10th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge Finals Webcast Friday

Google Venture’s Bill Maris leads the Judges for Elevator Pitch Competition

Durham, NC, November 20, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The 10th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge, the premiere entrepreneurship competition at Duke University, and the Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network (DukeGEN), announced today that Bill Maris, co-founder of Google Ventures, will lead the judges for the Finals Event of the Elevator Pitch Competition, Friday, November 20, 2009. The competition finals will take place at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in Geneen Auditorium and may be viewed online via live webcast at http://www.dukestartupchallenge.org/live starting at 7pm Eastern Time. This event is the culmination of Duke’s participation in Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and a part of the year round entrepreneurship program at Duke.

The Elevator Pitch Competition brings together students from across Duke University to deliver a two-minute pitch to a panel of judges and a live audience. The judges then determine a Judge's Choice winner and the audience, voting via text messaging on their mobile phones, determines an Audience Choice winner.

Over $5,000 in prizes will be awarded at the competition this year. The results from the event, as well as 140 character summaries of each business idea, can be found at http://www.dukestartupchallenge.org/the-competition/EPC/2009. The winning team wins $1000 and a permanent place in history on the http://www.dukestartupchallenge.org. Win or lose, every student on the teams will learn a tremendous amount about how to start a business and attract investors, skills that will serve them well when they leave school for “the real world.”

The judging panel consists of veteran entrepreneurs Bill Maris from Google Ventures, Catherine Massey, Chairman of LawDocsXpress, David Samuel, co-founder of Freestyle Capital, and Matt Megaro, Executive-in-Residence at the Fuqua School of Business, and former CEO of Quill Medical.

Throughout this week, there have been 7 semi-finals competitions with 74 Duke startup teams competing for one of 14 spots in the Finals Event. A total of 38 undergraduate startup teams have competed in the competition. The Fuqua School of Business entered 20 student startup teams, and other teams represented the Pratt Master of Engineering Management Program, the Duke School of Law, the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, the Graduate School, and the Divinity School.

"This was definitely a fantastic learning opportunity for me. A lot of the people I talked to after the event echoed the same idea... The undergrad community has been buzzing about entrepreneurship -- even people who do not consider themselves ‘entrepreneurs’." said Andrea Coravas '10, an undergraduate who has participated in the competition with her startup idea, Biowires.

"We're thrilled with the student turnout this year, which has grown considerably from the 25 teams we had just two years ago. And we are committed to using entrepreneurship as a key method for putting ‘Knowledge in the Service of Society’, one of our major themes at Duke University." said Howie Rhee '04, co-advisor to the Duke Start-Up Challenge, and Managing Director of Fuqua's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “In addition, we're pleased to have such strong turnout from students from across campus, particularly the strong undergraduate representation this year."

Duke’s strong alumni network has a role as well. "We founded the Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network to connect Duke entrepreneurs everywhere and engage them with the many great events at Duke like the Start-Up Challenge," said T. Reid Lewis '84, Co-chair of DukeGEN, and CEO of Group Logic, a software company in Arlington, VA, which he co-founded with several Duke alumni. “There’s tremendous enthusiasm amongst DukGEN’s 1,500 alumni and student members around the world for Duke’s accelerating focus on entrepreneurship.”

To view the live event on Friday, November 20th, or for more details about the Elevator Pitch Competition, go to www.dukestartupchallenge.org. To receive more information about DukeGEN and the 10th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge, contact DukeGEN directly at media@dukegen.com or call 919-617-1123.



T. Reid Lewis
703-778-8414 or media@dukegen.com

Howie Rhee
10th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge
919-617-1123 or media@dukegen.com

About DukeGEN
DukeGEN is a sophisticated and active network that helps create debate, dialogue, and lucky encounters between Duke entrepreneurs. We provide the energy and coordination to encourage Duke entrepreneurs, around the globe, to connect and increase their chances of success. More information at www.dukegen.com and follow @DukeGEN on Twitter.

About the 10th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge
The Duke Start-Up Challenge entrepreneurship competition runs throughout the academic year, from November to April. The competition includes an Elevator Pitch Competition in November, an Executive Summary Competition in January, and a live Finals Event in April, with multiple teams winning cash and prizes throughout the competition for the best submissions. The prizes are awarded to overall best plan/presentation and best submission in each of several categories (e.g. Energy & Environment, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Products & Services, and Social Entrepreneurship). Additionally, teams are provided with feedback from knowledgeable judges along the way to help with further development of the business concept into the next part of the Duke Start-Up Challenge and beyond. Founded in 1999 by an ambitious group of Duke students, the competition is now celebrating its 10th year of operation. More information at www.dukestartupchallenge.org.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week
With the goal to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity, Global Entrepreneurship Week will encourage youth to think big, turn their ideas into reality, and make their mark. During the week of November 16 - 22, 2009, millions of young people around the world will join a growing movement to generate new ideas and seek better ways of doing things. Tens of thousands of activities are being planned in dozens of countries. Global Entrepreneurship Week is founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Make Your Mark campaign. For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.
Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network
T. Reid Lewis