HOUSTON – LawFuel.com – Business Law – Collegiate entrepreneurs will be pursuing the next Big Idea. They’ll also be after more than $300,000 in prize money when they pitch their business plans to a judging panel of more than 150 venture capitalists, investors, attorneys and business executives at the annual Rice Business Plan Competition beginning on March 22, 2007.
Fish & Richardson P.C., which protects more Big Ideas than any other law firm in the world, will be sponsoring the IP Powerhouse Award to be given to the contestant with the best intellectual property at the three-day event.
“The IP Powerhouse Award demonstrates Fish & Richardson’s commitment to recognize and reward great ideas, whether they are developed in a lab, a boardroom or in this case, maybe a dorm room,” says Kelly Kordzik, a Principal in the firm’s Austin office and President of the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative.
Teams from thirty-six top-ranked graduate universities will compete at the event hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. Schools represented include top U.S. programs such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, and Yale University, as well as international teams from China, Singapore, India, Canada, Colombia and the United Kingdom.
Business plans will be presented for a wide variety of original ideas and technology innovations, many of which have come from academic research at leading institutions. Included will be plans related to innovative approaches for diagnosing and treating breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, myopia, and glaucoma. Also, entrants will present hybrid fuel technology, ways to improve detection of e-coli bacteria and advanced robotic applications. Dozens of past participants have gone on to patent their technologies, raise funding, and successfully start their companies after competing at the Rice Business Plan Competition.
Contestants for the IP Powerhouse Award $2,000 cash prize will be judged on the patentability of their idea and its potential for commercial success. “We hope involvement by Fish & Richardson can provide the spark to turn a great idea into reality,” says Kordzik.
Founded in 1878, Fish & Richardson is one of the largest law firms in the U.S. practicing exclusively in the areas of intellectual property, litigation, and corporate law. The firm has over 420 attorneys and technology specialists in 10 offices nationwide: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Dallas, Delaware, New York City, San Diego, Silicon Valley, Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. Fish & Richardson has long represented great innovators and entrepreneurs, including pioneering inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers.
According to a recent survey in Managing Intellectual Property, Fish & Richardson has the largest IP practice in the world. Also, Fish & Richardson handles more patent litigation than any other law firm in the U.S. (IP Law & Business July 2006). It is the top firm in patent cases at the International Trade Commission and rates among the top U.S. firms in patents and trademarks obtained.