Cell Phone Technology Breakthrough Receives First Place in UC Irvine Competition

Engineering students take first and second place in contest

IRVINE, Calif., May 27, 2005 -- A team of UC Irvine faculty and students may soon introduce a new technology into the market that allows for IRbetter cell phone service.

The team, UNiCOM, captured first place and $15,000 in the annual Campus-Wide Business Plan Competition organized by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at The Paul Merage School of Business. The company focuses on exploiting WiBAND™’s breakthrough technologies, which provide a revolutionary approach in the Power Amplifier Modules (PAMs) market for wireless applications.

Their creation of a chip would enable cell phone companies to get new phones out faster across markets that require different standards— and will give the phones a global range. The technology has the potential to replace and make current technology obsolete.

The competition kicked off in January, drawing participants from more than a dozen schools who produced a variety of business ideas and formed multi-disciplinary teams. The competition started with 37 teams, and 16 moved to the next round. Fourteen teams progressed to the final day of competition on May 20 and were judged by top local entrepreneurs, presidents and CEOs, private equity and angel investors.

The winning team consists of members with a variety of backgrounds: Abhimanyu Singh, an MBA candidate; Huai Gao, associate researcher at the school of engineering; and Vijay Reddy and Haitao Zhang, PhD candidates in electrical engineering. They were assisted by a scientific board including UC Irvine professors Mark Bachman and Guanng-Pyng Li, who is director of Integrated Nanotechnology Research Facility.

The second place prize of $7,500 went to a company that created a medical device to monitor the health of tissues in patients undergoing advanced wound care treatment. The team, Modulated Imaging Inc., includes MBA candidates John Barnhill, Jeff Nelder, Ben Newcott, and Vihang Solanki; Johnathan Slone, a surgery resident and MBA candidate; David Cuccia, PhD candidate in biomedical engineering; Joon You, post-doctoral researcher at the Beckman Laser Institute; and Anthony Durkin, assistant professor, department of surgery.

Third place winner, COHERENTECH, is developing the world’s first multi-sensor, multi-standard, long-range scalable Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The $1,500 prize went to MBA candidates Dr. Tai-Lai Tung and Carolina Kussoy; and Dr. Tommy Yu of Broadcom Corporation.

Competition judges included: Seth Yakatan, Katan Associates; Andy Mindlin, Real World Marketing; Barbara Wartman, Ideaworks; Michael Shangraw, Ernst & Young; Raymond Cohen, Cardiac Science; Scott Santagata, Dorsey & Whitney LLP; Jnana Anderson, Women Executives and Entrepreneurs; Lester Savit, Jones Day; Gayle

Deflin, Apria Healthcare; Sid Mohasseb, Vital Source; Shiv Grewal, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth; Paul DeRidder, TCA; Christy Jones, Extend Fertility; Bob Polentz, ClearLight Partners; and Andy Graham, APG Partners.

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