Century Club Renamed Business Alliance of George Mason University

Posted: June 13, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Rey Banks

At its quarterly Grubstake Breakfast last week, the Century Club formally unveiled its new name, Business Alliance of George Mason University, and announced that a new web site, www.bizalliance.org, will be live within a week.

A consortium of corporate partners, the Business Alliance works with George Mason to bring together the business community and the resources of the university to build relationships and stimulate the exchange of ideas. “Our new designation more accurately reflects our mission of sharing expertise between the business community and the university,” says Judy Costello, executive director. “This partnership brings tremendous value to the local business community and George Mason.”

The traditional breakfast, one of several networking events sponsored by the group, provides a showcase for small and growing companies seeking up to $2 million to present their products and services to corporations, venture-capitalists, and investors.

“The Grubstake Breakfast provides innovative companies the forum they need to reach business leaders and decision-makers within the investment community,” says Erik Ayers, president of the Business Alliance and a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Grubstake is a unique forum that has provided more than 100 businesses the opportunity to make valuable connections with investors and business leaders for nearly 18 years.”

The program is run by Business Alliance members who volunteer their time with selection, coaching, and feedback activities. Mason’s School of Management faculty and students and Mason Enterprise Center staff participate in this live-lab learning process.

More than 170 business and community leaders attended the breakfast last week to hear presentations from the following featured companies:

  • BioSciCon Inc., which recently has completed the translational research required to commercialize MarkPap, its proprietary line of products intended to improve the standard of care for cervical cancer prevention
  • Jebra Technologies, a health sciences company with patents on tissue preservation and neuroprotection against nerve gas and reperfusion injury (reperfusion is the restoration of blood flow to an organ or tissue that has had its blood supply cut off, as after a heart attack)
  • String Bean Software Inc., developer of WinTarget, which enables organizations of any size to cost-effectively meet critical business requirements while reducing operational costs, meeting regulatory requirements, and improving disaster recovery/business continuity solutions
  • Video Search Technology, which plans to market and sell its proprietary video search platform to a rapidly expanding marketplace that is demanding a well-priced, easily integrated solution for video search needs
  • Visure, a company offering a platform technology that catalogs and measures product placements, a rapidly growing form of advertising in which real brands of real products are used in movies, television, or other entertainment productions

The breakfast panel consisted of Tom Roberts, principal, Harbert Venture Partners; Mark Costanzo, senior associate, Blue Water Capital; and Tom Weithman, vice president of entrepreneurship and investment services, and manager of the Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) Fund, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology.

For more information on the Business Alliance, call 703-993-4765.

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