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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > McGuire Program business plan

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

The Karl Eller Center's McGuire Entrepreneurship Program advances six teams with impressive business plans to compete in the program's business plan competition finals sponsored by Ventana Medical Systems, Inc

TUCSON, Ariz. – April 22, 2004 – The McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management’s Karl Eller Center announces its six finalist teams, three graduate and three undergraduate, who will compete for top honors at the Business Plans Competition finals, the culmination of the year for McGuire students. The event, sponsored by Tucson-based Ventana Medical Systems, will be held at the Eller College of Management, McClelland Hall, on Friday, April 30th and is open to the public (see schedule below).

This Business Plans Competition is the capstone event for the top-ranked McGuire Entrepreneurship program (ranked #2 in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine this month) and the culmination of a year-long experience where students take ideas, whether their own, those of friends, faculty, or projects that come out of The University of Arizona’s Office of Technology Transfer, from opportunity to reality. Students identify a business concept, conduct a comprehensive feasibility study, develop the concept through an exhaustive investment-quality business plan, simulate and address new enterprise launch issues, and ultimately, present and defend the fully-developed plan to panels of investors, CEOs, academics, and business leaders through multiple rounds of competition.

Gary Libecap, director of the Karl Eller Center and McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, commented, “Entrepreneurship education must successfully blend solid research-based classroom learning with experiential opportunities and team-driven business plan development. Students in our program take business ideas from opportunity to innovation to reality in painstaking detail and consideration with critical, in-depth review and analysis at every step of the process. We believe this is why such a large percentage of our students successfully launch businesses.”

Graduate division finalists:

  • Culinary Suites: Michael Gottlieb, Carolyn Kraus, Randy Schoenfeld, Benjamin Tong
    Offering commercial kitchen, office space, and additional business services to small culinary companies seeking professional capabilities to grow their businesses.
  • Genetic Information Technology: Todd Alan Egle, Chia-Han (Henry) Hsieh, Dan Keltner
    Providing accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations for cancer patients by using genetic analysis through current biotechnology and information technology.
  • Simpli Software: Keith Baron, Sa Uk Chang, Jennifer Perez, Sam Shan
    Offering consumer grade file synchronization, versioning, and backup utility with an intuitive interface that allows the customer to quickly start using the program (based on technology developed by an existing company).

Undergraduate division finalists:

  • InstaDerm: Brent Causey, David Martinez, Nita Umashankar
    Providing broad access to dermatological expertise and services through retail outlets using telemedicine technology.
  • Rapid Feedback Systems: JP Benedict, Steve Machtley, Patrick McNamara, Feliz Zaborsky
    A portable electronic device and service reports providing restaurant management with relevant market research data that can be used to develop a customer portfolio, receive detailed customer feedback and commentary, and obtain vital service information.
  • Vinology Monitoring Device: Steve Herman, Nathaniel Trobiani, Marshall Baca
    Developer of a device to measure the growth characteristics of bottled wine throughout the duration of its shelf life.

The experienced panel of judges is comprised of:

  • Karl Eller, President, The Eller Company, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Christopher McGuire, Vice President and Director, the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, Palm Desert, California
  • Nick Malden, Senior Vice President, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., Tucson, Arizona
  • John Buttery, President, Ventana Pintar, Tucson, Arizona
  • Matt Williams, Director of Technology Alliances,, Seattle, Washington
  • Betsey Bayless, Director, Arizona Department of Administration, Phoenix, Arizona

Schedule of events for April 30 Competition Day

McClelland Hall, 1130 E. Helen Street, Berger Auditorium

12:30pm Welcome and opening comments, judges and special guest introductions

  • Undergraduate division finalist presentations

2:15pm Preliminary judges deliberations and class of 2004 scholarship presentations

2:30pm Graduate division finalist presentations

4:00pm Final judges deliberations and class of 2004 scholarship presentations continued

McClelland Hall, 1130 E. Helen Street, Atrium

4:15pm Presentation of:

  • Eller Entrepreneurial Fellows
  • Eller Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows
  • Eller Entrepreneurship Scholars
  • Eller Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame
  • Eller Entrepreneurship Mentors in Residence
  • Entrepreneurship Class of 2003 certificates
  • Winner announcements and award presentations

5:00-6:00pm Entrepreneurship Team Board of Advisors Reception
(for all guests, students, friends)

Please RSVP: (520) 621-2576 or

About the Karl Eller Center at the Eller College

For 20 years, the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program and Karl Eller Center at The University of Arizona have been nationally recognized leaders in collegiate and graduate entrepreneurship education. Among the first such programs in the country, the center has been a pioneer in a highly dynamic and innovative discipline. The center’s programs and initiatives have helped to define this explosive industry.

Competition Winners
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Business Plans Competition Finals

Graduate Winners

  • Grand Prize
    Genetic Information Technologies (GIT) by Todd Egle, Daniel Keltner and Henry Hsieh
  • Excellence in Business Planning, Finalist award
    Culinary Suites by Carolyn Kraus, Ben Tong, Michael Gottlieb and Randy Schoenfeld
  • Excellence in Business Planning, Finalist award
    Simpli Software by Keith Baron, Sa Uk Chang, Jennifer Perez and Sam Shan

Undergraduate Winners

  • Grand Prize
    InstaDerm by Brent Causey and Nita Umashankar
  • Excellence in Business Planning, Finalist award
    Rapid Feedback Systems by James Benedict, Steve Machtley, Patrick McNamara and Feliz Zaborsky
  • Excellence in Business Planning, Finalist award
    Vinology Monitoring by Marshall Baca, Stephen Herman and Nathaniel Trobiani

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

For additional information, please contact us.