasional guests.

GetRelevant.com, founded by Haas alumni Mitchel Harad and Rich Roberts, MBAs 99, received broad press coverage this month. GetRelevant was featured in:
Brandweek - http://www.brandweek.com/iqinteractive/000228_iq4.asp
Adweek - http://www.adweek.com/iqinteractive/000228_iq4.asp
Computer Reseller News - http://www.crn.com/search/display.asp?ArticleID=13953
Advertising Age - http://adage.com/news_and_features/index.html
Iconocast - http://www.iconocast.com/issue/2000021002.html

Alumna Ann Meceda, MBA 97, was featured in the Boston Globe on March 6 in an article titled, "Silicon Valley, California, Entrepreneur Thrives on Risk."

Looking ahead, Alan Knitowski, MBA 12/99, president and CEO Vovida Networks, Inc., will be appearing on the World Business Review throughout the Bay Area on the following dates, times, and channels. The segment is entitled Internet Communications Solutions.
Knowledge TV - Sunday, April 2, 6:00 p.m.
KMTP Public Television - Saturday, April 1, 12:00 p.m.

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