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Student grudge match

FSB co-sponsored Rice University's prestigious national competition for the first time this year. The winners took home a total of $327,000 in prize money, plus priceless bragging rights. Meet all 36 semifinalists below. Photographs by Evan Kafka for FSB.

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1st place: Death to scalpers
1st place: Death to scalpers
Andrew Mills, Barry Kahn and Jitendra Dalvi
Team name: qcue

School: University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

Team members: Barry Kahn, Jitendra Dalvi, Andrew Mills

Concept: The Qcue team plans to take on the big players in the secondary ticket sales market, such as Ticketmaster's TicketsNow and eBay's StubHub.

Qcue's product is a back-end software application that can be embedded into a primary seller's e-commerce website, transforming it into an electronic market that handles both primary and secondary sales. Qcue will offer two capabilities: A Nasdaq-style trading platform providing dynamic pricing - factoring in variables such as demand, time remaining until the event, and the number of tickets still unsold - and a sales engine for listing premium tickets on e-commerce and social-networking sites. Sellers will be able to list their inventory in multiple places in real time, in much the same way that plane tickets are made available via airlines, travel agents and travel websites.

The competitive edge of Qcue's offering kicks in once primary sellers have sold their full allotment of tickets at a predetermined price. After that point, rather than being turned away, visitors to the site are offered the lowest resale price available elsewhere - a deal on which the primary seller collects a transaction fee.

Timeline: Qcue plans to generate revenues from a 1% fee charged to primary sellers for all transactions made through the Qcue application. The company is seeking seed funding in 2008, with plans to raise a Series A round in 2009. - Malika Zouhali-Worrall



NEXT: 2nd place: Ultimate ski jackets
Last updated May 02 2008: 11:51 AM ET
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