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Lancaster Graduate Students Win Place at World's Largest Business Planning Competition

A team of Lancaster postgraduate students has won entry to the Rice University Business Plan Competition, the richest and most prestigious of its kind in the world. Forty teams, selected from over 300 entries from around the world, compete for more than $800,000 in cash and prizes. The final takes place at Rice University in Houston, USA, on 15th - 17th April 2010.

The competition is judged by venture capital managers, angel investors and other members of the entrepreneurial community. More important than the winners' cash prize of $325,000 is the opportunity to network and receive mentoring from successful entrepreneurs.

The plan put forward by the Lancaster team describes a company, 'Gaea Naturals Limited', that uses an innovative approach to industrial waste water recycling with minimal consumption of energy to help a variety of industries meet sustainability and regulatory obligations, save costs and reduce carbon footprint. The team combines the entrepreneurial vision and abilities of three members of the full-time MBA class, Manoj Krishnapillai, Sonu Bubna and Juan C. Reyes, with the technical knowledge from the Lancaster Environment Centre, brought by PhD student Shams Qamar Usmani.

Dr Frank Cave of IEED, the team's mentor, said "This is the second time a collaboration between technical graduates and entrepreneurial management students has won a place at the Rice Competition, demonstrating the power of such partnerships. The team have received the encouragement and active support of Chris Saunders, Director of the Full-time MBA and his team in the Management School and of Dr Mark Bacon and Dr Kirk Semple of the Lancaster Environment Centre. We are all very proud of them and wish them success in Houston."

The team have also been supported by an International Travel Award towards the expenses of participation generously provided by AAI Global Equity one of the competition's major sponsors.

For more information please email Frank Cave or call on 01524 594057.

Fri 19 March 2010

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