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Posted: June 10, 2008
Nanotechnology Company Wins 2008 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest
(Nanowerk News) Graphene Solutions, a nanotechnology company that features a 17-year-old student on its scientific team, is the grand prize winner in the 2008 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest, state officials announced.
The company, led by UW-Platteville chemistry professor Jim Hamilton and CEO Philip Jackson, has patent-pending technology that could transform electronics, optics and materials science. Philip Streich, a student who takes classes at Platteville and online through Stanford University, is co-inventor of the firm's platform for dissolving carbon nanotubes, graphene nanosheets and other materials so they can be purified and spread in a layer one atom thick.
Fifty-four judges took part in a process that progressively narrowed a field of 250 entries to 51 semi-finalists, 23 finalists and four category winners in Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences. Graphene Solutions was the winner in the Advanced Manufacturing category and will collect cash and in-kind prizes worth $50,000.
"Graphene Solutions proves that game-changing technologies are being produced on UW System campuses as well as the UW-Madison," Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. The Tech Council produces the contest, said in a statement. "It also demonstrates the value to our economy of supporting researchers as they move these technologies from the lab to the marketplace."
Winners in the contest were announced Monday at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Conference in Milwaukee. They will share in $200,000 in prizes, including cash, offers of a year's free rent in a business or tech park, legal services, accounting services, information technology services and media-related services.
Contestants submitted a 20-page business plan for review by a panel of 54 judges established by the Tech Council, which is the independent, non-profit and non-partisan science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature. Each plan described the core product or service, defined the customer base, estimated the size of the market, identified competition, listed members of the management team and provided key financial data.
The finalists' executive summaries as well as those filed by semi-finalists are available for inspection by accredited investors through the Wisconsin Angel Network, which has 27 member angel networks, private equity funds or corporate strategic partners.