BOSTON—Teams led by entrepreneurial Harvard Business School alumni representing twelve U.S and international regions presented business plans for their start-ups to judges on Monday during the final round of the School's second annual Alumni New Venture Contest.
BioMine,, the entrant from Northern California, represented by Privahini Bradoo (MBA 2008), co-founder and CEO, took top honors against teams representing HBS Alumni Clubs in Boston, Brazil, Chicago, Germany, India, New York/Washington, D.C., Southern California/San Diego, Shanghai, South Africa, Toronto, and United Arab Emirates. Other semi-finalists were PhytoTEK (New York/Washington, D.C.) and CardSwap (Toronto).
BioMine uses existing scaled-up mining industry technologies to capture value from the 40 million tons of "e–waste" that is landfilled or incinerated annually around the world. Each year, electronics containing $70 billion worth of metals and rare earths are discarded.
Modeled after the HBS student Business Plan Contest, now in its 15th year, the Alumni New Venture Contest was designed to support promising new ventures founded by HBS graduates. As the winning entry, BioMine was awarded a $25,000 cash prize. In addition, every finalist team received mentoring from an HBS faculty member prior to the judging and participated in an on-campus educational session during the finals. The finals of the contest were judged by a panel of HBS faculty members and alumni from fields such as venture capital, consulting, law, accounting, life sciences, and technology. Cooley LLP of Boston provided legal services for the competition.
"We launched the Alumni New Venture Contest with two goals in mind," said Lynda M. Applegate, the School's Martin Marshall Professor of Business Administration and chair of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit, which is composed of over 30 faculty members. "First, we wanted to identify promising new business ventures among our very entrepreneurially–oriented alumni body; second, and perhaps more important, we were eager to create a formal mechanism to connect alumni who are starting new companies with faculty expertise and the global HBS network of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and angel investors."
"I have been impressed by the turnout of more than 90 teams, the care and diligence that the HBS Clubs brought to planning the regional contests, and the passion and quality of ideas that all the participants brought to the competition," she added.
Click here to watch interviews with the regional finalists.
The regional finalists were chosen in March during contests held at HBS Alumni Clubs around the world. In addition to BioMine, the regional finalists, representing a wide variety of new enterprises, were as follows:
Ten to fifteen years after graduation, more than 50 percent of HBS alumni classify themselves as entrepreneurs. Among the many alumni who have founded successful business ventures are Tom Stemberg (MBA 1973), founder of Staples; Scott Cook (MBA 1976), chairman and cofounder of Intuit; Michael Bloomberg (MBA 1963), founder of Bloomberg L.P.; Marla Malcolm Beck (MBA 1998), founder of Blue Mercury; Jeff Bussgang (MBA 1995), cofounder of UPromise; and Jeremy Stoppelman (MBA 2005), CEO and cofounder of Yelp.
Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 80 open enrollment Executive Education programs and more than 60 custom programs. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who have shaped the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.