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,
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
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.