Where are they now?
All five of last year's winners are growing rapidly. Here's an update.
(FSB Magazine) -- All five of last year's winners are growing rapidly. Here's an update.
Passing the Test First Place: PrepMe, Chicago. This online SAT-preparation service (www.prepme.com) - launched by students at Oxford University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago - has sold its services to nearly 1,000 customers and is already cash flow positive, says CEO Karan Goel. It recently introduced a PSAT-preparation program and plans to start selling its ACT-preparation course by December or January. On the horizon: versions of its classes that are viewable by podcast and on mobile devices. "We're trying to be the test-prep company for a new generation," says Goel.
Working Under Pressure Second Place: NeuroLife, Pittsburgh. If a surgeon needs to monitor the brain pressure of a patient, he must drill into the skull, a risky procedure. The two doctors who started NeuroLife (www.neurolifemed.com) have a better idea - monitoring brain pressure through a patient's eye using fiber-optic technology. The company won $25,000 in a competition at the University of Texas at Austin, and raised another $100,000 from the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. The firm plans trials on animals this winter.
Winning the Game Third Place: Bigfoot Networks, Austin. After raising $4 million from Venio Capital Partners in Austin and expanding to 15 employees, Bigfoot (www.bigfootnetworks.com) in September started shipping its Killer Network Interface Card, which speeds the performance of online games.
Honorable Mentions: BullEx, Albany, N.Y.: This startup from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has created a training program for the proper use of fire extinguishers, which it markets to fire departments and corporate fire marshals. Sales have increased twice as fast as the founders had predicted. BullEx (www.bullexsafety.com) recently introduced a new digital fire simulator for use in safety classes and is now developing several patented technologies.
LicketyShip, San Francisco: The firm's beta test of same-day delivery service attracted 10,000 online customers. In September, LicketyShip (www.licketyship.com) launched a limited version of the service in the Bay area.
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