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Ross Student Wins Jungle Business Plan Challenge

4/28/2005 --

Zell Lurie Institute provides invaluable coaching and sponsorship.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Michael Crowley, MBA 2005, won first place in the 5th annual Jungle Business Plan Challenge held April 21-22 by Jungle Media Group and the law firm Fenwick & West LLP.

The competition encourages graduate students in business management to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and develop high-growth businesses.

Crowley's company, Incept BioSystems, was created with Charlie Covert, MBA 2005. The team developed an in vitro fertilization device platform that closely mimics the human reproductive system. The platform has the potential to revolutionize how cell researchers and clinicians grow and analyze cell tissues, thus increasing the success rate of conception. Contributing to the project was Gary Smith, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School and director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Laboratory, and Shuichi Takayama, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and macromolecular science and engineering at U-M.

As in previous years, the Jungle Business Plan Challenge was open to entrepreneurs from around the world, with the criterion that one of the founding team members must be a current MBA student. From a record number of submissions, judges narrowed the field to 32 teams. The semi-finalists flew to Fenwick & West's Silicon Valley offices to pitch their companies to a panel of judges comprised of leading venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

The DuraPower team, represented by the Ross School's Adam Borden, MBA 2005, and Ed Chao, MBA/MS 2006, also competed but did not place. The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies coached and sponsored both teams.

Incept BioSystems received $35,000 in funding and legal services from Fenwick & West. All semi-finalists and finalists received exposure and contact with venture capitalists as a result of the competition. In the past, more than half of the competitors received some kind of start-up funding.

"This year's event attracted top-level entrepreneurs," said Jonathan McBride, a co-founder and publisher of Jungle. "The judging panel noted the tremendous quality of management, as well as the innovation of the business plans themselves. We are thrilled to be providing a platform for these dynamic entrepreneurs to build the next group of innovative, successful companies."

Established in 1972, Fenwick & West LLP provides comprehensive legal services to national and international high tech and life sciences clients.

Jungle Media Group's mission is to inform and entertain young, affluent professionals, and to provide them with the tools they need to master the art of success. Jungle's properties include award-winning Jungle and Jungle Law magazines, Web sites, conferences and books.

For more information, contact:
Heather Thorne
Phone: (734) 936-8421