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Wharton Business Plan Competition Michelson Grand Prize Winners Announced

Strong Backbone for Victory: Cortical Concepts Wins Wharton Business Plan Competition Michelson Grand Prize with Device that Helps Osteoporosis Patients Improve Bone Strength; “” Wins “People’s Choice” Award with Private Sales for Co-eds

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) April 29, 2010 -- The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced that student team Cortical Concepts, whose “Cortical Anchor” device aims to increase spine stability for osteoporosis surgery patients, won the $20,000 Michelson Grand Prize of the 2010 Wharton Business Plan Competition ( The prize was awarded at the Wharton School’s annual Venture Finals, April 28, 2010, where student finalists received more than $75,000 in combined cash prizes and in-kind legal/accounting services.

Cortical Concepts has filed a provisional patent for not only its device but for its method of applying an anchor--similar to drywall anchors used in home building--to bone screws used in spinal surgery. Its advisors include the Co-director of Spine Surgery at Johns Hopkins University.

The Venture Finals, which is the year-long Competition’s culminating event, attracted nearly 350 venture capitalists, business leaders, faculty members and students.
For the first time ever, three $1,000 awards were bestowed by the student management committee of the Wharton BPC. The committee awarded prizes in the following categories: “social,” “global,”` and “committee’s choice.”

The 2010 Wharton Business Plan Competition winners are:

1.   Michelson Grand Prize: $20,000 to Cortical Concepts (device for osteoporosis patients’ long term bone screw surgery success)
2.   Second Prize: $10,000 to NanoLab (calculator-sized device the can perform accurate diagnostic tests at point of care)
3.   Third Prize: $5,000 to R2R Therapeutics (cationic steroid antibiotic to treat infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria)
4.   Gloeckner Undergraduate Award: $5,000 for the highest ranking Wharton undergraduate team to PowerFlower Solar (design and manufacture of solar devices to allow farmers to “grow” electricity).
5.   People's Choice Award: $3,000 to (private sales clubs for students offering discounted brand name products)
6.   Committee Prize/Social category: Ecoclutch (sustainable bags)
7.   Committee Prize/Global category: Hector (nutrient rich “PowerWater” drink in innovative pouch for emerging markets)
8.   Committee Prize/Committee’s Choice category: PowerFlower Solar

University of Pennsylvania Medical School student Stephanie Huang, Cortical Concepts’ team leader, stated in her Venture Finals presentation that the company’s device will improve long term health for nearly 10 million osteoporosis patients in the US at risk. The team has completed a small scale pre-clinical trial with human cadaveric spine, performed mechanical bench-top testing and completed four rounds of beta prototyping. Competitors in nearly a dozen nationwide business plan contests, Cortical Concepts has raised over $40,000 in grant funding.

Over the years, the Wharton Business Plan Competition, which is open to any University of Pennsylvania student and managed by Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, has seen numerous student teams go on to become successful businesses including, buySAFE, NetConversions, Integral Molecular, DealMaven, InfraScan, Warby Parker Eyewear, Embrace Pet Insurance, Petplan USA and MicroMRI.

In fact, at least seven of the grand prize winners from the past decade are still in business with several earning millions in revenue and/or financing. Information about past participants is available on the Wharton BPC Web site:

About the Wharton School and Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs

In 1973, The Wharton School became the first school to develop a fully integrated curriculum of entrepreneurial studies. Today Wharton, through Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs , supports and seeds innovation and entrepreneurship globally through teaching, research and outreach to a range of organizations through its many programs, initiatives and research centers. At the same time, Wharton students and alumni are helping to build entrepreneurial enterprises around the world and impacting virtually every industry.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has more than 4,900 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 85,000 graduates.

For more information on the Wharton Business Plan Competition, go to:


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