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Company Aiming to Slow Onset of Antibiotic Resistance Wins 26th Moot Corp Competition

Moot Corp Director Rob Adams (far left) with the 2009 champions.

Moot Corp Director Rob Adams (far left) with the 2009 champions.

A company hoping to significantly slow the onset of antibiotic resistance claimed the grand prize at the 26th annual Global Moot Corp Competition at the McCombs School. Novophage Therapeutics from Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology beat out 39 teams from top MBA programs around the world on May 9 to win a prize package worth $135,000.

Novophage Therapeutics will introduce a biological therapy that slows the onset of antibiotic resistance and increases the efficacy of antibiotics. The company plans to offer treatments for highly antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, allowing infectious disease doctors to better manage the fight against multidrug-resistant strains through co-administration of engineered bacteriophages with current clinical standards of care.

FocalPop, Inc., the Texas Moot Corp champions and McCombs representatives in the Global round, took home awards for “Outstanding Written Business Plan” and “Outstanding Market” within the technology track. FocalPop plans to launch a proprietary Web platform that will allow advertisers to find the exact photos they need by crowdsourcing requests to a community of photographers.

“Global Moot Corp was an excellent opportunity to get feedback from experienced judges, to validate our ideas and strengthen our pitch,” said Becky Parker, FocalPop’s vice president of marketing. “It’s great to see so many amazing business ideas from all over the world come together for this competition.”

The FocalPop team is comprised of Texas Evening MBA 2009 graduates Parker, Ronnie LeBert and Eddie Howard and 2008 graduate Brian Romanko.

The Moot Corp competition simulates the process of raising venture capital in a unique partnership that brings together MBAs and business leaders. Competition judges function as an investment group seeking to reach consensus on the business venture they would most likely fund.

Business Honors Team Takes Second in CFA Challenge
A team of Business Honors undergraduates took second place against top MBA talent at the Texas round of the CFA Investment Research Challenge, held at Rice University Feb. 21.

Marshall Cowden, Hilary Hoffman, Samarth Kejriwal and Julia Kuo competed against eight MBA teams from universities across Texas. The challenge was a two-month investment research and valuation exercise requiring a paper and presentation on an oil-field services company called Carbo Ceramics. Under the guidance of faculty advisor Kelly Kamm, the team applied quantitative and qualitative financial analysis to a real-world application as equity research analysts. With the second-place finish, the team members each received a half scholarship toward their CFA certification.

MBAs Take Third at Tech Strategy Case at BU

The Texas MBA team of Nihar Gupta, Tiju Tom, Nirav Desai and Aashin Gautam (all MBA ‘09) took third place at the 4th Annual International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition hosted March 29 by Boston University and Ericsson. The team’s project focused on advising Ericcson executives on the convergence of voice, video and data on a common internet protocol (IP). Queen’s School of Business (Canada) and IESE Business School (Spain) captured first and second place, respectively.



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