The University of Maryland announced six finalists for its business plan contest today. In its fourth year, the contest has produced successful start-ups in the past, including Chesapeake PERL and AnthroTronix, which have both received more than $7.5 million in funding combined.
This year, the finalists all hail from various arms of the technology industry, including:
Maryland Data Recovery--A company using patent-pending technologies to target data recovery, data storage, and intelligence communities.
Mindsay--Its Web-based social networking product for Generation Y combines blogging, cross-networking, and IM.
Pervasive Technology Engineering--Plans to offer fiber optic sensors to the automobile and airplane engine market.
Squarespace--Internet publishing company touting a Lego-block style content management system which helps users create complex websites through a drag-and-drop interface.
TruGamerz--Its ThumbMaster product gives gamerz added leverage, comfort and control.
MacroPhage Networks--Creators of a technology that mimicks the human immune system.
Whether these businesses will be success stories next year is anyone's guess. Part of the equation will be whether they'll secure the necessary funding to realize their business goals. If the angel investment and VC investment markets keep up their current pace, they just might have a shot.