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Peking University's seed improvement technology wins first Sustainable Technology Award at Carnegie Mellon University’s McGinnis Venture Competition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
March 20, 2007

A team from China won the inaugural Sustainable Technology Award at the prestigious, international McGinnis Venture Competition, hosted by the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business. The team’s business, Dr. Seed LLC, aims to help impoverished farmers in China with a technology that improves seeds by increasing crop yield, improving the crop’s resistance to drought and reducing the incidence of seed-borne diseases.

“We really wanted to develop an idea that would have a maximum impact on improving the quality of life for Chinese farmers,” said Jonathan Chin, sole representative of the nine-member team to make the journey from Beijing to Pittsburgh for the 2007 McGinnis Venture Competition, held at Carnegie Mellon University March 15 -17.

The seed-improvement technology acts by exposing seeds to a blast of light from a plasma-quartz bulb, Chin said. The technology has been lab- and field-tested, and the Chinese MBA team is now working towards a broader deployment, he added. Initially, Dr. Seed will be used to improve soybean production, but the technology will work with corn, wheat and other grains, Chin said.

The other members of Dr. Seed are: Team leaders, Vincent Wen and Christopher Chang; and Michael Wu; Grace Liu; Elisa Jiang; Michael Cheung; Dell Hyun; and Sunjai Tutakorn. Chin said he was in regular contact with his team during the three-day competition and relied on their support to present his winning plan. Dr. Seed received $15,000 in cash and $20,000 in business services.

The annual McGinnis Venture Competition is made possible by an endowment from Gerald E. McGinnis, a successful entrepreneur and founder of Respironics Inc.

Founded in 1949, the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon is a pioneer in the field of management science and analytical decision-making. The school’s notable contributions to the intellectual community include six Nobel laureates and a consistent presence in the top tier of business school rankings. The Wall Street Journal recently ranked the Tepper School as the third-best business school in the United States.





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