Students get down to business

    Student entrepreneurs presented business plans in front of local businessmen, student attendees and a panel of four judges for the second annual UCSD Business Plan Competition on May 31. Keynote speakers for the event included Michael Robertson, UCSD alumni and founder of MP3.com, Lindows and REEF, and Robert Sullivan, founding dean of the new UCSD School of Management.

    Rachel A. Garcia
    Guardian

    “”Starting your own company is glamorized in the press,”” Robertson said. “”People look to successes like Steve Jobs, but it is not for everybody. There is a lot of hard work.””

    Robertson gave advice to young entrepreneurs, telling them about his mistakes and his successes.

    “”I believe if you think gas is expensive, then open a gas station,”” Robertson said.

    Rachel A. Garcia
    Guardian

    The winner of the competition was CYAN Automated Pathology, founded by Andrew Rabinovich, a computer science major at Revelle College. CYAN provides an automated system to identify cancer cells. Currently, only manual methods are available.

    “”There are 3 million people worldwide who are diagnosed with cancer every year, and every one of these people was manually examined by a pathologist,”” said Casey Laris, presenter for CYAN and a class of 1996 UCSD alumni with a degree in chemistry.

    The software developed by CYAN will identify and map out key areas of a tissue sample — a task that takes pathologists hours per tissue sample. According to Laris, the hardware image system developed by CYAN is better than the human eye and will decrease the laborious task of having to look through a microscope.

    “”We are not here to replace pathologists,”” Laris said. “”We want to decrease the time pathologists spend on measuring and give them more time to analyze.””

    The first runner-up in the competition was CentMeter Systems, which provides a metering system that helps companies bill their Internet customers.

    “”It is a general well-designed architect for the Internet community,”” said David Silverstein, founder of CentMeter systems and a mathematics major at Revelle College.

    The second runner-up was Psiberpharm, founded by Doug Wulf, a UCSD alumni currently studying to become a pediatric surgeon. Wulf plans to use his experience in customer-specific mobile labs Psiberpharm plans to provide.

    Mike Hird, one of the competition’s judges and a member of Venture Forth, a group that holds a similar business plan competition catering to San Diego, spoke of the contributions UCSD student businesses can make.

    “”Science is taking great strides forward, out of the labs, and into the community,”” said Hird. “”The [UCSD] business school can only facilitate that even more.””

    The new school of management will offer an executive Master of Business Administration program beginning fall 2003. A full-time MBA class will start fall 2004. An estimated 65 students are expected to enroll in the MBA program.

    “”The [local] industries wanted this school,”” Sullivan said. “”We want industry for the first class to sponsor their future leaders.””

    According to Sullivan, the school will be intimately involved with UCSD’s science and technology programs.

    Sullivan described the different parts of UCSD as different parts of an engine working together.

    “”I think of the business school as the drive train, converting the power into motion,”” Sullivan said.

    Robertson explained that there was no form of business major for him to take advantage of when he was enrolled at UCSD.

    “”I am excited to see UCSD grow,”” Robertson said.

    Robertson graduated in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in cognitive psychology and minors in theater and general sciences.

    Following his win, Rabinovich encouraged students to start thinking of applications for their ideas.

    “”Whatever you are learning [at school] is good to know, but unless you apply it, it is useless,”” Rabinovich said.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal