ITEC Announces Winners of 11th Annual $50k New Venture Competition

in Entrepreneurship, News, Press Release
April 6th, 2011

From left: Pete Russo, ITEC Faculty Director; Dr. Milan Minsky, presenter for winning team RayVio; Beth Goldstein, Competition Director

From left: Pete Russo, ITEC Faculty Director; Dr. Milan Minsky, presenter for winning team RayVio; Beth Goldstein, Competition Director

The Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (ITEC) at Boston University has announced the winners of the 11th Annual $50K New Venture Competition. The competition, held on April 6 at the School of Management, provides students and alumni with an exciting venue to develop their business ideas and test-drive with industry experts. The top three winning teams collectively gain access to $50,000 in funding and support.

The 2011 team winners are:

  • First Place: RayVio, headed by Dr. Yitao Liao, ECE ’10, is a spin-off from a BU research lab. The company has developed revolutionary UV LEDs that are a low-cost, durable, and energy efficient substitute for mercury lamps in the water purification and disinfection market. Dr. Milan Minsky presented the plan. The team also includes: Simon den  Uijl, Chen-kai Kao and BU Professor Moustakas.
  • Second Place: Twister Grips will enter the bicycle market by offering an innovative solution that will reduce chronic injuries from cycling while increasing comfort and performance for bicyclists. This business is headed by Fredrik Fjellsaa, ELC ’10, a graduate of the Global Diploma in Entrepreneurship program, with team support from Inese Pumpure.
  • Third Place: ACCEasy, headed by Katsiaryna Akhlopkava, GSM ’11, is “cloud-based” accounting SaaS for Russian small businesses. It is an inexpensive, easy to deploy, and scalable solution that can be integrated with major standards of existing accounting software on the market.  The team also includes Mikalai Makaranka.

According to Beth Goldstein, Director of the 50K New Venture Competition, “This competition has always attracted high quality entrants, and this year was no different. The 2011 business concepts are innovative and bold, and the finalist teams epitomize the entrepreneurial spirit that we seek to cultivate through the ITEC program. This year’s finalists included graduate as well as undergraduate students from three different schools at the university: School of Management, School of Public Health, and the College of Engineering. We look forward to following their continued success.”

Each team presented their business plan to a panel of four expert judges who have supported the Competition for many years: Gordon Penman from Brown Rudnick, Charles Lax from GrandBanks Capital, Louis J. Volpe from Kodiak Venture Partners, and Eugene Hill from SV Life Sciences. The panel of judges considered the quality of the written business plan along with the ability of the team to successfully communicate the goals of their plan.

ITEC also awarded a People’s Choice Award to the “business most likely to succeed.” Using wireless hand-held clicker technology donated by Platinum Sponsor Brown Rudnick LLP, the audience chose Twister Grips as the 2011 recipient of the People’s Choice Award.

About the ITEC $50K New Venture Competition
The annual ITEC $50K New Venture Competition provides BU students and recent alumni with the opportunity to develop their business idea into a solid business plan. The four teams competed for prizes worth over $50,000. Along the way, finalists received mentoring and advice from start-up veterans, as well as the opportunity to expand their network and connect with potential sources of funding. ITEC helps all business teams connect with funding sources that can provide the capital and hands-on leadership required to bring their idea to fruition. The annual competition is supported by Brown Rudnick and Seyfarth Shaw. For more information about the $50K New Venture Competition, visit and click on Competitions.

About The Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (ITEC) at Boston University School of Management
The Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) is a new model for entrepreneurship education, research and training that uniquely cross-channels resources from a large number of schools and departments throughout Boston University.  No other program provides the new entrepreneur with such a variety of opportunities for developing new technologies, products and services that meet global needs in healthcare, life sciences, alternative energy, information technologies, and other sectors. To help new entrepreneurs create sustainable enterprises, ITEC is located in the School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.  ITEC promotes cross campus exchange across all 17 schools at the university. For more information, please email or visit


Media Contact:
Beth Goldstein