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ECE Students, Faculty Among Finalists in $50K Business Plan Competition

ECE Students, Faculty Among Finalists in $50K Business Plan Competition

lectrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) faculty and students are on four of the six finalist teams announced Wednesday in the University of Maryland $50K Business Plan Competition, organized annually by Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH) Ventures, a unit of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. The six finalist teams, chosen from 58 original entries and 16 semifinalists, include one professor, two research faculty, four undergraduate students, and one alumni from the ECE department. The finalists will compete for the top prizes with oral presentations on Friday, April 7, 2006, at 12:00pm in Rm. 1110 of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.

Professor Isaak Mayergoyz, Research Assistant Iulian Nistor, and Research Associate Carsten Holthaus will compete as one of two finalists in the Faculty & Graduate category. Their business plan, titled Advanced Magneto-Optical Systems (AMOS), will provide technology compatible with current optical scanners that will enable the use of two-dimensional hidden magnetic barcodes and other authenticity marks to enhance the security of critical identity products such as credit cards, checks, banknotes, drivers' licenses, medication packages and other manufactured components.

The Undergraduate Student category will feature two finalist teams that include ECE students. The first team consisting of ECE undergraduates John Karvounis, John Wyrwas, a dual major in ECE & physics, and Peter Orlicki, a dual major in ECE & finance, as well as William Lair, a computer science and mathematics major. Their team’s project, titled (Online Realty Business Solutions), aims to be the first nationwide listing database for real estate agents, offering easy-to-use agent web hosting, a “Real Estate in a box” package for companies, and a national property database.

Also competing among the finalists in the Undergraduate Student category is Michael Altman, an ECE senior. His plan, titled I-Receipts, co-created by Sam Fine, a finance student, provides a service that eliminates paper receipts for consumers and businesses by providing instant database and Internet access to purchase information.

ECE M.S. alumnus Guarav Agarwal will compete as one of two finalists in the Young alumni category along with his team partner, Sammer Shirdhonkar, a Computer Science Ph.D. candidate. Their project, titled Content-Based Image Organizer and Search Engine, allows users to search images based on their content—the objects or people in the images—first as a desktop-based image organizer and then as an Internet-based search engine.

The University of Maryland $50K Business Plan Competition, now in its sixth year, has historically awarded a total of $285,000 in prizes to faculty, students and alumni with the best plans for innovative new ventures. Previous winners have generated millions in revenues, grants and awards. The competition is sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Mintz Levin, and Fish & Richardson P.C.

More information is available at:

March 15, 2006

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