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Akin, recent alumni win at business plan competition

Geo-Haul LLC, a company developing Space-Tug, a robotic tow designed to dispose of aging satellites, took home second place and $8,000 in the Young Alumni Division of the 2007 University of Maryland $50K Business Plan Competition.

ISR-affiliated Associate Professor Dave Akin (AE), director of the Space Systems Laboratory, is a member of the team, along with Andrew Long, aerospace engineering alumnus ('03); and Brian Roberts, aerospace engineering alumnus ('99) and fire protection engineering graduate student ('08).

Finalists were selected from 18 semifinalists, and nearly 60 initial entries. Winners were chosen among nine finalist teams in three categories during an event on April 27. Each team gave investor presentations to a team of distinguished judges.

The competition, now in its seventh year, has historically awarded a total of $385,000 in prizes to faculty, students and alumni with the best plans for innovative ventures. Previous winners include Chesapeake Perl, AnthroTronix, Squarespace, Affiliate Classroom, and RioRey (previously known as Macrophage). A complete list of winners is available at the UM $50K Business Plan Competition Web site.

MTECH Ventures, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, provides cutting-edge entrepreneurship education to technology creators and stimulates venture creation by delivering a portfolio of services and resources to entrepreneurs committed to bridging the gap between technical ideas and viable ventures.

April 30, 2007

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