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Adaptic Wins Fourth Annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition

Berkeley, April 25, 2002 – The technology to correct vision problems and cure eye diseases garnered the $50,000 prize grand prize of the fourth annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, where Adaptic Systems was announced as the winner at the awards ceremony at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business on Wednesday (April 24).

Adaptic’s technology promises significant improvements in optical applications, including pharmaceuticals that prevent blindness, LASIK surgery, custom contact lenses, and early detection of eye diseases. The company has developed low-cost deformable micro mirrors for adaptive optics that allow eye doctors at least three times the image resolution of current technologies.

The UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition is led by MBA students at the Haas School of Business and co-sponsored by the College of Engineering. Each team must have at least one member who is a UC Berkeley student or graduate. For the first time this year, the competition also invited students and alumni of UC San Francisco’s health sciences campus to participate to encourage more teams from that sector.

The competition is one of the leading competitions in the country and fosters the creation of viable businesses. In four years, participating teams have raised more than $120 million in venture funding. First-year winner, Timbre Technologies was sold in February 2001 to Tokyo Semiconductor for $138 million.

“The profound improvements I have seen in the teams and in their business plans over time are absolutely striking,” said Brian Atwood of Versant Ventures, who has judged the competition for his third year in a row. “I was really impressed with the quality of this year’s teams.”

E-Mask, an all-student team from the business and engineering schools, took home two prizes -- the $10,000 cash prize and the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, based on a vote by the audience selected at the final event.

E-Mask provides digital, programmable lithography for integrated circuit manufacturing that eliminates the need for costly masks. The technology also makes it feasible to manufacture customized chips.

The grand-prize winner, Adaptic, is also a finalist for the MBA Jungle magazine’s second annual business plan competition, which will be decided on Friday (April 26) in New York.

“UC Berkeley’s competition enabled us to take what was a raw idea six months ago and through its workshops and mentor programs develop it into a very viable business opportunity,” said Matthew Campbell, second-year MBA and co-founder of Adaptic.

The Adaptic team is comprised of Michael Helmbrecht, a researcher at the College of Engineering’s Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center; Matthew Campbell, a second-year MBA student at the Haas School of Business, and Dr. Nathan Doble, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Rochester, N.Y.

The judges who determined this year’s winner are Bob Ackerman of Allegis Capital, Michael Rolnick of ComVentures, Steve Domenik of Sevin Rosen Funds, Brian Atwood of Versant Ventures, Todd Brooks of Mayfield, Michael Aleles of Intel Capital, Sameer Gandi of Sequoia Capital, and Neil Weintraut of 21VC partners.

The 2002 competition received support from the following sponsors:
     - Lead sponsors: Allegis Capital, ComVentures, and Sevin Rosen Funds.
     - Secondary sponsors: Versant Ventures; Onset Ventures; Sequoia Capital; Intel Capital;
             Newbury Ventures; Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May; Quimbik; Fenwick and West; and
            The Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.


Contacts: For more information, please visit http://bplan.berkeley.edu/ or contact Ute Frey at the Haas School of Business at 510-642-0342 or frey@haas.berkeley.edu.


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