Academic Year 2007/08

The May 2008 Final Business Plan Competition grand prize of $55,000 was won by team Therapeutic Systems, a concept business that will market a novel "deep-pressure vest," developed in the UMass Amherst Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, that improves the quality of life for people with mental illness, especially autism, by providing a "portable hug." An estimated three to four million patients suffer from developmental disorders such as autism and the portable vest helps them self-soothe.

The prior round Executive Summary & Elevator Pitch Competition, held in December of 2007 for a $5,000 grand prize, was won by team Rentabilities an early stage, disruptive application service provider for the rental industry which streamlines rental operations by providing stores with online stores and point of sale systems. Rentabilities is already providing rental companies with a sophisticated web site presence, a built, tested, and proven online store and an integrated point-of-sale system that works in concert with the online store.