GW students present business plans to venture capitalists

Graduate students in the School of Business Management presented entrepreneurial concepts, involving the next generation Internet to local venture capital firms June 28.

Many of the student concepts incorporate Internet 2, another form of the Internet that offers greater bandwidth but is limited in its reach.

What we’re trying to do is forge a relationship with technical venture capitalist firms in the area, said Professor Jerry Feinstein, a member of the SBPM faculty who helped students improve their concepts and presentations in his class.

Students gave ten-minute presentations to local firms, including VentureHouse Group, The Chancellor Group, US Interactive, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Broebeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP.

SBPM students John and Gina Fimbel, Gina Mouradian and Beth Del Colliano developed Virtual Video Recruiters, a site that hosts job applications using streaming media and Internet 2. They were called back for a second presentation by PriceWaterhouse Coopers after their presentation at GW.

John Fimbel said the students’ company is similar to, which uses the traditional Internet.

The group is seeking $1.5 to $2 million dollars to start up its company. Once the students receive capital, it will take three to six months for the company to become operational, Fimbel said.

Brothers Kurt and Richard Beyer have developed Wrestling on the Web, a professional wrestling Web site that will feature live broadcasts, video archives, merchandise and independent professional wrestling across the globe.

Richard Beyer, who along with his brother has worked full-time on development, said he is confident that they can gain 10 percent of the $1 billion wrestling market within five years.

While most Web sites offer news tidbits, only five percent of their site will include news from other wrestling federations, Beyer said.

Instead, their site will include classic footage of wrestling greats, such as Bruno Sammartino. They also will host exclusive biographies of wrestlers like Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Beyer said that they already have letters of intent to purchase the rights of stock footage.

What we want is wrestling for wrestling fans, without the sleaze, Beyer said.

The brothers’ father, who wrestled professionally under the name The Destroyer, can help them gain publicity in Japan, where he wrestled, Beyer said.

Other student presenters included International Technologies Group, National Cooperative Bank and Broadband Connect.

One student, who did not present at the SBPM event, has already received funding for online help-desk training using Internet 2, Feinstein said.

GW is one of 178 member institutions with access to Internet 2.

Feinstein said he was surprised by the positive response by the firms.

There were lots of follow up where students will be making another presentation, said Feinstein. It’s more successful then I ever thought it would be.

Feinstein teaches one section of the class in GW’s MBA program and another in the master of science in information systems technology program.

The class maintains a focus on Web-based commerce, he said. The course was experimental, but will be offered in the fall, Feinstein said.

Students have already been called in for second-round, more in-depth, presentations to venture capitalist firms.

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