From Ideas to Entrepreneurship

Exploring new materials for clothing that help maintain working conditions in extreme environments, developing guitars that are eco friendly and sustainable both musically and in manufacturing, exploring neural devices that help rehabilitate brain injuries and support increased motion. These are all part of the business plans being presented at the 4th Annual Intel + UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge. Fifteen Countries are represented by 22 teams coming from Asia, Europe, North and South America and the Middle East and Africa. The teams hum with excitement in preparation for the judging. A student finds a deserted corner and practices his pitch while another team walks through their presentation one more time. What they all have in common is a new and often novel use of technology at the core of a new company that is positioned for success.

Snapshots of the business plans are absolutely fascinating – One that captured my imagination is from Japan, where the team combines an ancient local technique of “braiding” with new age materials that result in light but incredibility strong objects. It is the combination of pulling both from cultural references and phd level research that inspires these participants to new ways to address challenges. When the judges ask if the braiding technique can be patented, the participant chuckles and responds you can’t patent history but I can patent my materials that allow these results.

Other teams speak to breakthroughs that would allow epileptic patients not to suffer from reoccurring seizures or hepatitis C victims to receive long term medication with better results and less pain. These projects speak to using nanotechnology previously spoke of in regards to science fiction to solve truly human problems that have caused chronic suffering. Taking that “far out” concept and actually creating something that truly changes life – really brings engineering to life and out of the classroom.

Beyond the actual presentation to “real judges” who are volunteer Venture Capitalist who do this for their real job – the students are still students. As they wait to hear the first day results – they talk to their fellow participants as they would their local colleagues – but their scale is global – as they argue the challenges of startups in China versus India. Their dreams illustrate what truly could be possible tomorrow – with the ideas they are nurturing today.

Learn more about the program and the winners of last year’s challenge

8 thoughts on “From Ideas to Entrepreneurship

  1. So great!So wonderful!By this competition,the world is combined.People from all over the world can communicate their great creation and innovation.We are very confident in the future!

  2. From my perespective, as a Polish PhD student in chemistry, it is great that such an events happen and take place on a global scale. What really suprised me it is the broad portfolio of different project, which really hits the global markets. Before attending this Competition, I thought that it will be focused cleraly on ICT – having in mind that this is Intel Berkeley Technology Challenge. But in fact is an opposite direction. There is much more medical, pharma and healthcere project that the software or ICT project. This is in my oppinion very good indicator since most of these prject are extremely good and really makes a difference in the world….
    Definitely, I will encourage my colleagues to take part in this competition in the future 🙂

  3. Given the opportunity to participate in this global competition has definitely broaden my horizon as well as my international networks. The unique strength of IBTEC lies in its ability to foster learning opportunities between teams from different parts of the world, and also the close interaction between participating teams and renowed venture capitalist.

  4. IBTEC is a unique competition in the sense that the world literally comes to Berkeley for a week, showcasing different ideas, talents and innovation from all oorners of the globe. Teams interact and network with each other, and more importantly, mentored and provided with feedback from industry professionals.

  5. This competition has really enhanced our team, and my perspective on entrepreneurship and the power of ideas in impacting the world. The chance to be upclose with the winners around the world is really exciting and a great experience. The best thing is that this competition is held in Berkeley, which is so close to Silicon Valley and all the inspiring companies that we interact everyday! Thank you Intel for organizing this and I hope I can come by again next year.

  6. We appreciated the concrete comments from the judges. Their guidance will lead to a more practical business plan. We were further fortunate to have one judge very familiar with our technological solutions and who provided us contacts. Meeting people from around the world was also a very appreciated collateral benefit.

  7. I’m really impressed with the quality of projects and the way they are presented. IBTEC offered a great opportunity to broaden our international contacts.
    PS: The winner was also my favorite.

  8. The Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT-Bombay is organizing EUREKA! The Largest International Business Plan Competition in Asia.
    Prizes worth USD 50,000 are to be won with finalists getting a chance to pitch in front of Indian Angel Network.
    Teams will get a chance to represent India at the Intel-UC Berkeley Innovation Challenge.
    Its simple to participate, just log on to

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